My Summer Internship

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Hi, My name is Laurie, I am from France and want to tell you about my time as an intern at LGS!

I am in my second year of Business school and needed to do an internship, so after months of intensive research, I decided to go to Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia! I have been welcomed by Lets Go Surfing (LGS) over their Summer, the busiest and most exciting time to be at a Surf School.

Why Bondi Beach? 

This choice was obvious for me, Bondi beach is the most famous beach in the world. It was “ the place to be” and a perfect spot to start with. Not only because of the amazing surfing conditions, golden sands and crystal waters, but also because of the funky beach vibe, fun bars and restaurants, urban-style shops and excellent markets. 

My Internship 

I spent the first week getting to know the staff, where I would be working and what I would be doing.. It wasn’t long before I realized that surfing in Bondi isn’t only an outdoor activity but also a way of life! One of the first people I met was an ex intern who was lucky enough to get a job working in the LGS shop, Julie. She gave me a piece of advice that I will never forget: “dive in” at first I didn’t understand but it didn’t take me long to understand what she meant. 

At the start of my internship I thought LGS only provided beginner surfing lessons, however it didn’t take long to realize they provide sooo much more, including but not limited to; kids lessons, women only courses, intermediate lessons, corporate team building activities, day tours, walking tours, tours including history about Bondi that include lunch and so much more! It was a lot to learn, but exciting also. 

Some of my roles and responsibilities were: taking photos, walking customers to their lessons, working in the check in center.  At the start it was really challenging due to my limited surfing knowledge and it was so busy. I was getting frustrated that I couldn’t answer all of the customers’ questions however I took Julie’s advice and “dived in”… I did what I knew I could do and helped out the LGS staff as much as possible, watched what they did and did the same. Marty (my internship director) saw the initiative I was taking and started to give me more responsibility. I was learning everyday and everything was becoming a lot easier, I started being able to answer a lot of the customer questions and felt really happy with what I had achieved.  

In my second month of the internship, I had the opportunity to be involved in the Marketing department. I attended a 2 day sales event at a local university, which at first was a little uncomfortable, but I once again ‘dived in’ and had a great experience talking to students about surfing and encouraging them to buy a lesson. I also worked with the Marketing Manager on some blogs that were published on the website. I really enjoyed this type of work.


Leaving France in order to work abroad for three months is not a common adventure: I needed to be prepared to live in an unknown place. But I have to say this adventure was the best according to my other professional experiences. It was great to practise my English, also being able to work with colleagues from different countries and learn their way of life was so wonderful. My colleagues and internship director helped me feel at home very quickly. 

I did notice that in Australia, the working method is very different than in France. In fact, it is frequent to feel like we are a “family” with the team work. My colleagues gave me little nicknames like “buddy and mate”. A positive and chilled mood is present every day. It doesn’t mean that they didn’t work with motivation: Australian people grant a big importance to working and they never will be shocked or upset to work more than five days a week. What I notice again is the fact that my colleagues always stayed calm at work: They prefer to take their time in order to perfect their tasks. They are not shy people and there was a sense of high team spirit, I loved this type of atmosphere !

After spending three months at LGS I have learnt a lot. I acquired new professional experience, improved my self confidence, improved my English skills and experienced a new way of life, one that is by the beach! This internship was more than enriching on the professional point but on the personal point too. I do think I would work in a surf school in the future because employees are living their job as a part of their life. 

Thank you LGS!

Finally, I would like to thank the LGS team, showing me a new way of life, teaching me to surf and welcoming me into the LGS family. I really appreciate it and it was an experience that will enrich my life! Looking forward to coming back to visit.

Behind The Rashie with Lars Zeekaf…

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”How a young adrenaline junkie with far too much energy found his way from Holland to Sydney working at one of the busiest and most successful surf schools in Australia”

Our awesome Senior instructor Fred had the opportunity to sit down with Lars to chat about surfing, family, charging big waves and everything in between. However, the big question was, how did a young Lars Zeekaf from Holland find himself working smack bang in the centre of Australia’s leading surf schools? 

   “I was a climbing instructor, a Kayak instructor and worked as a White-Water Rafting guide in South America”

Anyone who has had the opportunity to either work with Lars or be taught by him can agree on two things, the first being his expertise within the art of surf coaching are second to none, and the second being he is constantly obtaining an energy level most of us could only dream of.

