Seriously one of the most unreal 4 days I’ve had on the coast so far! That’s saying a lot seeing as how my stitched up wound re-opened on the first day of my 4 day surf n stay.
Initially I was a little hesitant to spend 500 bucks on a 4 day camp, but I’d say it was money very well spent. First, on topic of my knee, they were awesome about it! Had this been any other company or anywhere in North America in general I would have been S.O.L. with my injury. Mojo Surf transferred my remaining 4 surf lessons to Sydney (my next stop) without hesitation while still letting me carry out my 4 days of accommodation and food at Spot X (located in Arrawara close to Woolgoolga). They were awesome at helping me up pre-surf, and even more attentive at cleaning me up post surf and checking up on my condition for the next 4 days!
So why did I have such a great time if I was only surf-able for 1 day?
The one day of lessons I did was UNREAL and I got to live the next few vicariously through my friends. There was a great instructor-student ratio, and the instructors were super helpful and encouraging. They made sure every person was able to stand up and gave one on one coaching to every single person based on how they were picking up surfing. All the staff at camp are awesome as well. Super accommodating for any dietary needs, always making people feel at home (Lots of people only do a one day stay) no matter how long they’re around for, answering questions, and making sure everyone feels included and has a sick time. If you can only do one day-STILL DO IT! I even feel way more confident about practicing basic surf after a hour lesson. If you can do the 5 or 7 day stays…do them too! You basically learn more advanced skills with each day, so it’s not like it gets boring or coaches become less valuable/important. At the same time, as mentioned, you can get a lot out of even a short amount of time…especially if it’s one of your first stops in Oz, you will get the tools to practice all the way up the coast!
Food was great. There was a good selection of cereal, bread, spreads and fruit every morning for breakfast. Lunch was pretty much the same daily, but my favourite meal for sure. They had all cheese, veg, and sandwich meat necessary to grill wraps or sandwiches as well as tons fo salad options. Dinner is the same on each day of the week each week, so some people who were in the academy (1-3month stay/instructors in training) were a bit sick of stuff, but 7 different meals is probably more variety than what I eat when cooking for myself. I had Bolognese, Steak and mashed, roast beef, and Thai chicken curry…all were really good in my opinion. The food is cooked fresh daily, and always has healthy options which is good when you’re doing so much exercise. There was always opportunity for seconds, I don’t think anybody goes hungry! And there’s always free coffee, tea, and cordial.
Dorms were clean…a few girls did have a possum in their dorm…but welcome to Oz? The bathrooms were a bit of a trek…but by that I mean a whopping 2 minutes. Bunks were comfy and had duvets—no complaints from me here.
Nights weren’t as wild as I thought they’d be but It’s a good thing because you get super tired surfing, and the earlier you surf, the better it is…so you’re best not to be hungover anyway. There was live music a few nights, and the events coordinators were always up to something for the people who wanted to get involved. There’s a nightly bottleshop run and tons of fridge space for those who wanted to drink. As for me…I’m pretty sure the reason my knee didn’t heal the first time was because I was dancing on tables at cheeky monkeys every day of my ‘don’t sweat, get it wet, or exert yourself’ recovery so I sat out on the goon. We still had a great time mingling after dinner talking about the surf for the day and our upcoming travel plans. I met a great group of 10 girls that I will hopefully be meeting up with again in Sydney this holiday season.
Also totally sweet was watching a surf competition (pipeline? In Hawaii?) with other surfers and instructors. You understand how unreal they are in a whole new way, and you get to see laid back surf bums get totally amped up about something!
Overall an unreal few days, I’d do it again for sure. I’ll definitely keep you posted on Anika learns to surf round 2 in Sydney when my knee heals. As much as the price tag is daunting, its totally worth it to be immersed in the surf culture and environment of spot x and have instructors that know what they’re doing. Also, with the surf academy there as well you can get extra instructors at your lessons that are basically in training which is a sweet addition. I’m a person that hates being helped because I think I’m not doing well, but I accepted all of their coaching with open arms because it comes with such great intention and experience. And the fact that it includes unlimited, well-cooked food is actually hugely important to having a good surf. Yeeeewwwww.