“Welcome to your UGG Australia Surf Getaway!” read the welcome pack and already I was beginning to feel quite nervous. Don’t get me wrong, a surfing trip to Cornwall is not something I would turn down lightly, but having been wary of the ocean since a child – mostly because of Jaws - and even reluctant about swimming pools – mostly because I’m a wimp - the idea of wading into the Celtic Sea with surfboard in arm and attempting to get the better of a strong current and even stronger waves was not a wholly agreeable one. But it was too late to back out now…
Our surfing lesson
As it turns out surfing is a little bit like yoga. Bear with me here. Your pop up, when you lift from belly to feet is like an Upward Facing Dog. As you rise your elbows are bent like Chaturanga – or as surfers say, ‘chicken wings’ - and once standing you engage your legs in a - sort of - Open Warrior. Sure a board is quite different from a mat and most good studios aren’t flooded with cold salty water, but as someone who *smug face* practices a lot of yoga, these were moves I could comprehend.
Choose your beach hut
What I hadn’t considered was the amount of strength and balance required to maintain control of the board long before you’ve mastered standing up. I nosedived about 10 times during the course of the two hour class, which thankfully began with a warm up and stretch session on dry land. My fear at times held me back from tackling certain waves and I was left bobbing up and down in the water while surfers half my age pushed past me with the confidence of national champions.
Keeping cosy after an afternoon in the sea
However, when I got it right, the feeling was immeasurable and it was worth all the moments when I was sucked under by an overzealous wave, hit in the back of the leg by wayward fins and left squirting sea water out of my nose (and my eyes – how is that possible?) like the world’s least graceful dolphin. Right at the very end I even managed to stand up. For about 20 seconds, but who’s counting? I was so psyched and motivated that as soon as I got back to the hotel I sprang up into my first ever headstand – proving that yes, yoga and surfing do in fact go hand in hand.
A well deserved post surfing dinner at the St Moritz Hotel
It’s taken about a week for my muscles to stop aching. Muscles I clearly had never used before, but dinner at the St Moritz and a dunk in the hotel hot tub (my kind of water) definitely eased the situation. I can’t promise I’ll become a surfer babe just yet, but I’m stoked for my second lesson!
Find out more about the history and origins of UGG at www.uggaustralia.co.uk.