Earlier this term, the two Year 10 ‘Surf’s Up’ module classes travelled to Westport for an overnight surf camp. The surf camp provided an opportunity for students to finally experience surfing and put into practise some of the knowledge and skills that we have been learning about in class.
The excitement was evident as we set off to Westport on the first day of our camp. After dropping off our gear at our accommodation, we headed out to Tauranga Bay to check out the surf conditions. We were met with a grunty, 3 metre swell, pumping into the bay and messy conditions due to cross winds.
A walk around the point gave the students an opportunity to get up close to the swell as it peeled around the headland, causing a mixture of excitement and nervousness about our surf lesson the following day. The rest of the day we spent exploring the coast: first, checking out the seal colony and lighthouse at Cape Foulwind, and then watching the sun go down over the Tasman Sea at Carters Beach.
Misty rain greeted us the following morning as we packed up at our accommodation. Thankfully, the skies started to clear as we headed back out to Tauranga Bay, and when we arrived everyone was pleased that the swell had backed off from the previous day and the wind was blowing offshore. The focus of the camp was for students to participate in a learn to surf lesson run by West Coast Surf.
Finally, the moment had arrived! Our instructors, Mark and Leeann, led us through a safety briefing and surf tutorial before we split into two groups. After we were kitted out with wetsuits and boards from West Coast Surf, each group spent approximately an hour in the water.
Mark and Leeann rotated through all the students, providing expert advice and tips, resulting in a 100% success rate in terms of everyone standing up on their boards and catching a wave. After we had struggled out of our wetsuits and packed up our gear, it was time to head back to Nayland College, the students regaling each other with stories of barrels they got during our morning surf session.
Here are some reflections about the camp from some of our students:
!Cool! *Insert happy surfer dude voice* – Tia Cranefield
“It was good, the water was good” – Beccy Goble
“The surf trip was extremely fund and accepting of our different skill levels. I found it easier to learn than most environments I’ve learnt in. I definitely learnt how to surf and I enjoyed surfing and the trip. I will probably be surfing again later in my life” – Ashton Rutherford
“Rraaaaaddddd!!” – Cole Rutherford
“5 star rating. Would go again” – Stella Dallimore
A big thank you to Ms Jane Townsend for joining as on the camp.
by Mr Nathan Gargiulo and Mr Mark Lewers – Year 10 Surf’s Up teachers.
By Nathan Gargiulo/Mark Lewers