News and Media

Participant Stories: “Surfing Ocean Grove”


By Bernie McCormick

The sun, the sand, the surf and sunscreen were all available for us on a day of surfing at Ocean Grove.

Most of us were struggling to get in and out of our wetsuits … it’s a bit like trying physical origami with a rubber suit. A tip for smokers is that there is no smoking while wearing a wetsuit. It’s the same with PFD’s (Personal Flotation Devices or “lifejackets” that you wear rafting).

We were treated to some spontaneous ‘Beat Boxing’ on the bus on the way as well as some impromptu original hip hop tunes from a talented surfer.

Ben and Asher were the staff who were happy to share some tips on safety and getting started. They had some more advanced advice on standing up and how to manoeuvre the surfboard through the waves. I also remembered some of the advice from ‘Surfer Jen”, who was the staff member on a past surf program I attended.

There were some skilled surfers in the group but everyone was at a different stage of skills. Personally, it was great just to catch a wave, feel the force of nature and work with it to catch a ride. I managed to catch waves and get up onto my knees on the board, which was an improvement for me as I hadn’t surfed for a couple of years. I also really enjoyed traveling along the face of the wave and I worked out how to steer the board for at least 25 metres from the break to shallow water.

The weather was fantastic, not too hot, and the wetsuits helped with the cooler water. It was a great day which everyone appreciated and it helped us to step out of our comfort zone in a safe and enjoyable way.

Surfing is definitely something to try!


Every month, Out Doors Inc. gives our Participants a chance to share their stories and passion projects. If you’d like to learn more or get involved, contact us at

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