Lars’ story begins in the heart of the extreme sports industry, over his time he has had the opportunity to place himself in situations most of us live to avoid. From teaching climbing to jumping into white water rapids to saving people who have fallen overboard, Lars could only be said to be comfortable where others are most definitely not. However, when Lars first started surfing at the age of 18 (quite old in the surf community) “surfing completely took over”. After completing just a week at a European surf camp, Lars quickly applied for a job the next summer and spent a month immersing himself in surf culture, applying his customer service skills whilst learning the trade of surf coaching. Although the surf addiction was alive and well in Lars, how did he make his way to Sydney?

“When I first arrived, I just worked in a restaurant to make some money to start off, literally across the road from Lets Go Surfing at Maroubra.”

Anyone who has relocated countries knows very well the difficulties and challenges that stand in the way of starting a new life. From Visas, finding work and finding a place to live I don’t need to go into detail regarding the stresses Lars and his partner went through to get here. However, Lars’ partner being a nurse and himself well qualified in both customer service and tourism, Sydney seemed to be the unicorn they had been looking for to relocate. Of course, Lars needed sponsorship to stay in Australia, and this almost happened with a restaurant overlooking Lets Go Surfing Maroubra, however, the allure of surfing coaching was far too much for Lars.

After seeing the surf school operating, he quickly applied and after “numerous long chats” Lets Go Surfing agreed to sponsor Lars. Now being constantly surrounded by surfing and surf culture Lars was quickly drawn to yet another extreme Hobby.

“We took the gamble and went out with a handful of others, and it went pear shaped within 30 minutes of us being in the water.”

Kayaking, Climbing and white-water rafting, it’s not surprising Lars wanted to seek out the more thrilling side of surfing “anything to get that Heart rate up”. His natural gravitation towards the more dangerous side of surfing has not been one of smooth sailing. A story Lars hesitates to bring up due to its mental effect, simply being the day, everything went wrong. During one of the larger swells to hit Sydney, Lars and his crew of nutcases began to weigh up their chances of getting a few waves at Wedding Cake Island. The wind was expected to reach 70-80kmh on shore, things as you can imagine went downhill quickly.

“I had the biggest free fall down the wave I’ve ever experienced it snapped my leg rope and that board has never been seen again.”

Lars experienced a hold down whereby he was dragged underwater the longest he ever experienced, only to find his board missing, no breath in his lungs and one option, to begin the long swim into Coogee from wedding cake (1km).

“Still haunting me now for three years” although the long weighing trauma of an ugly wipe out stays with every surf. Lars has continued to immerse himself in surf coaching, big wave surfing and waterman sports such as diving and spearfishing. This will be Lars’s 10th summer at Let’s Go Surfing. A young madman from Holland has changed Let’s Go Surfing for the better and become a cheeky, recognizable and trust-worthy face anywhere in Sydney where there is water.

Lets Go Surfing wins the 2019 Waverley Brightest & Best Local Business Awards.

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Lets Go Surfing has had a huge and successful year so far! From winning the 2019 Business of the Year for Lets Go Surfing Maroubra at the best of the best businesses in Randwick City in October to being included in Tourism Australia Philausophy Campaign earlier this month and finally winning The 2019 Waverley Brightest & Best Local Business Awards in the Specialised Business Category.

Brenda Miley accepting the awards for the best in Specialised business category
Brenda Miley accepting the awards for the best in Specialised business category

These awards are open to all local community businesses large and small, retail and non-retail, and all entries are assessed against their industry peers.

This is the community’s chance to show that the incredible work done by our local businesses does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Lets Go Surfing is proud and stoked to work with such as a passionate, hard-working & inspirational team!!

Lets Go Surfing Team
Lets Go Surfing Team

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 locally loved and internationally recognised Surf School operating in multiple iconic locations  including world famous Bondi Beach, Maroubra and Byron Bay. Voted as one of Sydney’s top tourist activities, the school prides itself on hand-picking the best local and international surf coaches.  Thanks to our whole team and you, our wonderful customers and supporters for voting for us and sharing the stoke of surfing!

The time to surf is now, let us show you what we love the most, our passion for the ocean and surfing. Whether you are a visitor or a local, have a crack at surfing, it’s on the bucket list of things you need to experience once in your life. 

