When in Australia, there are two things everyone should try: Surfing, and hanging out with a hot Australian local.Thanks to AirBnB experiences, I had the chance to try both for only $59…. And let me just say – Best. Money. Ever. Spent.
While we were vacationing in Bondi Beach, my friend M and I booked a “Surf and Turf” excursion with a guy named Steve. To be totally honest, she’s the one who actually did all the research beforehand, so up until the day of I thought we were paying to eat steak and lobster with a cute Australian guy. As it turns out… He was going to be giving us an actual surf lesson.
Here’s what it said under the description of the activity online:
“Let’s get acquainted at our meeting spot, opposite the beach, where we will suit up, slap on sunscreen and grab our boards. It’s then a short walk down to the beach where we’ll spend the next hour catching waves and trying our luck at surfing. After our surf we can have a quick cold shower and get changed before we go on the search to find the best live music, food & brew in Bondi.”
And here is a picture of Steve:
I am one of the most uncoordinated (or “unco,” as they call it in Australia) human beings on the planet, so I knew I didn’t stand a chance of 1) successfully surfing and 2) looking even remotely cool or cute in front of Hot Steve. But I figured maybe my dorkiness would make M look extra cool (she’s really, really cool as it is, FYI) so I decided to take one for the team and give the whole surfing thing a shot.
When we got to his beachfront apartment, he handed us wetsuits (M’s was a cute, feminine one made for teenage girls; Mine was a massive penguin suit meant for a 250 pound man) which were a real struggle to get into — it was a three man job that required wiggling, jumping and being pinched in a lot of awkward places.
Next, it was time to carry the surfboards to the beach, and they were a lot heavier than we expected. Neither one of us could carry ours on our own, and we ended up having to carry both boards together — standing one behind the other with a board under each arm, walking a mile and a half down the beach in unison. You know in school plays when someone is the horse’s head and someone is the ass? That’s exactly what we looked like, and I came very, very close to falling down the stairs more times than I’d like to admit.
… I’ll give you one guess which part of the surfboard horse I was.
When we finally got to the North End of the beach — aka the kiddie pool/bunny slope/nerd zone, where the waves are smaller — Hot Steve had us do the whole “lie on your boards and paddle in the sand” thing that I only thought existed in the movies (did YOU know that’s how they actually teach surfing??)
After a half an hour of looking like a complete idiot trying to surf on dry land, during which I somehow managed to fall of my board twice, it was time to get in the water.
Hot Steve had us lay down on our boards while he pulled us out to a point where it would be deep enough to “catch waves” (like my surfer lingo?), which was a few feet in front of where the waves actually broke. For the next hour, I rode waves on my stomach like a complete nerd. It was basically boogie boarding, but with better accessories. Even on my stomach, I somehow fell off multiple times and got so much water in my nose that at one point I was absolutely convinced it was going to start bleeding. The waves were beating the hell out of me, and it really, really hurt. By the end of the lesson my arms, legs, abs and every other part of my body was completely exhausted, and I hadn’t even managed to stand up. It somehow wasn’t the worst I’ve ever been at a sport, but it definitely wasn’t my finest (or cutest) work.
We came. We saw. We did not exactly conquer, but we tried very, very hard and earned our post-surf burgers. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #solotraveler #femaletraveler #australia #mytinyatlas #mytraveldiary #wanderluster #wanderlust #wanderlusting #wander #travelling #travellersnotebook #bondibeach #sydney #darlingescapes #darlingescape #tasteintravel #tlpicks #traveldeeper #lifewelltraveled #passionpassport #globelletravelers #sheisnotlost #travelfemme #sidewalkerdaily #wearertravelgirls #australiagram #girlsborntotravel #surf #bluecrush
After surfing, we went out for burgers at the cutest little burger joint called Milky Lane, which had amazing looking alcoholic milkshakes, which I definitely thought I’d earned during my lesson but didn’t want to Hot Steve to judge me for ordering one. We got cocktails and a “Mac and Cheese” burger, and Hot Steve (who is also a travel writer!) gave us all kinds of tips for traveling through Australia and shared some of his favorite destinations from the rest of the world. We also didn’t have a place to stay that night, so Hot Steve set us up with one of his friends who has a spare room. What. A. Gem.Surfing with Hot Steve (or, “Bondi Surf and Turf,” if you want to be professional about it) is regularly listed as one of the most popular AirBnB experiences in the world… Probably due to the sexy, wetsuit-wearing photo of Steve on the company’s website. Still — it was one of my favorite travel experiences I’ve had thus far (not just because he was hot, I swear!) and made me realize that if I ever want to move to Australia and make any actual friends, I need to
Surfing with Hot Steve (or, “Bondi Surf and Turf,” if you want to be professional about it) is regularly listed as one of the most popular AirBnB experiences in the world… Probably due to the sexy, wetsuit-wearing photo of Steve on the company’s website. Still — it was one of my favorite travel experiences I’ve had thus far (not just because he was hot, I swear!) and made me realize that if I ever want to move to Australia and make any actual friends, I need to seriously work on my surfing skills. Is there an app for that?