Surfing… the new wave of Tourism

Location: 4:47 pm

Brenda Miley and her team from Bondi Beach’s own Lets Go Surfing have taken out the prestigious Gold award for Adventure Tourism in the recent 2017 NSW Tourism Awards.

Over 500 guests attended the gala event held at the International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour on Thursday 16 November 2017. The awards celebrated the industry success of 100 outstanding finalists from across the State of NSW.

This year’s win see’s Lets Go Surfing back to back winners and places the locally loved and internationally famous surf school into contention for a hat-trick and official entry into the NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame.

“We are so proud to win this award again this year, it really is a testament to the passion and commitment our whole team demonstrate on the beach every day, living our motto, ‘changing lives… one wave at a time”

Brenda Miley, LGS Founder & Surf School Director

Lets Go Surfing founded in 1995, continue today as a community based surf school teaching local kids, adults and community groups to surf and were initially advised by the tourism industry that; “surfing is not a tourism product”, However, today Lets Go Surfing is showcased by Destination NSW and Tourism Australia as one of the 3 Sydney Icons in key Australian international tourism markets alongside The Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge climb and Lets Go Surfing Bondi Beach.  Lets Go Surfing have pioneered surfing in the tourism industry, providing local employment and training hundreds of staff and contributing to the local visitor economy.  

Now in their 27th year, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate and acknowledge tourism businesses that have demonstrated outstanding achievement and success throughout the year. The Awards are a submission and inspection-based program and provide the opportunity to publicly recognise and showcase the State’s finest tourism operators.

“Our goal is to be ‘the world’s best surf school experience’ and this award really recognises and acknowledges the hard work our team put into making this goal a reality”

Wacca, LGS Managing Director


The Awards have 29 categories across the industry spectrum – attractions, festivals and events, ecotourism, tour and transport operators, marketing and accommodation and outstanding contribution from an individual.

Lets Go Surfing’s win provides the opportunity to progress as finalist in the upcoming 2017 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

Change the Way You Holiday

Location: , , 4:19 pm
We love changing lives one wave at a time. For that reason, we were thrilled to feature in a recent article by Bupa Oversees Visitor Insurance​ on some of the top active holidays in Australia.
We featured in ‘Active Holiday Ideas for an Energetic Trip to Australia’ for our commitment to authentic surfing lessons for everyone. Whether on the iconic Bondi Beach and Byron Bay or in local secret spots like Maroubra Beach, our instructors work hard to show you the best surfing to suit your level.

For over 22 years, we have been offering travellers – whether from Australia or other countries – a thrill-seeking chance to dive straight into nature through learning to surf. Because of our lessons, countless people have experienced the true beach culture of our laid-back nation while engaging with the ocean.

If you ask us, surfing is one of the must-do activities on your travel bucket list when visiting Australia. Whether you’re naturally active or not, surfing will soon have you hooked. You can’t explain the feeling you get when you ride a wave until you actually experience it.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and give it a go, then you will understand what it means to feel the ‘stoke”.

Lets Go Surfing Bondi: Where Passion Pursues Pleasure

Location: 11:02 am

Since the days of watching movies like ‘Blue Crush’ or ‘Surf’s Up,” we have always wanted to experience the rush of catching that perfect wave and letting it carry us away. But for the beauty of such moments, surfing is a journey that requires patience and practice. We learned that right away from the start, experiencing balance and exhaustion. On top of that nosediving and getting a mouth full of seawater is all part of the thrill. We discovered our limits and pursued the wonder of waves with ‘Lets Go Surfing” in Bondi Beach in Sydney.

Lets Go Surfing Bondi: Where Passion Pursues Pleasure

Co-founders Brenda Miley and Craig Wachholz lead a team of passionate instructors at Lets Go Surfing which started from a van back in 1995. Today, Lets Go Surfing has grown to become a licensed Surf School famous on Bondi Beach. Voted as one of Sydney’s top three tourist activities (umm….wow!) the school prides itself on hand-picking the best coaches both locally and internationally. From experience, the instructors that we got were fantastic sharing their surfing knowledge and making the experience a whole lot better (not to mention safer!).

