Surfing – Even Failing is Fun!

by Poi on June 13, 2012

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To be honest, we really didn’t feel like leaving Thailand so we decided to ease ourselves gently back to the UK and head to Bali for a few weeks beforehand.  The island is very well known for a certain type of water sport, it’s evident from the moment you arrive at the airport, everybody seems to be struggling with oversized, odd shaped luggage. When in Bali you HAVE to go surfing.

Surfing is not something I’ve ever been that keen on trying, my biggest fear being just how terrible I would be at it the first few attempts, did I really want to put myself through that kind of humiliation? Well clearly yes, either that or the little voice in my head went off as usual “when’s the next time you’ll be in so and so? Better make the most of it!”

In short, you can’t go to Bali without trying your hand at surfing. Everyone is doing it and despite what ‘they’ tell you, following the crowd is cool!

With Bali being such a popular surfing spot you won’t struggle to find somewhere offering to take you from zero to hero. We contacted Quicksilver Surf School Bali and they invited us to come and try out one of their beginner lessons. Their surf school is located on Legian Beach and is run by world champion and master coach Cheyne Horan (As I said before I know nothing about surfing but a quick google reveals he’s quite a legend).

Surfing in BaliSurfing Fail

We arrived on the morning of our lesson to some pretty intimidating surf, the conditions looked pretty rough and we were warned that although the surf school usually guarantees you’ll be standing on your first lesson the conditions might make that impossible on this particular day. They kindly offered to move the lesson to whenever suited us in hope of better conditions but we decided to just go ahead and try and make the most of it.

We began on the beach with some basic stretches and an introduction to surfing from our local instructors. We were taught the basics of simply getting on and controlling the board in the water. After each new skill we spent 10-15 mins in the water mastering it before moving onto the next step.

In no time at all we were ready to go for the biggy, it was time to stand up. The conditions made it tough but I’ve always loved anything to do with water and even falling off the board time and time again and being thrown around by the surf was great fun.

Surfing Lesson in BaliAlmost pro…

Our group was only made up of Kirsty, myself and a family of four all starting at surfer level: zero. We had a number instructors with us offering advice after every attempt and a shoulder to lean on after every mouthful of salt water. The staff were great at keeping you calm and getting you started and in Kirsty’s case helping to stabilise the board all the way back to the shore. It must be a tough job seeing people get it so terrible wrong time after time but somehow they remained patient and kept smiling and laughing the whole way through.

Eventually the hard work paid off and I was stood up comfortably riding a small wave in to the shore. Weather conditions too bad? Not for me. It’s a very satisfying feeling when you get it right and being comfortable on the board is not something you can fake, when it clicks, it clicks.

Unfortunately my success didn’t last long, either my cocky attitude or one of the breaks came at the wrong time because in the last final session of the day I somehow went backwards and got worse at the whole thing but at least my moment of glory was caught by the camera man.

surfing lessons in BaliUnfortunately by the time Kirsty got up the waves had gone home

Regardless of my poor final efforts I left the water with a big smile on my face, the success was one thing but who’d have thought even being terrible at surfing would be so much fun, I loved it.

Despite the pain of the next few days, apparently we had been using muscles that I didn’t know existed, we were eager to go back and give surfing another go. Although Kuta wasn’t my favourite place in the world, the fun we had with Quiksilver Surf School was enough to convince us to head back again a few days before catching our flight out of Bali and take a second lesson in the waves.

I whole heartedly recommend you to try surfing! Whether you stand up or not you’re guaranteed to have a good time!

You can check out Quiksilver Surf School Bali on their website or via their facebook page.


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) June 14, 2012 at 12:35 am

I tend to love all water activities as well (except for waterskiing… was never able to stand up there and it just was never all that fun being dragged behind a boat!) but I’d never considered trying surfing. Always assumed that based on my poor luck waterskiing that I’d be terrible at it, but this is the second post I’ve read in the past 2 weeks talking about how fun surfing is, so perhaps if we’re in the right place at the right time, we’ll give it a try!


Poi June 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I say go for it, I would be far more terrified of trying water skiing than surfing.

That’s one thing I’m still meaning to try. In conclusion, you’re far braver than me and you’ll find surfing a piece of cake.


Andi of My Beautiful Adventures June 16, 2012 at 3:24 am

Surfing is the best! OMG the pain you experience after your 1st time surfing is HORRIBLE, but oh so worth it!!!


Poi June 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm

It was 4 days of walking like an old man haha but yes, all worth it!


Islands in Bahamas June 18, 2012 at 3:44 am

I like surfing, your article make me wanna try it again, nice article and pictures.


Poi June 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Thanks, I hope you get the chance again soon.


Ryan at Travel and Graphs June 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

Looks like a great time! Once I get out of the mountains, this is near the top of my list of things to do.


Poi July 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I look forward to hearing how you get on!


Audrey June 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm

You guys are quite adventurous with the water sports! The rough waters would have deterred me.


Poi July 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

haha I wouldn’t say that but lately we seem to be in the water a lot. We left it quite late though, should have started all this a year ago!


Wftristan June 27, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Surfing – The sport of kings – I grew up in Cornwall,UK and as a result grew up surfing and wave skiing – I dont think it matters how good you are and as the saying goes “the best surfer in the water is the one having the most fun” never a more true word said.



Poi July 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm

That is an awesome quote and very true. I take it you’re quite the surfing master growing up doing it then?


Callie July 3, 2012 at 5:00 am

This looks awesome, congrats on standing up on your first lesson! I took a lesson and couldn’t make it all the way up…much harder than it looks. Then again, I did make the mistake of wearing a bikini and stepping on a jellyfish…


Poi July 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Ooo stepping on a jelly fish doesn’t sound nice.

Any plans to give it another go?


Scarlett July 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm

This looks so much fun!! Well done for actually managing to stand up! xx


Poi July 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Thanks! It takes a lot of falling off first before the standing up!


Megan Jones August 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I have never really wanted to surf before, but when in Bali do as the Balinese do, right? I couldn’t imagine sitting on the shore and watching everyone have so much fun, even if they were completely failing at the task. I have heard that surfing will make every muscle in you body sore, so if you are going to try to surf on your vacation, make sure you can just chill on the beach for a couple days after your surf adventure!


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