My Week in the Waves @ The Art of Surfing

How often do you do something for yourself, just because you it makes you happy? That’s precisely how I justified my week at The Art of SurfingI was feeling ready for my next adventure, and when I heard about a surf camp designed specifically for ladies, it was too hard to turn down. Attending a surf camp and really getting going was something that I have wanted to do for years – it’s also something I definitely did not take enough advantage of as a kid. Growing up on Sydney’s Eastern beaches I was always around avid surfers, yet it was something I never really invested my time in. Well last week, that all changed!

A little about The Art of Surfing
The company itself is based in New Zealand and runs camps at top surf locations throughout New Zealand, Australia and Bali. I honestly think choosing locations is a) HARD and b) super important for the success of a surf camp. Choose somewhere with no waves, and there’s no point of us attending. Choose somewhere with enormous surf and I sure as hell ain’t going out there! The Art of Surfingchose a perfect location. I was lucky enough to spend my week in the iconic Byron Bay, one of my favourite little towns on Australia’s East coast. I’ve spent a bunch of time in Byron over the years, including a 10 day jaunt for Schoolies (which, by the way, I’m still trying to forget), but it was nice to be there for a completely different, exciting reason. 

Another reason I gravitated towards this company was because I heard that they had tailored surf coaching, which I knew I was going to need. I’ve always been active and athletic, but my past attempts at surfing are not ones I would feature on my highlight reel. I also knew that it was an all-inclusive camp, and to be honest, the idea of spending a week in the ocean with a bunch of cool people, and not having to organise ANYTHING sounded like my idea of heaven. 

A review of my week
You know that feeling don’t you, I think they call it love at first sight? Well as soon as I arrived, I fell head over heels! I just knew it was going to be an amazing week – not least because of the lovely people that greeted me when I showed up. Our week far exceeded my expectations. It was the perfect concoction of active, social and relaxing, and I definitely came away feeling proud of myself for what I had accomplished, and also very rejuvenated.

Let me give you a little peek into our daily routine. 

7am wakeup. 2 hours spent surfing. A huge breakfast (I was ravished by that time). Relax and chill for a while. Surf style training. Lunch. Surf analysis using cameras and go pros. Another 2 hour surf session. Active stretch or yoga for 45 mins. Dinner. Chill. Sleep (and lots of it)!

Let me reiterate just how needed that sleep was. I thought I came into the week fit and prepared for what lay ahead. Little did I know that surfing makes you SORE – all through your abs, arms AND legs! And there’s also something about running around outside all day that really tires you out. Whatever the reason, I slept like a baby each night and have come away feeling super rested and rejuvenated! 

I’d also like to point out that the food all week was the BOMB. Fresh, delicious (vegan) meals provided by Richie’s Tuckshop. It couldn’t have been more on point if they had tried. I know I’m just raving about my week, but you know when something is so good that you just have to share it? That’s exactly how I feel. Having an instructor for each surf session was also key for me (check out @theartofsurfing and @littlebantamsurftrainer) – they were so knowledgeable and I can hands on heart say how much I improved over the week because of it! If you want to buy their surfing program that will increase your wave count, click here and use the code ‘TIGERLILY’ to get $20 off!

My week ended up being way more chilled than I had anticipated, which suited me perfectly. Each day we varied the schedule depending on how we felt, and how we wanted to structure our day. The highlight for me, above all, was coming away from my trip having made such beautiful new friendships. There is just something that a week full of spectacular face plants, mouthfuls of swallowed seawater and laughter does to bring people together! 

Thank you to my family at The Art of Surfing­ – you really did bring me an experience far beyond my expectations. See you again next year!







Dara HayesComment