Within the first month of arriving, TEAN offered a free 3-hour surfing lesson which was so awesome. I mean most people who come to Australia surf or try to learn how to surf; plus, you get to say that you went surfing in Australia.

Well, even though it was my first surfing lesson, I was hoping to get the hang of riding on a surfboard early on so I could keep practicing throughout the entire lesson. However, it took me till the end of the lesson to even get on the board. As much as I wanted to be the next Quincy Davis, I was pretty much awful the entire time.

Not blaming the trainers at all because they were so great at teaching the basics. I just was not getting the hang of it; therefore could not hang ten. There was once when my feet somehow figured out how to stay on the board instead of wiping out for the hundredth time. Which got me, and the trainer who was teaching me, super excited because I finally got to stand up before the lesson was over.

Some of my friends turned out to be a few natural-born surfers and got the hang of it immediately; which was super cool to watch. If this happens to be you, a cool thing to note is that the surf school we were taught at mentioned that we can come back and get intermediate lessons. So, if you so happen to be amazing at surfing or want to keep trying, they will base the future lessons off your current skill level instead of re-teaching the basics. When you travel around Australia, there are also several hostels that offer free surfboard rentals if it is something you are interested in. Just make sure you ask.

A concern that was amongst me and my friends was that a 3 hour surf lesson, including the teaching of the ocean and basics of the board, was going to eat up all the time to actually be in the water. This was not the case. I felt exhausted after the lesson from going against the waves and trying to get on the board. So even if it seems like a short time, you will be tired fast from being out in the sun and in the water.

Surfing lesson Gold Coast
My surfing instructor and me

Overall, the entire experience was cool because the program was learning how to surf together and it was a great bonding experience. Looking back at it now, I had some high standards for my first time surfing, but a girl can dream right? The trainers at the surf school were so relaxed, fun, and were able to pay attention to 20 beginner surfers in the water—especially keeping an eye out for the strugglers like me.

My dreams of being really good at surfing did not come true, but I did have a good time…plus an intense workout. Maybe I will go give it another shot before I leave, but for right now I think once was enough for me.

Skylar Clark is a student at the University of Maryland and a TEAN Featured Blogger. Skylar is currently studying abroad with TEAN on the Gold Coast, Australia