One really cool thing about Lets Go Surfing is its ties to the local community. Working together, the group plays an active role with initiatives including: free surf-education programs for residents and disadvantaged groups, supporting Bondi’s Norman Andrews House for people facing homelessness and working with the state government to keep the beauty and pristine beach area looking its best.

Surfing in Bondi: Get Up to Fall Down

We approached the slanted street that led to the little entrance of the surf shop. In the distance, you can hear the repetitive sounds of waves cascading along the beach. It was a cool winter day during the week and we were already wearing our sweaters. “We are either going to freeze or… freeze,” we kept telling ourselves as we saw a shirtless man carry his board down the beach. We both had dreamed of surfing for so long so there was no turning back now.

Along the eastern edge of Bondi beach you will find their little shop next to a cafe. Lets Go Surfing is a fantastic one-stop surfing shop (say that five times without smiling), and a popular destination for anyone looking to try surfing in Australia. Whether you are a beginner (like us) or already have experience with waves, the team offers a wide range of services and rentals for all ages.

Sign Your Life Away (and Have the Best Time)

The journey starts as soon as you enter. Enthusiastic, smiling hosts welcome you inside where you are kindly asked to sign a safety waiver identifying any medical history that the team should be aware of. You meet your instructor (or instructors) who greet you and then hand you over a wetsuit and rash vest during cold weather like we had. Our instructors Dom and Ariana (at the time of this review), mentioned the wetsuit is an adventure on its own and they weren’t lying. After pulling and tugging your way inside, with all the curse words out of your system, you coat yourself in sunscreen and zinc and follow your instructors outside for a quick overview.

Getting To Know The Waves

Usually, you will be combined with other students learning to surf that same day. As a group, everyone gathers in a circle taking in the beautiful beach and getting to know one another. You will be asked to share your goal for the lesson and no, “not dying…” is not a goal. From there, the instructors divide the group based on who wants to achieve what (standing, knees up, yoga poses, avoiding death etc.).

Holy Crap That’s Cold!

Once the meet n’ greet is complete, you make your way down to the beach and into the “batcave,” where your instructor partners you with a board to match your size. They also show you how to carry the board by the tail as the wind loves to creep up and toss the board from under.

Our instructor Dom, quickly went over a few of the obstacles to watch out for when surfing – people and rips. Rips are areas where the water pulls back into the ocean/sea along the beach after the wave disperses which can be an extremely, strong pull. Dom showed us how those rips carve out deep pits under the water and how to spot one. Safety first, ladies and gentlemen

After the safety instructions, Dom showed how to get on the surfboard when catching a wave. After the demo, we were all challenged to catch a wave and ride the board on our bellies to get a feel for the balance required. We all grabbed our boards and headed in. With that first toe touching the icy water and the hair standing up on the back of our necks, the adrenaline kicked in.

It’s a bit scary the first time you walk out towards the waves and see them crashing down. If you ever try surfing, don’t be misconceived by the height of waves. In this case “size doesn’t matter,” as even the small waves have a big punch to them. The first couple of tries got us nothing but mouthfuls of seawater as Dom smiled mentioning the famous “nosedive” everyone delivers as a result of too much weight on the front of the board. But after a few attempts (and with Dom’s help), we managed to catch a wave and enjoyed it taking us on a speedy run.

A Balancing Act

Now neither of us have ever experienced surfing so we can be as honest as it gets here. At the beginning, we laughed as we considered that surfing gets you nowhere — as William Finnegan puts it. They give you a board, you paddle out, you sprint for a wave (after waiting for a while), you ride it shorewards … and repeat. The sessions last hours but the rides only seconds.

