Robin and Laura from The Backpacker Guide travelled through Raglan and shared their experiences with us:
H ow can you wake up in Raglan Backpackers and not want to surf? There’s wetsuits hanging in the garden courtyard area, surfs towels just drying off from the day before, and freakin’ surf boards hung up on racks, for God’s sake! Today, we’re finally doing it – we’re finally surfing in Raglan.
Raglan is a mecca for big consistent waves making it the most renowned surf spot in New Zealand. We get great vibes about the place from all the keen surfers staying at the Raglan Backpackers, who are keen to tell us how “pumping” the surf has been that day. This probably won’t make a huge difference to us beginners (well, sort of beginners) but at least we know there will be waves to learn on. That’s always a plus!
WATCHING THE PRO SURFERS DO BETTER THAN US
Raglan Surfing School pick us up from the library, right in the centre of Raglan town, and take us to Karioi Lodge where they do their theory sessions. On the way, we get an awesome view of Ngarunui Beach, where we’ll be surfing today, and Manu Bay. Robin insists to the driver that we stop to take photos. We get awesome views of the pro surfers riding the barrel waves from Manu Bay, on after the other. We kind of guess that’s not what we are going to look like when we surf, but we take photos to Photoshop our faces on later…
THE SURF LESSON IN THE SHED
Within the forest of Mt Karioi is Karioi Lodge and the base of Raglan Surf School. Bing, our surf instructor from the US, introduces himself and gets us to pile into what can only be described as a huge shed for the surf theory lesson. Not quite what we were picturing for a surf lesson but we roll with it. We are joined by three German backpackers and have a blast with them learning to stand on the board without looking like an idiot. There’s also a huge painting hanging on the wall at the back of the shed that shows all the hazards of surfing that we need to be aware of. Visual aids are always helpful. The whole theory lesson is pretty interactive and is a great recap for us who have done a couple of these beginning surf lessons before.
RIDE THAT WHITE WATER, BRO!
Enough of this theory though, we want to get on the waves, bro! Bing drives us to Ngarunui Beach where we squeeze into some super tight wetsuits – something we definitely need in this winter water!
Read the rest of the story over at The Backpackers Guide website.