10 Things I Learned At Surf Camp

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I’ve missed blogging for the last two weeks because I’ve been on holiday in beautiful Cascais, Portugal, learning how to surf. I’ve spent most of the week lamenting the lack of sunshine/surfing/serotonin back in England, but I’ve tried to make the most of my melancholy by putting together a handy list of the things I learned during my week at surf camp.

FYI: If you ever decide to try surfing, PLEASE go to Cascais Surf School and stay at the Nice Way Hostel – the people are perfect and it was the sweetest seven days of surfing and sunshine I’ve ever had.

1. Respect the sea – because it won’t respect you when you’re trying to walk against the current, or angle your surf board incorrectly whilst trying to catch a wave. The sea doesn’t dick about, so don’t dick about in the sea. You’ve been warned…

2. Surfing is really bloody difficult – I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I hugely underestimated the skill and strength required to balance on a surf board. When I finally managed to stand up during my third lesson, I nearly drowned in my own pride and disbelief.

3. I’m not as physically fit as I  first thought – The ‘8 minute abs’ workout video on YouTube gave me fab abs, but unsurprisingly, it didn’t improve my cardiovascular capacity, or upper arm strength…turns out they’re really important!

4. Surfers are a superior breed of human – they’re super fit, super friendly, and super happy. Why isn’t everyone a surfer?

5. The taste of sea water can linger in the back of your throat for up to 3 days – (self explanatory)

6. Wear Factor 50 sun cream, NOT Factor 15 – If you want everyone to gasp in horror at the state of your blistered, bright red feet all week; wear Factor 15. Alternatively,  if you’d like to achieve a safe, even, subtle tan; whack on the Factor 50.

7. Surfing on a hangover is harder than surfing sober – Whilst I don’t regret showcasing my dancing skills to the group on Thursday night at Flamingo Club, I do regret being unable to do anything remotely productive in the sea the following day.

8. Orange wetsuits are not as flattering as black wetsuits, and they chafe on your neck substantially – Smother your neck in Vaseline to avoid red marks and stand tall to enhance your chances of looking better in orange.

9. LOOK. UP. – As a self-confessed English introvert, I’m accustomed to looking down 99.9% of the time. This bad habit was detrimental to my progress, but when I finally stopped staring at my feet and looking towards the beach, I stood up; it really was that simple. Remember: eyes on the prize.

10. When you realise on the final day that you have to go back to your everyday life in England, and you won’t wake up every day to waves and wonderful people – you will weep like a child, and re-evaluate everything – Then you’ll see photographic proof that you really did ride some waves, it wasn’t all a dream, and will start making plans to go back asap..

So put a wetsuit on, come on, come on…

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