Fun Things To Do In Bali - Family Activities - Learn To Surf
Finding fun things to do while on vacation can be challenging, especially when you have a family, with kids of widely varying ages. Well, I can assure you as a parent and based on my own experience that surfing is something everyone will enjoy!
With my 22 year old son visiting Bali, and my 9 year old daughter on school vacation, I found myself looking for family activities we would all enjoy and a friend suggested we take a surfing lesson.
My family has always enjoyed the beach and sea, especially the beaches of South Bali, and admired watching the surfers, but growing up far away from good surfing beaches, our family sea fun had been limited to body surfing and windsurfing. Also, given that I am a former skier, I had reservations that surfing was going to leave my body sore and tired.
My friend assured me that surfing wasn't as hard as it looked. So with some reservation, I dropped by Rip Curl School of Surf to arrange a family surf lesson. My initial visit was an eye opening experience as I hadn't realised until then what a serious sport surfing is, but was assured by the friendly staff that after one lesson we would all be safely surfing!
The school offers a wide range of courses, for children and beginners, covering introductory courses to courses in Kite Surfing, Reef Surfing, Intermediate and Advanced Surfing. I learned that Rip Curl's school is globally recognised as a leading school and they attract many foreign travellers who plan multi week long vacations around their primary activity of learning to surf. Not only does the school teach you physically how to surf but they also teach you about some of the important aspects of surfing including the best times to Surf and the science behind sea currents and waves.
With a little hesitation about whether I would make a fool out of myself! I booked an introductory course for my 9 year old daughter, 22 year old son and myself.
The school takes care of everything, including pickup from your hotel and residence, right through to ensuring you have the right clothing available for surfing, including a helmet and water to drink during your lesson. The school also provides lockers, towels and showers. Making the whole experience worry free so that you can focus on the key objective, of learning to ride the waves.
We arrived 15 minutes before our allotted time and were provided clothing and locker keys , and then met our instructors Gus De and Nyoman, who walked us down to the beach to start our surf lesson.
The lesson started with a series of stretching exercises and a short run along the beach to warm up our muscles. After exercising we received a briefing on the sea currents in the area , what to do if we encountered a strong current, the tides and how to find out the best times to surf.
We then proceeded to spend about 20 minutes learning about the surf board, how to paddle, how to stand up on the board, how to position our arms and bodies to speed up or slow down, and how to position our heads to ensure optimal balance on the surf board. This was followed by some simulated practice dry runs on the beach to ensure we could stand up properly on the surf board.
Our instructors also showed us how we should carry the boards and how to manoeuvre them in the water, against the waves, with minimal effort. We all then headed into the sea to see whether we could ride our first waves.
Surprisingly, after several tries and the prompting of our great instructors, we were all able to successfully stand and surf! The amazing thing was that it wasn't that difficult, it just required one to stay relaxed, to focus and look forward, and to slowly move into a balanced standing position on the board.
The satisfying thing was, that all of us found the experience exhilarating, and after our lesson felt totally refreshed and relaxed, and, amazingly, surfing didn't leave my body sore all over.
surfing is very much like meditation, as you become totally focussed and present on the objective at hand
As a final realisation, I now recognised why surfing can be so addictive, whilst it requires a little bit of strenuous activity to get your surf board in position, surfing is very much like meditation, as you become totally focussed and present on the objective at hand, completely removing the stresses of daily life.
After this experience I am definitely looking forward to surfing again, and would highly recommend you try this. If you are visiting Bali give Rip Curl a call (details below) and arrange an introductory surf lesson.
Prama Sanur Beach Hotel, Jl. Danau Tamblingan 33, Respati, Sanur, Bali
Intercontinental Bali Resort, Jalan Uluwatu 45, Jimbaran, Bali