Swim Sisters test out Speedos Modesty Suits

Location: 3:59 pm Tags: , ,

“Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.” Bethany Hamilton

I was born and bred in Northern Rivers NSW, the home of my ocean passion, and the land of some of the most incredible beaches in Australia. It’s funny though isn’t it, the process of going to the beach, especially here in Australia, the ritualism and sentimentality, a place of its own rules. You grab your towel, sunnies, thongs and sunscreen, step onto the sand and breath in the air, you feel at home; the prospect of cold, salty water on your face is almost too much to bear. You scope out the beach, to the left a group of ocean swimmers taking the rip up the side out to the back for a peaceful swim, the kids kicking up sand and digging holes for their fortresses, the surf lifesavers manning the beach providing us with protection, and finally there they are, the surfers.

The concept of surfing was always interesting, but I always threw it into the too hard basket, as though I would never be able to do that, or if I did I would look ridiculous trying. Today the Swim Sisters overcame some of our fears, we took the courage we have built from swimming, and today we learned how to surf!! To be honest I was excited but nervous, what if I can’t do this? What if people get annoyed at us? What if, what if what if? But once we arrived the beautiful staff at “Let’s Go Surfing” in North Bondi eased all of these worries. First, they showed us an overview of the beach, one were familiar with for swimming, but not so much for surfing. Surfing was just always there, you know the pocket on the beach where the swimmers weren’t allowed, and as someone who grew up near the beach their whole life, with a dad and brother who surfs, you would think I knew more about it. You know what they say; ignorance is bliss, so not the case for surfing, my ignorance had me missing this awesome life changing sport.

We then headed down to the beach and grabbed our boards for some on beach training, boards on the ground with us lying on top, emulating the coolness of the surfer but lacking the reality of just how hard it really is. My inner voice was saying yes you can do this, my fears telling me I was too big to even get on a board, too uncoordinated to even catch a wave, those darn fears. We finally got in the water for a little laying down wave catching session, off we went, getting through the first bit of whitewash, paddling to the first set of small waves. Finally we reached the second sand bar with some ideal small waves, so turning around, with the wave 2 metres behind us my training rhetoric began, “paddle, paddle, paddle, wave touches the feet, paddle, two, three and chicken wing arms, presto”. These instructions may only make sense to a surfer, but they are elemental in learning whilst not drowning! The first few waves were a bit of a flop, but then something clicked, I got the timing my paddle to chicken wing arms weight shifting ratio had met its prime and I caught a wave all the way into the shore, and one after the other we all got the hang of it!

Today we were especially grateful to have this experience with Lets Go Surfing because we got to try out Speedo’s amazing new modesty suits. I love Speedo, they are durable, practical and most of all understand that we have a job to do in the water. I have been hanging for a modesty range from Speedo for a really long time; they embrace women’s differences and understand that we all have different needs, not to mention they last a lifetime.  

Next, we would head back into land for the standing up bit; you know the bit where we get validated into the surfing hall of fame. So boards down on the beach, lying down, a couple of visual lessons and then a bit of on sand practice and out we went. I was repeating the instruction, feet on the tail, feet flexed, paddle, paddle, paddle, wave on feet, paddle, two, three, chicken wing arms, back foot up, front foot up, surfing. Easy right? Hmmm, not so much. But much to our surprise, a few practice runs, and a few of us were up, yes surfing wave’s baby. I think the most memorable moments were catching the big waves all on our own, just riding with the power of water behind you, cruising off into the sunset, or in our case a few small children and our sister surfers. By this time one of the local dads who was coaching his young son, had decided he would help push us off into the wave. It was at this moment I realised, in the water there is no judgement. The world of surfing lives within its own bounds and community, with its own rules that one must be inducted into with courage and optimism, never give up, no matter how hard, respect each other, no matter who you are.

