Falling In Love With Surfing In New Zealand & Australia

March 2009: We got stuck in the ‘poor-man-mindset’ for a while, and were discussing while in New Zealand & Australia last year, whether we would buy ourselves a full body board set (rash top, fins, board, board bag) or not – we really wanted to, but it was a lot of money and what would we do with everything once we left a few months later?

Luckily, we got over ourselves, bought the boards and fins (plus a mega huge board bag..!) and had the time of our lives.

Honestly, I was completely freaked out by the whole surfing thing at the start, and once Nathan showed me some ‘real’ waves my first thought was “Is this guy crazy?”

I couldn’t understand how he could really think that I would willingly, let alone happily, throw myself out in THAT? Only a person without any fear or brains would do that!

With my legs shaking and my heart jumping I paddled out. And got wiped out. Paddled again. Wiped out. “It gets easier once you get past the waves!” Nathan yelled out.

After having swallowed half the ocean, I finally learned how to get passed the waves, and pretty soon I was even starting to enjoy it.

Nathan was like a fish in the water on his board, and from him I learned that surfing was more than just a sport – it’s a state of mind.

The peace you experience in the early morning hours out there in the water is a feeling you can’t describe other than that you feel like a free spirit. You feel the connection with nature, you realize what life is really all about – you feel that freedom of life.

But before getting *out the back* – as they say… you have to get passed all the crashing waves.

It’s just as much of a mental challenge as a physical one, and if you don’t stay focused you’ll give up – giving myself another month and I had fallen deeply in love with this *sport* – thanks to Nathan and the beautiful waves we experienced together.

Have you fallen in love with a sport on  your travels? Tell us about it!

Here is a video of Nathan – well see if you can SPOT Nathan somewhere in all the big waves – a bit too scary for me!

20 Responses to Falling In Love With Surfing In New Zealand & Australia

  1. Cris Campos June 25, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    What a lovely post! Surfing is amazing, I do it since I'm 10 and New Zealand waves are just perfect to learn!
    The only problem is the temperature of the water… just TOO cold to my Brazilian skin, I need a 4:3 wetsuit all year long here and on wintertime I actually prefer avoiding the freezing water and go snowboarding on the mountains, which I'm still learning… I spent more time using my arms than my legs LOL .. but I love it too! :)

  2. Erica Kuschel June 25, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    I want to learn so badly! I'm hoping to get some experience one day. The only thing I'm deathly afraid of is the fact that I'm not a very strong swimmer.

  3. Cohabitaire June 25, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    Love this post!

    I'm a bondi girl, been surfing now for 3 years… the first year is so so hard, but when you break through the fear factor and getting smashed, it's the most peaceful thing to experience. It's a magical feeling flying on a wave. Every holiday we book now usually involves surf… Raglan NZ earlier this year – such a beautiful place! Did you guys go there?

    Thanks again. Ingrid.
    http://www.cohabitaire.com

  4. Sofia June 26, 2010 at 5:28 am #

    Yeah it was really cold on the south island, but the north island was good for me, my Swedish skin is used to cold water ;)

    I tried snowboarding for the first time earlier this year, it was great fun but I know what you said about the arms, they (and my bum) hurt like crazy!!
    I think I prefer skiing :P

  5. Sofia June 26, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Nathan couldn't swim at all when he learned how to surf, and he actually thinks that made him learn faster because he was so scared to fall off the board :P
    I'm not really a strong swimmer either, but I've become a lot better by surfing, you also learn to read the currents and know where it's safe to go.

    So don't worry, do it! :D

  6. Sofia June 26, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Hey Ingrid and thanks for you comment!
    Yeah, even just lying out there on your board past the waves is such an incredible feeling. No we didn't make it to Raglan this time, maybe next year though.
    So where are you heading next?

