July 2, 2012
This is Croyde beach, where we went to enjoy the 13 degrees Celsius seawater, and catch some waves on a bodyboard.
As you can imagine, the water is simply freezing, and though the waves are exhilerating, you can't stay in for more than a few minutes. So this time around we got some wetsuits second hand from a surf school, and while we were there, we signed up for our first ever lesson too... Cue major excitement from me!
Croyde bay on the day of our lesson - a lovely British summer's day and nice big waves!
The lesson was brilliant and I enjoyed every minute. Learning the basic moves, struggling with the board, feeling the first rush of speed... And then I even managed to stand up and actually surf! Once! :D Amazing performace from such a sporting anti-talent as me!
If you're visiting the Atlantic, I highly recommend both a wetsuit and a surf lesson, you will remember your trip to the sea for a lifetime!
Some practical tips from a total beginner, if you actually do so:
1. Trim your nails as short as possible when trying on wetsuits and planning on wearing them, as getting into the wetsuit is a workout in itself and requires all your fingertips!
2. Listen to the expert - whether you buy your wetsuit second hand or new, get it from a trusted place and ask for advice. There are different wetsuits for different seasons and the sizing is still a mystery to me.
3. If you go for a lesson, listen to the tutor - always share if you have any medical problems and make sure you're a strong enough swimmer.
4. If you feel unsure, go for a small group lesson or a one-on-one where the tutor has more time for making you comfortable.
5. Don't let the difficulty hold you back! If I did it, anyone can! :)
6. Wearing a wetsuit keeps you warm and it did wonders for my self confidence, as I could move, fall into the water and be clumsy whichever way I wanted without the possibility of revealing any indecent pieces of skin.
7. Enjoy the waves and the speed! :)