"Just 'Cause It's Fun."

Surfing, Byron Bay, Helen Hayden - A Pilot's Daughter

If you take a peek at my bucket list, you're sure to have a laugh. I reckon more than fifty percent of it's items might as well be "Cuddle a unicorn!", or "Find the cure for ice cream cravings!".

Not all entirely achievable.

The other half however, I still have hope for. And I'm feeling especially confident after having freshly crossed off an item this New Year's Eve. 

 Eyes closed, like a boss.

Eyes closed, like a boss.

Ladies and gentlemen of the world wide web, it happened; yours truly has learned to surf.

Wild applause is now appropriate.

Now I know that learning to surf is no Christmas miracle - thousands, if not millions, of people around the world are already in the wave-riding club. But I wasn't, and now I am, and I want to shout it from the rooftops. And you will too. 

Here's why:

Oahu, Surfing, Sunset - A Pilot's Daughter
  1. The ocean is one powerful, unpredictable beast. Which could very well be the reason you’ve never learned to surf. But, what you'll come to find is that surfing is about respecting the ocean. To become a great surfer, you have to learn to understand the waves, the feelings of the tide, and to honour the water for just allowing you to take a ride. 
  2. Eventually, you’ll look damn cool. ...Eventually…
  3. You’ll be filled with life. Out in the salty waves, all of your senses are heightened. You’re filled with adrenaline and excitement, and yet also at ease. The only thing to think about when you’re surfing, is surfing. It's a stress-free zone.
  4. You’re bound to get a rockin' beach bod. I mean, who doesn't like flat abs and a wicked tan?
  5. Surfing is a lesson in life. A little more deep here. When you learn to surf, you’re taught a few things, but the first thing you learn is to keep breathing. That’s it. Just breathe. You see, when we’re over water, our natural instinct is hold our breath, which is fairly logical. But, if you go under and have already been holding your breath on the surface, you’re left breathless and panicked in a situation that otherwise you would’ve been able handle. Isn’t that just the most perfect metaphor for the challenges of our life? So often we anticipate hardship; we “prepare" ourselves for difficulties by piling on layers of armour that, ultimately, leave us sinking. If we just relax into the rhythm of life, open ourselves to every outcome, and keep breathing, there’s virtually no challenge we can’t face. Lessons in life, I tell you.

So now that I’ve convinced you that surfing is almighty, here’s how you’re gonna catch your first wave. 

  1. Fly to Australia.
  2. Head to the endlessly charming and beautiful Byron Bay (read more about lovely Byron here). 
  3. Sign up for a lesson - or better yet, a surf camp - with Byron’s very best surf instructor, Mr. Simon Jones. 

This guy, will change your life.  Seriously. Usually whilst in the middle of the ocean. 

 Simon Jones

Simon Jones

A Byron local for 8 years, Simon spends his days rounding up pupils at Byron's adorable party-palace Backpackers Inn and getting them ready for the ride of their life.

Surf Lesson, Byron Bay, Simon Jones - A Pilot's Daughter

He is the quintessential Aussie surfer dude, no doubt. Sunbleached shaggy hair, a perfectly even mocha tan, and a groovy accent will have you questioning if this guy is for real. And he really is. Ask him what to do if you're gonna fall off your board and he’ll simply respond with “Don’t!", then flash a smile that could melt the polar ice caps themselves. And why did he start surfing in the first place? Why none other than the cult classic Reeves/Swayze masterpiece, 'Point Break', of course. When I asked him for his favorite quote from the film, he tells me that is far and away the toughest question he's ever been asked. So instead, I ask why he continues to surf.

And with a smile, a shrug, and a big ol' twinkle in his eye,

"Just 'cause it's fun."

And if that isn't a good enough reason to keep catching waves, I don't know what is. Xx

Helen Hayden1 Comment