After some time, the body starts aching from the repetition so we all took a break back on the beach. Dom explained a few pointers and a little history of the area and then presented the next challenge of standing on the board. Cue scary, thrilling music now…

After standing effortlessly on the beach and noting which foot to kick off from, we pushed back to the beautiful, blue water. The wind had picked up and the waves began crashing more frequently. We thought the body balancing act was tough until we tried standing. Dom mentioned that it may seem easy when on the beach but when you are in the water, you forget which foot is which. The first few attempts made us look like clowns trying to balance on yoga balls with the attempt resulting in funny flips and nosedives.

Surfing in Bondi: Simply Amazing

As we were coming to the end of our lesson, we were eager to stand at least once. Dedicated and driven, we managed to surprise ourselves and stretch our legs for a few seconds. Impressive considering that our goal was not to die. Eve even managed to ride a wave right to the shore before calling it a day.

After dropping our boards back and wriggling out of our wetsuits we returned to land with big smiles on our faces. During your lesson, there is a photographer that captures some really stunning (and humorous) photos of your lesson that you can download and purchase from the shop which is a rewarding way to capture the exciting memories of the day.

 

Blog by: ROB AND EVE

Meet Greg

Location: 4:05 pm

Name: Greg

Age: 33

Job: Instructor

Best surf tip: Have fun and don’t get frustrated – it will all come together!

Interesting Fact: I grew up far from the ocean (unlike most instructors here)

How would you describe yourself in three words: Small, angry, French

Surfboard you ride and why: JS 511 Blackbox 2, and I like it because I’ve never surfed better than with that board.

Wetsuit you wear and why: O’neill Psychotech, because it’s super warm and flexible!

Meet Ash

Location: 3:58 pm

Name: Ashlea

Age: 30

Job: Senior Coach

Best surf tip: Never go beyond your limits

Interesting Fact: Photographer on the side

How would you describe yourself in three words: Playful, Cheeky, and Outgoing

Surfboard you ride and why: Softlite 7 ft because you can use it pretty much anywhere on the beach and it has good turn power.

Wetsuit you wear and why: Epic because it keeps you super warm and you look great in it, and it’s got a lot of flexibility and mobility

Meet Che

Location: 3:54 pm

Name: Che Godfrey

Age: 21

Job: The Apprentice (Retail, Bookings, Sales, Marketing, Photographer)

Best surf tip: Where you look is where you will go

Interesting Fact: I learned to surf through Lets Go Surfing from when I was 7 years old

How would you describe yourself in three words: Funny, Caring, Happy

Surfboard you ride and why: Gboard 8’6.. Oo yeah! Easy to catch waves, fun to turn on and heck there are an abundance of them to use before and after work.

Wetsuit you wear and why: Pychofreak 3/2 in Black – Comfy, warm and very slimming

What to bring for a surf lesson.

Location: , , 4:16 pm Tags: ,

What and what not to bring to a Surf Lesson

We see people from all over the world stepping in our shops to enjoy what we enjoy on a daily basis. Sun, surf, beach and amazing scenery.

Surfers are known for their simplicity. Their surfboard, wetsuits..and that’s it! We don’t need more.

When you come to do a surf lesson with us you’re stepping into the world of surfers, those who don’t need much. So what do you need to bring to a surf lesson?

  1. Swimwear. This you wear underneath the wetsuit. Speedo’s, bikini, board shorts, bathing-suit it all works. If you have something tight it will be the most comfortable.
  2. Towel. After a fresh water shower use your towel to dry and get warm. Hint: your swimwear are the veggies, your towel is the wrap. Great way to pack it all in your bag.
  3. Bag. Keep it simple, you don’t need much. Just big enough to fit your towel and swimwear.

