I took an absurdly long train ride and arrived late Monday evening in Byron Bay. This small town is known for surfing, and the immense number of backpackers that infest its streets. All the reasonably priced hostels were booked, so I got drunk, and slept on the beach. The next day I was planning on taking Jim’s Alternative bus Tour to a hippie haven called Nimbin and a few parks, but Jim was all booked, leaving me with an entire day to kill.
So i dropped my bags off at the Cape Byron Hostel, and made my way to the Mojo Surf School. Outside the school I met two of my instructors, both with skateboards. Chris rocked a Sector 9 board (seems to be the most popular down under) and Chungy rocked a vintage torpedo board about 14 inches long. Both were barefoot skaters, as many Aussies seem to be, and were pretty damn good, especially on that mini-board. They tried my Bustin Cigar and liked how much it felt like surfing- awesome.
Instead of surfing concrete, today I would try some serious Pacific Ocean waves. For a mere $60 I got a four hour lesson, which consisted of about two and a half hours in the water. I managed to stand up on my third attempt, and proceeded to ride a good number of waves. Although I did take some rather comical falls, I also had three really amazing waves I caught and rode like a champ. Waiting for and catching the right wave is the hardest part. I expected to be carving and tearing up and down the wave on my first time out, but that proved to be somehwat more challenging than I expected.
After a physicaly taxing surf sesh, I met up witha few longboarders and skated the small town, constantly forgetting about the whoile driving on the left side of the road thing, and pissing off quite a few drivers not used to an aggresive skater dominating the streets. I am about to catch a bus to Nimbin, and then spend a week at a communal farm called Jasper Hall. I plan on renting a surfboard again sometime soon and going for round two. See you suckas in 2010!