Unfortunately all amazing things have to come to an end; we reluctantly headed into shore, legs of jelly and arms weak, but our hearts and passion stronger than ever. We have conquered a lot in this swimming group, made up of mums and mothers to be, lawyers, dentists, scientists, uni students and swimming instructors. Learning to surf today just adds to the lists of skills we are obtaining, to the fears we are subsiding, and to the courage we are expressing. In the spirit of the day and because quotes are cliché and inspiring, Sir Kelly Slater summed it up,

“It’s like the Mafia, once you’re in you’re in. There is no getting out”.

So look out world, here come the Surfing Sisters.  

Until next time, hang loose.  

Gina (Surf Mafia recruit April 2017)

The Byron Bay Future Legends

Location: 4:16 pm

The Future Legends Story

The team at Lets Go Surfing were stoked to provide sponsorship for The Byron Bay Future Legends Surf Competition over the ANZAC long weekend. Lets Go Surfing donated a Rash Vest for each participant that they could wear in the competition and then keep afterwards.

Byron Bay locals Yvonne and Max started the ‘Future Legends’ contest 23 years ago, this is how the contestant began:

Yvonne and Max were fortunate on a number of occasions to spend some time at Makaha in Hawaii with Rell Sunn “The Queen of Makaha”.

Rell Kapolioka’ehuka Sunn was a champion surfer and water woman, when her daughter Jan was small, Rell started a contest for kids “The Menehuni” (Legendary mischievous little people of Hawaii, kind of like the Leprechauns) Rell removed the plaques off the many trophies she had won and used the trophies for prizes in her first ‘Keiki” or kid’s contest.

With Rell’s help and encouragement we started a similar contest in Byron Bay, known as the “Future Legends” The Future Legends contest is held in conjunction with the Byron Bay Malibu Club’s Classic each year. Yvonne and I were both foundation members of the club and are life members.

This year 2017 was the 23 rd. anniversary contest. Each year similar to Rell’s, we write and illustrate a colouring in/story book for each child, with subjects ranging from surfing education, surf safety, surf etiquette to keeping the beaches and ocean clean.

Our contest varies a little from Rell’s in so much as we give each child an equal trophy so they are all winners. This comprises of a “Show Bag” type bag which contains a tee shirt, colouring in book, wax, stickers and any other surf orientated goodies we can find.

The Future Legends contest is held in conjunction with the Byron Bay Malibu Classic each year.

Sadly Rell passed away in 1998 after a long battle with breast cancer, so it is our wish to perpetuate this ocean awareness and water wise idea for kids under 12 that she helped us start and as we adore the little ones with all their enthusiasm and energy, we hope in some way the subtle suggestions and warnings in the little colouring book, which draws on our combined 100 years as water man and woman will help keep them safe by being water wise and allow them to enjoy the wonderful healthy sport of surfing….

Max and Yvonne Pendergast.

Bondi Restaurants Case Study with Brenda Miley

Location: 10:51 am

Sunshine, epic food and fun waves!

Tourists love to come to Bondi Beach and spend time in the ocean and learn to surf. They also love to spend time with the locals and do what the locals do which is eat at our amazing restaurants.

At Bondi Beach we are spoilt for choice, from delicious Fish and Chips on the beach to fine dining at Icebergs. Check out Lets Go Surfing’s Founder, Brenda Mileys view on restaurants in Bondi Beach by clicking the play button.

Lets Go Surfing provides half or full day surf tours that include lunch at some fabulous locations.

Be Bold For Change….Change Your World by Brenda Miley – The Business Woman in Boardshorts!

Location: , , 5:30 pm Tags: , ,

21 years ago, as I walked out on my job as a PE teacher, my mum said ‘Please don’t leave teaching, it’s such a good job for a woman‘.  I agreed, but kept on walking into my own business, where luckily, I was still a teacher, just a teacher of all things surfing.  I’d left the security of a full time teaching career, to the unknown of this new idea of trying to make a living out of teaching surfing.  Rewind to the early 90s, there were not really any surf schools, a fledgling surf school industry was developing but everything had to be created from scratch.   So with an adventurous spirit and a preparedness to take risks to follow a passion deep within me,  I set up Lets Go Surfing (LGS) in 1995 out the back of a van at Bondi Beach, with 5 surfboards and an idea to promote women in surfing.

