Bali is known world wide as a surfers' paradise. You'll bump into quite some athletic looking bronzed surfer girls and guys during your stay here. Surf shops line up on the streets of Kuta and surfer breakfasts are known as the most filled up plates you'll ever lay your eyes on.
However, none of this is any good if you can't surfâ€¦To become part of the in crowd, half or full day surfing courses are offered everywhere. SD, always eager to be part of the happenings, took their wetsuit out of the mothballs and headed to the beach. Most of the courses advertised claim a â€˜Guaranteed standing up on first day', so the question at hand was: will Streetdirectory ride the waves as well as the roads?
RPM stands for Rotations per minute and this is the name of the shop on Poppies Lane 2 that dared to take up the challenge to teach a land mammal like me the ropes and ties of surfing. We started of with a brief introduction on the dry: how to paddle, how to stand up, and where to place your feet on the board.
The board we started with is known as a Malibu board, a big oval shaped board that is more stable for beginners whose balance is still feeble. After that, we hit the water and the instructor pushed me to my very first wave. The bottom is all I saw of it since the board jumped away and left me prey to the rolling thunder of water. A wipe out (as it is referred to in surfers lingo) is best handled by holding your breath and ensuring that you don't surface until you are sure the board is at a safe distance. Chances are, it is still in the air waiting for you to land on your head.
After a couple more of these and many similar laundromatic experiences, I finally managed to stand up and although it only lasted for 3 seconds, a victorious feeling made all the previous failures wash away. It is unbelievably difficult to get everything right, from the timing and the speed to the position of your feet. All these factors play a roll in you being on top or on the bottom of your board.
After about two hours of salt water sipping, the lesson was over. Yes I stood up for a couple of times, but no I didn't last long. Surfing is a sport that takes days, weeks and months of practice. A short introduction is a good idea to know what you are doing but after that it's all in your own hands and dedication.
RPM offers board rentals, board sales and surfing courses for about Rp. 200,000. An instructor will be with you in the water during the whole time to guide you into the right waves.