When you love something and want to get better at something - what do you do? Practice, practice, practice. And then what happens? You get better!
I've been surfing for a few years now but not progressing in my ability. I know that daily practice is what benefits the most, but I have only been going out sporadically. Sometimes three times a week, most times once every week or three. I was getting frustrated, so I decided to carve out the time to make improvement happen.
Bali flights were going cheap so suddenly I was logging in and hitting 'purchase'. Then came the task of finding somewhere to stay. I looked at hotels, AirBnB's and surf camps. I decided a surf camp would be best because, heck, how many times was I going to get out and surf a new break on my own? I knew... not many.
Wave House stood out as a great place because of it's location to the beach (a 3-minute walk away), Seminyak (with the salsa places I was keen to check out), the beautiful grounds and being inclusive of surf lessons each day. I've been to a few surf camps around Bali so knew that I'd be surrounded by like-minded people that were chilled but exciting. What I didn't know was that I would be one of the only native speaking English guests there! That doesn't happen often.
Other guests were mainly Russian, but thankfully, their English is fantastic. We chatted at breakfast and on the surf trips, but other than that, I was normally by the pool listening to Gabrielle Bernstein's 'The Universe Has Your Back', journalling or taking trip notes. The camp was so quiet, I often wondered if I was the only one there. However, I knew otherwise, that there were quite a few guests tucked away in their rooms working. It made me smile - knowing that people are here living their life the way they want. Combining their passion for surf, travel and work. Now, that's my type of person.
Surf lessons were at different surf breaks, depending on tide, wind and swell. It was 'off' season for surf in Bali but we found some great waves and clean (as in wind, definitely not always clean water) conditions. We surfed Old Mans, Padma and Kedungu - all located within a 30-minute drive of camp. We surfed with meet up times from 5.30am to 11 am. Small groups, one instructor and a couple of guides. It worked really well. Guests are split up into ability from beginner upwards. I was in Intermediate 4 and it worked well with everyone being a similar ability. We got feedback in the water and when we got tired, our guides helped push us onto the waves. How's that for pampering! Seriously, the instructors and guides at Wave House are the friendliest and most helpful I've experienced in Bali.
After our surf lesson, unpacking the boards and grabbing food (if it was an early surf) we met in the yoga pavilion for the second part of our lesson. Photo feedback. Eek! This scared me the first time. I hate seeing photos of myself - and I've seen myself surfing before. I described it as 'taking a poo while holding my nose from all stink'. Thankfully, I'm not 'that' bad anymore so seeing myself wasn't too bad. And the feedback was helpful. Picking up on things like hip rotation, pop up technique and working the wave.
Other bonuses of staying at Wave House? Surf skills lesson in the pool, a training area to practice, a cute resident cat and the occasional visit by the most gorgeous little pup (owned by the Aussie surf instructor). Staff are also super helpful - getting me about on the Gojek service (think Uber for mopeds), organising massages and being there for a chat.
So, after five days... would I do it again? Heck yeah. I relaxed, met some awesome people and learnt new surf skills. I conquered my fear of lefts and overcome trauma I had from previous experience at Old Mans. Growth all around. While having fun. The best surf camp I have stayed at yet.
Check it out at https://wavehousebali.com/surfcamp/