My life as a surfing instructor started then, but my journey in the ocean,  started way before that.  Way before there were women’s wetsuits (that actually made you look OK). Way before it was universally accepted to be a female surfer in the line up.  It started with a passion for the ocean that came from within when I caught my first wave on my dad’s back when I was 3.  It continued as I bodysurfed the shore dump at Coogee at 8. It continued as I walked everyday of the school holidays from Coogee to Tamarama  with a bodyboard under my arm, to spend 6 hours in the water and then to walk home again at the age of 12.  When I turned 14 I started riding a coolite at Tamarama, then as I progressed to a fibreglass board at 16, I cut my teeth at Maroubra and then finally Bondi Beach!

With the surfing bug fully entrenched in my life, I competed in all levels of competition from club level through to Australian titles, and discovered the absolute joy of travelling the world to surf.   It was often daunting, being the only woman in the surf.  I wanted to change the way girls experienced surfing and wanted to encourage them, so teaching surfing was the next step.  After setting up LGS, there were a lot of women who also wanted a women’s only boardriders club.  I set up Bondi Girls Surfriders Club (BGSR) in 1999 with some other like minded surfer girls, so women could feel safe to be able to compete in a girls only club and not feel embarrassed when constantly being compared to the boys.

Armed with a passion for teaching, surfing and making a difference to women’s lives, I discovered running a surf school was exactly what I was meant to be doing.  Fast forward to 2017, LGS is an award winning business, operating at Bondi, Maroubra and Byron Bay.  It is an equal opportunity employer for both men and women.  I am surrounded by an incredible team of women working in a range of areas from surf coaching , to marketing, business development, customer service and accounts.  I have proudly supported women to develop careers at LGS , having families along the way, without ever thinking about a glass ceiling!  When I look out to the surf and see women of all ages catching waves, I feel a sense of pride and happiness.   I still love a tropical surfing holiday and continue to search for new locations and adventures, all the while being the “Business Woman in Boardshorts”…. Sorry mum, sometimes you’ve just gotta change your world to live the life you want!

Mardi Gras!

Location: 4:13 pm

Mardi Gras is coming to Sydney for the 39th year!

 

This spectacular event brings people from all around the world for a celebration of the LGBTQI community! The main event – the Mardi Gras Parade is on the 4th of March from 7 PM and is a must see, full of glitz and glam!

 

While in Sydney enjoying all of the fun and parties, get down to Bondi Beach for a refreshing swim or surf!

 

We supply boards for hire and lessons for all abilities. If in town for Mardi Gras and keen to learn to surf we are offering $20 off our Adult Group lessons! These lessons are a great way to learn the basics of surfing and then you get to tell your friends that you learnt to surf on world-famous Bondi Beach!!

 

Just use the coupon code MARDI20 on checkout when purchasing a Bondi Surf Experience and you will get $20 off! Just hit BOOK NOW

Surfing with DanTDM- TheDiamondMinecart

Location: 9:32 am

Working at Lets Go Surfing in Bondi Beach, I’m lucky enough to teach people from many walks of life to surf, but it isn’t every day I teach someone like DanTDM.

Dan TDM is a Youtube personality and professional gamer who goes by the handle The Diamond Minecart. His Utube channel has over 13.8 million subscribers! Check out his Vlog  about his surfing experience below sourced from his Utube Channel.

Dan came to Australia this Summer and wanted to learn to surf… where better than world famous Bondi Beach! Dan came along to his lesson,  equipped with a GoPro and his own personal camera man to capture all the thrills and spills of our time in the water. Dan is pretty good at ‘surfing the net’ as his fans are all very aware, however this was his first time surfing waves which requires some pretty different skills. After three warm-up waves, Dan was up and riding all the way into shore, which was pretty impressive for a first timer!

