If you are reading reviews about a surfing school, I am making the assumption here that you are a beginner or novice surfer. Maybe you're considering going out there with just a board rental and giving it a go, because, I mean, if dogs and pigs can do it, how hard can it be, right? Well, surfing takes a lot longer to learn to do properly than the likes of skiing or snowboarding so good lessons can really help get you going with the right fundamentals. After a few lessons, it's really up to you: practice makes "almost perfect."
Without further ado here are the top 5 reasons why you should learn to surf with Style Surfing Byron Bay
#5 Learning to surf is a great investment in your well-being. There's something very spiritual and relaxing about being out on the water, with just your board, and taking in the nature around you. Stress will fly away and you will find yourself at times thinking about nothing but your place in the universe: it promotes reflection, health (physical and mental), and is just plain fun. As you will see in Byron, there are plenty of retired folk out there with their longboards doing it. You can surf for life.
#4 Byron Bay is one of the best places in the world to learn to surf. The Pass/Clarke's Beach is like a wave machine as wave after wave wraps around the point and breaks to the right towards Main Beach. It is extremely consistent, so you are less likely in Byron to find on the morning of your lesson there are no waves and you can't go out. The wave is also super light and forgiving: when you go "over the falls" or wipe out, it doesn't punish you like punchy beach breaks in other locations may do. It's also beach and point breaks so no sharp reef to worry about. Plus, with Byron jutting out on a point, whether it's at Tallow Beach of Clarke's or Belongil, there is almost always a beach with offshore winds.
#3 It's so beautiful there. I live in NYC and surf Rockaway Beach regularly. I've also surfed in Florianopolis in Brazil, Huntington in California, Nicaragua, Kauai and the North Shore of Oahu, Japan, Bali, etc., but Byron is right up there among the most beautiful. Where else can you surf next to dolphins (not all the time, but if you are lucky), look up at the lighthouse, have perfect sunsets, and clear water?
#2 You're going to learn a lot from Style Surfing and you're going to be safe. A couple of the other surf schools in town seem to hire a bit of a revolving door of surf instructors, and that's a little bit of a concern. You won't have that at Style. Most importantly you are going to have a huge grin on your face when you catch some waves.
#1 The people at Style Surfing are very good and friendly. Gaz has been surfing in Byron Bay for 30 years and has been running Style Surfing for 15 of them. He is a local legend and sends out a daily email noting the surfing conditions each day that he sends out as a surf report, free for anyone who wants on the list. He knows everybody in town and knows all the best spots. And he is a very genuine man. When I went to Byron this year all itching to surf because I had limited time there, the conditions weren't great; Gaz turned down my business (and others') because he isn't in it for the money. He took the time to explain that the conditions weren't good, and even with no incentive then whatsoever, he drove me around to show me how poor the conditions were. They were indeed horrible. There aren't too many people in business out there who would be willing to do that. I saw one of the other surf schools out there and the students were struggling with the current and onshore winds and choppy waves. Gaz is always in a good mood and he cares about his students; moreover, he is an excellent teacher who knows how to pass on knowledge while keeping things fun.
If you'd like to read more about Byron Bay and see some photos I took, please feel free to ask me at the Gentleman Backpacker, but regardless, you should have a good time out on the water with Style Surfing if you choose to take some lessons.
I read in other reviews that some people were a bit put off by things running a bit behind schedule or there being some poor communication. That is unfortunate. All I will say is this: surfing culture and Byron Bay in general is a little laid back: "Happy days, bru" in Australia, "Pura Vida" in Costa Rica, etc. It's not exactly island time, but it's not running like a Swiss watch, either. Allow yourself a few minutes' lee way and try not to let a bit of tardiness upset you. The school will make it up to you with full, proper time in the water. Also, I would say that by the nature of what they do: i.e., a surf school, they are going to be in the water teaching at times and unable to get to their mobile phones. If you can keep all that in mind, I think you'll have a great time and learn a lot.
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