Surfing at  Bondi Beach
Surfing at Bondi Beach

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Women on Waves

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Australia’s Women’s Surfing Revolution

Surfing is widely considered a mainstream sport in Australia however 20 years ago the chances of finding a woman’s surfing program would have been difficult.  Fast forward to 2019 on the back of recent economic and social changes, that notion is a thing of the past. Women’s surfing programs are selling out; women and girls of all ages are hitting the water, eager to give surfing a go!

This shift has been led by inspiring women pushing boundaries at all levels of the sport. A significant change was the World Surf League’s (WSL) 2018 announcement of equal pay for men and women across all WSL sanctioned events. The announcement delivered by the WSLs’ first female CEO Sophie Goldschmidt was a pivotal day in women’s surfing. The WSL has proven surfing a progressive and dynamic sport accessible for all. By awarding equal pay surfing has established a genuine career path for young, talented female surfers. Read WSL’s press release here. With surfing’s inclusion into the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo this pathway has been strengthened. Women’s surfing will be on the world stage in Tokyo, increasing the sports exposure and inspiring more women to have a go.

At a grass-roots level surf schools around Australia have removed barriers-to-entry for women and girls with an understanding that learning to surf is as much about having fun and making friends as it is about learning a new skill. Let’s Go Surfing is at the forefront of women’s surfing and currently run the popular Women on Waves (WOW) program in Bondi, Maroubra and Byron Bay. The WOW program was an initiative of Brenda Miley; a champion of women’s surfing in Australia and founder of Let’s Go Surfing.

The WOW program is a 6 week course with a focus on fun, fitness, friends, skill development and experiencing different surf conditions. The course is taught with a relaxed and supportive vibe by experienced female coaches eager to give back to the sport. Participants learn the importance of surf safety and cover the basics from checking conditions, warm-up routines, paddling, ‘pop-ups’, catching waves through to more advanced skills such as bottom turns and cutbacks. The Let’s Go Surfing’s WOW program has become a blueprint for others like it, with various surf schools around the country running similar programs. Since 2010 there has been a 20% increase in female surfing participation nationally. With the 14-17yo age group having the largest increase of 60% (Roy Morgan Market Research)! Check out other stats here.

This strong commitment from surf schools and grassroot coaches is producing a seamless pathway for beginners to advanced surfers and has changed the way women approach the sport of surfing. There is a great opportunity for women to improve their skills and catch more waves in the surf, the line up is less male dominated and you’ll likely see other girls in the water. Interestingly in the 50+ age group there was a 45% increase proving there is no age limit to give surfing a go. Let’s Go Surfing support women of all ages to engage in the program. One of Byron Bay’s most loved WOW members’ first tried surfing at 70yo and has continued to come weekly three years later! What an inspiration!  

Women are pioneering change for women in the surfing industry. It’s a compliment to ‘surf like a girl’. In a recent interview 7x World Champion Stephanie Gilmore comments on this idea “It’s funny, people say to me, ‘you surf like a guy’. But actually, no, the greatest guy surfers surf like girls!” Women bring style, beauty and grace to surfing and it’s wonderful to watch. We’re in the midst of a women’s surfing revolution! Get involved today and sign up to a women’s surfing program near you!

Sounds fun? Book your WOW course here.

My internship at Bondi Beach

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As part of my degree in Belgium (Office Management with a specialization in Event Management) I needed to do an internship and I thought where better than in Australia on one of the world’s most famous beaches.. Bondi Beach! When I was accepted, I packed my bags and left mid winter Belgium to peak Summer Australia… wow what a difference!

During my internship I learned a lot about the daily running of a company and a team. I even learned more about customer service, booking systems, agents and business marketing. A typical work day existed of preparing surf lessons, taking photos of lessons, answering phone calls and helping out in the check-in-center.

One of the main perks about working at LGS is that you get to enjoy the beach on a daily basis. You are out and about all day taking photos, assisting on a lesson and running around. I had the chance to work in a company where everybody is passionate about what they do. I learned a lot about surfing, the surfing community in Bondi and the ocean. Everybody at Let’s Go Surfing loves to share their knowledge with everybody that wants to listen! After my Internship I can say I learned the in’s and out’s about all this. I’ve broadened my skills in so many ways and not to forget: and best of all I learned how to surf!

Going out on my lunch break or after work with the coaches and other staff to catch that wave of the day was amazing. These are some of the moments I will never forget in my life. Changing lives one wave at a time, that’s what it is all about. It definitely changed my life!