Not only did Dan have myself cheering him on, he had lots of young fans who were in other Lets Go Surfing surf lessons giving him lots of encouragement. Dan managed to stand up on every single wave, and even did a few turns! It was obvious Dan was having a great time, as he couldn’t wipe his smile off his face!

At the end of the lesson, lots of kids and parents stopped and asked Dan to get a photo with Dan, in which Dan was more than happy to pose for! Thanks again for coming to surf with us Dan! We hope to have you back for another lesson next time you come back to Australia!

Lucy

Senior Instructor at LGS

Christmas shopping with the LGS Santa

Location: , 1:03 pm

A board package you don’t want to miss out on

Check out what our LGS Santa has been up to….

Buy someone special a NEW SURFBOARD this Christmas from one of our stores and receive the following:

  • 10% off the board price
  • Block of Wax
  • Legrope
  • Free delivery (to Eastern Suburbs)

 

Check out what’s on offer via our online shop

Visit us at 128 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi

Surfing with Steph Gilmore

Location: 5:00 pm

As surf instructors on some of the world’s best beaches we think we have the best job in the world! This week we had the opportunity to meet someone who perhaps has an even better job…travelling the world to surf the best waves on offer.. STEPH GILMORE!

Steph is a 6 x world champion and we were lucky enough to have her help out as a guest surf instructor. The lucky girls in the lesson were invited to Bondi by ROXY and the morning was full of surfing and fun on the beach followed by a delicious healthy breakfast at The Bucket List. 

Steph’s hot tips surfing tips are:

  • Stay low when you first stand up
  • Make sure you smile and have lots of fun!

 

Our  photographer Shaun was taking some awesome shots so check them out!

Thanks to everyone involved on the day and special thanks to Steph for being such a champ!

Stars of The East with Brenda Miley

Location: 4:51 pm
I’m a surfer… not a hip hop dancer?! But I will do anything for a good cause….
This month Brenda (Surf School founder) is involved with ‘Stars of The East: Dance For Cancer’
She is trying to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Council NSW & would love your support. Brenda is learning a hip hop dance (more videos to come to show you all her progress) to raise awareness and money for the Cancer Council.
We are all touched by cancer in our lives personally or through someone close to us. Check out the video to see our personal connection with Cancer & please click the link below to donate to help make a difference! 🙂
https://starsoftheeast.gofundraise.com.au/page/BrendaMiley
Thanks very much! Love Brenda

UFC Fighters take on the Surf at Bondi Beach

Location: 1:50 pm

It’s not very often that you get to teach UFC champion fighters how to surf. 

Today Shannon and I coached Rich Walsh and Kyle Noke 2 of Australia’s best UFC fighters! Not only are these two of Australia’s toughest athletes but also champion blokes.

Kyle grew up on the Sunshine Coast and enjoys surfing,  Rich had never surfed before and was a bit hesitant to get in the water telling me “I think I will only be out there for 10 minutes”. However Shannon, Kyle and I convinced Rich that he would be hooked on a new sport as soon as he started…

On our way down to the beach both the guys  had to stop to talk to the camera, shake hands and kiss some babies.. the life of being a some of Australia’s best UFC fighters.

Shannon and I gave them a quick surf pep talk and then we hit the water, in the first set both the boys caught waves and rode them like pros! Their surfing talent came to no surprise to Shannon and I as they are very fit and strong professional athletes!

The lesson seemed more like a fun surf session with mates. The UFC boys were catching their own waves and paddling out wanting more. By the end of the lesson they were both feeling the surfers stoke and Rich said that surfing was one of the best things he had done (hopefully he takes it up as a hobby).

It was awesome to have Rich Walsh and Kyle Noke come down and surf with us. We wish them all the best in their upcoming fights and hope to see them out in the water again soon.

Want to try out a lesson like the boys? Check out whats on offer. 

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