Laura surfing in Manly, Sydney

Surfing in Manly, Sydney

As many of my friends and family told me before I left the UK, I simply couldn’t go to Australia without learning how to surf. By travelling to Hawaii fairly ‘incorrectly’ by not surfing Oahu’s iconic North Shore, it was now time. I was about to learn from the experts. We chose to go surfing in Manly, so you guessed it, we were back for a third visit. Whizzing round to Circular Quay, we caught the ferry once again, and picked Manly Surf School for our first surf lesson.

Didgeridoo player at Circular Quay, Sydney

We boarded the Manly Ferry once again, passing a didgeridoo player. Well, when in Australia.

Manly Surf School, Sydney

A far cry from the nearest surf beach to my home, Fistral Beach in Newquay, we thought the good surf of beautiful Manly Beach would be a great place to learn. We got changed into our rather dashing wetsuits. They were pretty cold and wet – yuk. Both Paul and I grabbed a board, ready for a spot of surfing in Manly.

Wetsuits and surfboards at Manly Surf School, Sydney
Getting ready to go surfing in Manly at Manly Surf School, Sydney

I can’t tell you just how heavy the surfboard was. Most others in our group were a little more experienced than us. It was a workout barely carrying it across to the ocean. Our surf teacher told us the basics about surfing. This includes spots of water to avoid, how to paddle, and how to stand up. He was a typically laid back Aussie. This was great as he knew we wanted to spend as much time out in the surf as possible.

Surfing in Manly, Sydney

After pep talks and briefings, it was time to go and catch some waves. Surfing was a lot harder than I bargained for, but such a good work out. You constantly paddle against tides and lug a heavy board around for starters. Next, you have to heave your whole body up to try and stand on the board.

Laura carrying her surfboard to Manly ocean

I managed to stand up a few times. By the end, I well and truly got the hang of it. Ironically, my mum didn’t get any pics of me actually surfing! The whole experience was so much fun. Some of my friends said it’s difficult to stand up on the board, so I went with low expectations. I actually surprised myself. I can’t wait to get back on a board, and really feel I know the basics of surfing now. It could also mean a smaller board next time.

Surfing in Manly, Sydney

One down side of the lesson was the time our teacher has to split between the group. If you’d like a little more attention during your lesson, I’d recommend private tuition. You can choose this to be either on your own or with a small group of friends. Our teacher did, however, get everyone standing up by the end of the 2-hour lesson. Definitely give it a go if it’s your kind of thing. You might even surprise yourself too.

Sunset in Sydney

We headed back onto the ferry feeling exhausted and soggy. We were lucky enough to catch another fantastic sunset on the journey home. Sydney, you spoil us every time.

Views from Manly Ferry, Sydney
A sunset over Sydney Harbour Bridge
A sunset from the Manly Ferry
A sunset from the Manly Ferry
A sunset behind Sydney Harbour Bridge
A sunset over Sydney Harbour Bridge
A sunset over Circular Quay, Sydney

The sky turned dark after the sun melted into a fireball. After an exhausting yet awesome day, it was time to head back to relax before another great day ahead at Sydney Opera House. Surfing is such an amazing experience I’ll be sure to try again.

Have you been surfing in Manly, Sydney? Where are your favourite spots around the city to surf?

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