Despite coming from a family of surfers and living near the beach during my entire adolescence, somehow I never picked up surfing myself. Sure, I have a surfboard, read surf magazines, watch surf documentaries, count Point Break as one of my all time favorite movies and say things like “brah” and “stoked,” but I never thought about going out there and trying it myself. Surfing seemed a little too intimidating for a nerdy nerd like me.
Cue Surf Goddess Retreat in Bali. I never thought when I signed up that I’d leave with a lifelong love of surfing and the basic skills to pursue it, but that’s exactly what happened. Unfortunately I only had a taste of Surf Goddess’ full potential, as I squeezed in a 4-day retreat instead of the usual week. TIP: When you go, definitely sign up for the full week. You won’t be sorry!
If you’ve been reading Angie Away for the past week or so, you’ve read about Surf Goddess’ beautiful villas, delicious and beautiful cuisine and decadent Bali spa treatments, so now it’s time to get down to the main course – the surfing! Surf Goddess partners with the Rip Curl School of Surf in Bali, so on our first day we drove down to the beach to meet our adorable instructors with their tanned Balinese skin and big toothy smiles. I was super fearful that I’d be so bad and subsequently bring shame to my surfing family, Dad in particular. Still covered in huge bruises from my bike accident, I fully expected to add more to the tally by the end of the week. I obviously didn’t have much faith in my abilities, that is until…
I am my father’s daughter!
As it turns out, all those years of watching my Dad and Kelly Slater tear it up helped me to jump up on the board wave after wave. Plus, the Surf Goddess instructors and the Rip Curl guys are right there telling you when to paddle, when to stand up and where to look. After the first day, I spent my energy cheesing for the photographer and the videographer Sean rather than stressing about surfing itself.
After the first few waves, I just couldn’t believe what I’d been missing all my life. I spent the better part of three days catching waves, paddling out, duck diving and having “board meetings” behind the break with legit surf dudes and some of the girls, and even when it wasn’t time for lessons, a handful of the other gals and I stayed behind to keep practicing. Though not everyone was ripping it up by the end of three days of lessons, every last girl was able to stand up and surf enough to say they really did it. It was such an accomplishment and everyone in our little SG sorority was suitably stoked by the end of the trip.
Surfing in Bali may have been the most fun I’ve had on my around the world adventure to date, and I can’t wait to get back in the water and do it again. I find myself daydreaming about surfing sometimes when I’m flying or on a bus trip… and then I realize I am finally becoming my father’s daughter.
Special thanks to Chelsea, Jade, Melinda, Joyce and all the Surf Goddess mermaids for the experience of a lifetime!