  7. backpackingmatt June 26, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    I learned to surf up in Raglan. Excellent place to do it! I quickly fell in love with the mindset as well, yet only was able to surf for a day. It's definitely something I'll do again. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  8. GlobalButterfly June 29, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Oh man, there is NOTHING like surfing. I got addicted while vacaying in Costa Rica one Summer. Sadly, I don't get to surf often, but I try to at least once a year. Last year I surfed in Nicaragua and it was fantastic! Scuba diving is also a sport that has touched my heart greatly.

  9. Sofia June 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Ok! Did you take a day course? Yeah the mindset and lifestyle is awesome, where we're based at the moment there is no good surfing at all, so it's a bit tricky creating that lifestyle here – but the mindset is always with us ;)

  10. Sofia June 30, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    I don't get to surf much either anymore, the waves are non existent here :( but I'm thinking of trying wind surfing or kite surfing instead this summer, because we have a lot of wind ;)

    Oh I so want to take a scuba certification!! I pretty much love everything that has to do with water :)

  11. annb04 June 30, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    I also learned to love surfing in Australia! Sadly, I was too afraid to go it alone and missed a chance to get really serious about it after my initial tries.

    My boyfriend and I wanted to take it up again here in Italy but there is a lack of waves on the Mediterranean! Instead we have just started learned to kitesurf! I have to say it doesn't quite create the same emotion for me as surfing but once I get better and can really use the kite to my advantage I think it will be a good Italy sport!

    As for surfing, that dream will never die. As I travel through other countries I'll always be sure to check out the waves!

  12. GlobalButterfly June 30, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    If you love the water then YOU must get your scuba license!!! Trust me
    when I say it will change your life. :)

    In a message dated 6/30/2010 6:41:20 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
    writes:

    Sofia (unregistered) wrote, in response to GlobalButterfly:

    I don't get to surf much either anymore, the waves are non existent here
    :( but I'm thinking of trying wind surfing or kite surfing instead this
    summer, because we have a lot of wind ;)

    Oh I so want to take a scuba certification!! I pretty much love everything
    that has to do with water :)

    Link to comment:

  13. Sofia June 30, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    It's the same thing here, there are basically no waves at all. I was actually thinking of taking a kite surfing course, or wind surfing (which one do you think is most fun?). We have a lot of wind but no waves so that would be perfect!
    Yes, I felt the same way with surfing. Once I started to get a little better, it was a lot more fun.

    Haha, yeah Nathan always studies the waves wherever we are, it's like an obsession!

  14. Sofia June 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    It surely does seem like a life changing thing, being able to really get to know the world under the surface. I love snorkeling and do it whenever I can.
    I will definitely take a licence next time I travel somewhere exotic!
    Where did you take yours?

  15. GlobalButterfly June 30, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    I got my license at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I can't imagine
    having gotten it anywhere else! It was the most INCREDIBLE experience!!!
    After I got the licence I did a live aboard for a week. I think I did
    something crazy like 20 dives in the Great Barrier Reef? Since then I've dived
    in about 10 different countries around the world. I'm totally hooked!!!

    In a message dated 6/30/2010 2:02:27 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
    writes:

    Sofia (unregistered) wrote, in response to GlobalButterfly:

    It surely does seem like a life changing thing, being able to really get
    to know the world under the surface. I love snorkeling and do it whenever I
    can.
    I will definitely take a licence next time I travel somewhere exotic!
    Where did you take yours?

    Link to comment:

  16. annb04 June 30, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    I haven't tried windsurfing but I chose kite surfing because it seems like more of a challenge and therefore more of a triumph when you succeed! I always liked the idea that once you learn how to control the kite you can use it to hold you in the air while you jump the waves! Who knows if I'll ever be that good but it's worth a try!!

    I recommend it, whether you choose wind or kite, you never lose out on the experience! Especially while you guys are based where you are you might as well take advantage of learning a new sport, even if it's solely to get into the water!

  17. Coast Radar November 3, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    My Kiwi friends love surfing. One of them moved to Canada and although he can snowboard, he says he misses surfing more than anything else. I learned to surf a few years ago and I have to admit, it’s way more fun than snowboarding.

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