I had an amazing 4 months with Let’s Go Surfing. I was welcomed into their team straight away and they made me feel part of it. I got to know so many new amazing and passionate people that taught me more about surfing, the Australian lifestyle and life in general. I want to thank them for the past months and I will always remember: you never regret a surf!

The Sounds Of Bondi

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Surf School founder Brenda Miley got together with YouTube Music to tell the story of Bondi through sounds. Growing up in the Eastern Suburbs Brenda has lived, breathed and experienced the coastal lifestyle her entire life. 

Bondi Beach is a very unique place, when you are sitting on the beach you feel like you could be anywhere in the world but you are next to Australia’s biggest city.In Bondi Beach everyone is welcome and anything goes!

Crashing waves, laughter and party tunes in the sunshine… these are the sounds of Bondi! 

City or Beach life?

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Hey mates!  My name is Vanessa Snyder, and I am very excited to be interning at Let’s Go Surfing for the next two months.  Coming from the east coast of the United States, you can only imagine how stoked my friends and family were when I told them I’d be working at a surf company…in Australia…on Bondi Beach!  I am living a fantasy life that most can only experience in their dreams.  And for that, I am extremely thankful that Let’s Go Surfing has taken me in with open arms for their winter season!

While my flight landed only a week ago, I’ve already noticed several differences between the Australian and American cultures.  Some require slight adjustments, such as not tipping a waiter at a restaurant – in the United States, a 20% tip is usually expected.  Now I TRIPLE-check before crossing a street, because I am still getting used to cars driving on the left side of the road instead of the right!  I’m learning how to incorporate words such as mate and reckon into my vocabulary, and I WILL be returning to the U.S. with an Australian accent (not really, but a girl can wish!).  I was ready to experience these cultural differences, considering the two countries are thousands of miles apart! However, I was not expecting to witness as many behavioral differences within Sydney itself.

My living accommodation is in Chatswood, which means my commute every morning to Bondi is an hour long.  I hop on my first train at the Chatswood station and transfer at Town Hall, rush onto a second train to Bondi Junction, and lastly snag a bus ride to Bondi Beach.  It only took one day of this commute for me to realize a commonality between the two cultures– the beach provides a mental and physical escape from the day-to-day work grind.  I was expecting everyone to be jubilant in this coastal city…but I was just being naive.  Those on my first train commuting to central Sydney exude very negative attitudes – sunken faces, earphones in, and a general aura of pessimism.  I completely understand, because I had an internship in a small cubicle with no view last year.

Nevertheless, once I arrive in Bondi, I experience a distinct, positive change in the attitudes of others.  I usually grab a coffee straight away at The Depot, where the workers welcome me with smiling faces and engaging conversations.  I see how the beach and surfing play valuable roles in the lives of my coworkers, for they are always excited to help learners experience what it feels like to catch that first wave.  From my own observation, the beach has the ability to brighten our moods and invigorate the adventure within us!

Even if you live in a beautiful, world-renowned city such as Sydney, there is something about escaping to the beach that rejuvenates the mind, body, and soul after the city grind takes a toll on our attitudes.  Take advantage of our Hot Winter Deals and book a surf lesson down here in Bondi within the next two months, as I will surely be learning right beside you!

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

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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!

Surfing at Bondi to dancing at Taronga Zoo

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Wowsa! The Lets Go surfing Team had one heck of a fun filled day which was action packed with a surf lesson down at Bondi and then The BOA ball at Taronga zoo.

Instructors Dom, Conrad and Blake A.K.A “The Dream Team” took the delegates from the tourism event WYSE surfing in clean 2 foot conditions. Dom pointed out the rips and sandbanks instantly enlightening the team with some important beach safety knowledge. Blake and Conrad then taught the crew how to pop up on the board, then it was time to hit the water! The lesson was a success as all participants were up and standing and riding the waves into the shore! It was such a blast!

After wrapping up the lesson the boys had no time to waste and whacked off their wet wetsuits and whipped on their party pants and headed to jungle themed BOA Ball at Taronga Zoo. Lisa, Dan, Conrad and Blake got the chance to hang with Travel Industry royalty meeting people who work in hostels and tour companies all round Australia and the world.

After busting out some animalistic moves on the D -floor the crew ended up the night at the Sidebar after party. The LGS team had an epic day and can’t wait to attend the next tourism event!

Peace Conrad.

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