We see people bringing a lot of stuff down the beach. Valuable stuff. Ask yourself ‘’why am I going to the beach?’’. We dare to bet it’s to get away from it all. So leave all those expensive items at home, in your hotel or dorm room. Here’s a list of what NOT to bring to a surf lesson:

  1. Jewellery. Wedding rings, grandma’s earrings, anniversary necklace etc. You will lose them!
  2. Watch. We will worry about the time, you worry about how nice the beach is.
  3. Glasses. You can’t surf with them, you are going to fall and so you will lose them. If they are necessary for your sight our coaches can bring a bag on the beach for you to place it in when you are in the water.
  4. Water shoes. Australian sand is nice and soft, no need for water shoes. They also don’t make your surfing easier.
  5. Camera. Wind, sand & salt, the 3 worst things for your camera. Also, you will be so busy surfing you don’t want to worry about your camera or taking photos. At our Bondi location we have photographers snapping your first waves.
  6. GoPro. We could start up a small shop with the amount of GoPro’s we find on the beach every year. Read this story about a GoPro we found at Bondi Beach. Chest strap, head strap it all does not work. Leave it behind.
  7. Goggles. You are surfing, not diving. You do not need goggles unless they are necessary for your sight. Did you know we can open our eyes under water even if it’s salty!

Our friendly staff are always here to help, so if you have a question don’t be afraid to ask and lets go surfing!

Meet Dan

Location: 2:35 pm

Name: Dan Neilson

Age: 37

Job Title: Maroubra Surf school Manager & SUP school manager

What you actually do: Spin wetsuits, dry them and put them away

Surfboard you ride and why: 6.1 because I got it for $50 bucks

Wetsuit you wear and why: O’Neill hyperfreak because it’s warm, flexible and fast to dry.

Best tip for beginner surfers: Be consistent and persevering

Who has been the biggest influence in your life: Mum and Dad

What kinds of things really make you laugh: Dog and Cat movies on facebook

What’s your favourite place in the entire world: Australia, no wait, Indonesia, no, Polynesian islands, no wait….Any island with surfable waves

What’s your biggest goal in life right now: To Build an off the grid home

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be and why: Super Rich! Spend all my money on helping people and specially saving the Great Barrier reef, which a lot of people don’t know produces half of our oxygen and also absorbs carbon dioxide.

How would you describe yourself in three words: Following the flow

Which is more logical to follow—your heart or your head: 50/50

Meet Lars

Location: 2:04 pm

Name: Lars

Age: 27

Job Title: Assistant Manager Maroubra

What you actually do: I still teach lots of lessons every day. When I’m not in the water I am rostering the lessons you book in Maroubra and Bondi, take bookings for Maroubra, open our shop where we sell boards, wetsuits, surf gear and more.

Surfboard you ride and why: For summer I ride a 5’5 fish, it makes surfing summer waves easy and fun no matter what conditions. For the winter season I have a 6’0 to have some fun in the bigger stuff.

Wetsuit you wear and why: O’Neill superfreak 3/2mm for summer, flexible and comfy. For winter I wear a 4/3mm Psycho, warm and dries super quick!

Best tip for beginner surfers: Don’t rush anything, enjoy the ride and take advice from experts

Who has been the biggest influence in your life: Mom & Dad

What kinds of things really make you laugh: Pranking friends or mates at work, Mr Bean and Fawlty towers

What’s your favorite place in the entire world: I really can’t pick one. So here are a few; Pavones – Costa Rica, Pichilemu – Chile, Playa Venao – Panama, Barbados, Huanchaco – Peru, Fiji & ofcourse home at Maroubra – Sydney.

What’s your biggest goal in life right now: To build the happiest life Down Under

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be and why: Breath under water.

How would you describe yourself in three words: Passionate, clown, dreamer

Which is more logical to follow—your heart or your head: Heart 100%!

The top 55 Surf Destinations in the World

Location: 10:47 am

Want to know the best spots to surf?

Byron Bay is one of the world’s most renowned surf destinations in one of the world’s most surf driven countries — AUSTRALIA. The town is blessed with stunning beaches, miles of pure sand, dense rainforest home to a range of native species (including koalas) and 220 square kilometres of surrounding marine park. Byron Bay has been a haven for surfers since it was first discovered in the 1960s and converted from a fishing, whaling and dairy town into a happy, hippy surf heaven.

Check out the top 55 Surf Destinations in the World

Want to learn to surf here?

Written by: Courtney McCaffrey

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