11 May Living the Dream: Mojosurf
Hayley Woolf recently joined us at Gap Year Escape as a writer. She currently works hard and plays harder on her Gap Year in Australia. She told me she hadn’t learnt to surf yet. That’s it, off you go to surf camp missy!
With surfing being synonymous to Australia, a three day organised trip up the east coast with Mojosurf was the perfect opportunity for me to embrace the national sport and learn to surf…
Five fifteen am and I am being woken to the sound of John Mayer – that’s my wake up alarm. I am not usually up at silly o clock but I had a 6.00am bus to catch. This was the Mojosurf bus that would be taking me six hours north of Sydney to Crescent Head for my first ever surfing trip. A little nervous, yes, but excited much? YES again. I was going to surf school!
I arrive at the pickup destination; Sydney Central station outside Wake Up hostel, Sydney. Parked up and pimped out, with a group of backpackers already waiting to get on was the Mojosurf bus. I’m welcomed by a beach-blonde, Aussie guy who has a sun tan that would make Paris Hilton envious. This was Ant, our driver; he couldn’t fit the Aussie surfer stereotype any better if he tried. This was when I was reminded of the hidden benefits of what comes with going to surf school… surf candy.
Being my first time on a backpacker bus I was pleasantly surprised. I wonder if the Greyhound will be as cool (and as clean) as this. Flashy blue lights illuminating the cabins, reclining chairs, pumping speakers and even flat panel screens to watch movies. I felt more like a celebrity on my way to a party where I would be rubbing shoulders with Hollywood’s glitterati. However, my arrival destination couldn’t have been more opposite…
When we pulled up to Crescent Head we were immediately greeted by the enthusiastic and comical Matty, one of the instructors from Mojosurf. You could tell that Matty was a typical joker and someone who would always be up for a laugh. As I stepped off the bus I realised life at surf camp was very different to life back in Sydney, but one which I could easily become accustom to. A beach house, hammocks, beautiful sunshine, and pristine coastal scenery, do I need to continue?
After a swift and organised check-in, it was a quick change into wetsuits, which the instructors ensured were the appropriate size and fit for myself and each of the sixteen or so other surfer dudes, who were ready to hit the waves and learn to surf.
The surfing lessons tended to last approximately two hours each and were the perfect balance of top quality tuition and having fun. Within the first hour of my first lesson I was already able to stand on my board. Ok, so I did have some form of assistance and I may not have been standing for long but it was only my first lesson.
This was also when I was informed of Mojosurf’s, number one rule of surfing; ‘Look Cool and have Fun’. Fifty per cent of surfing is about looking cool and the other fifty per cent is about having fun. In the nicest way possible, Matty told me I needed to work on the former. When having a candid cameraman around capturing every moment, working on the ‘looking cool’ part suddenly became all the more important. If only he was good with Photoshop……
With surfing being such a hungry sport having a nutritious meal prepared for you becomes mandatory. You won’t forget the Mojosurf food. Mojosurf feeds their guests generous portions of scrumptious fresh, healthy and filling foods, to ensure everyone has plenty of energy for their next surfing session. Vegetarian or Vegan? Not a problem. Mojosurf have got it covered and cater for both on request as well as many other dietary requirements. They say eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, dinner like a pauper. Forget the latter two; you’ll be fed all three meals like a king if Mojosurf have anything to do with it. From breakfast, lunch to dinner, you are guaranteed to be well fed throughout your stay at surf school.
If you think the fun stops when the sun dies down and surfing lessons are up, think again. The evenings at surf camp are just as fun as the days. There may not be any clubs or bars in Crescent Head but there is the ‘Humpy’. Your guess is as good as mine as to why it is named this and who named it this. The Humpy is a camp fire surrounded with wooden seating, situated in an even more secluded area than the beach house, which is great as it means you can turn up the music and make as much noise as you like. Drink, relax and exchange stories on who caught the best wave and how much fun everyone had, in front of a warm fire and beneath a sky full of stars that look like the Milky Way.
Aside from the light from the fire and the stars its pretty much pitch black outside. This is when I realised the importance of bringing a torch/flashlight; a requirement for the surf trip that I had ‘forgotten’ to pack. However, thanks to my ‘Lighten Up Lipgloss’, which speaks for itself; a lipgloss with lights and a mirror, I was able to successfully navigate myself back to the beach house. Call me shallow for taking a lipgloss down to the Humpy but it definitely served a purpose and I now consider it a necessity for all future trips I go on.
Overall my time at surf camp was amazing and I couldn’t have asked for more. The instructors were incredible (guaranteed when they’re not in the water watching you, you’ll be watching them) and the staff couldn’t have been more accommodating. When losing my pink diamante havaianas on my first afternoon I was most impressed how word got round that Cinderella had lost a thong and within an hour I had a replacement pair on my feet (thanks Nick & Brett). From learning how to surf, to leaving footprints in the sands on the most remote beaches, to making new friends and spending summer nights partying by a camp fire. Mojosurf provided me with one exciting and unforgettable trip.
Finally, when it comes to my actual surfing experience and time in the water, I may not have mastered the art in looking as hot as Cameron Diaz when she’s photographed surfing in the columns of Heat and NW magazine and I may not look as cool as Taj Barrow (one of the most famous Aussie surfers) when I’m on my surf board, but one thing that’s for sure is that I had heaps of fun. I wasn’t there for a long time I was there for a good time and that’s exactly what I had. Mojosurf, three words – ‘Living the Dream’.
Written by GYE contributor Hayley Woolf.