I had my first go at surfing about 3 weeks ago. What an unforgettable day! Hard as I imagined but more fun than I dared hope. I've been a few times now and I am now catching and riding (badly) unbroken waves. I am hooked but I do know I've just made the first step in a long and bumpy road. I am in my early forties. I'm realistic about my progress but hey, I'm not too old to have fun!
I have just left the UK after 23 years to settle back in Mauritius where I was born and brought up. I took up snowboarding in my last year in UK. It became an obsession and my mates suggested I try surfing to keep the stoke going. Many Mauritians, despite 'going to the beach', are not not comfortable with the sea.They are no good at swimming and not had the opportunity, money or interest to do watersports. Most people don't go to the sea now in winter ( sea temp 24c, air temp 20-26c) because it's too cold!
I wasn't therefore keen at all on the idea of watersports but I was willing to give a try and enjoy what we have here in Mauritius: sandy beaches, warm seas and great weather. I've been to the beach every week with the kids and worked on improving my poor front crawl technique (never had a formal swimming lesson in my life). I've tried windsurfing and kayaking but surfing is what I really want to do!
My local spot is Tamarin Bay, a 30min drive away. I'm learning on the beach breaks but Tamarin is well known for its long left barrel reef break. Even now in the peak season, the southerly swells infrequently make it to the west facing spot. The reef gets very crowded on the few occasions it 'performs'. The other spots in Mauritius are not for beginners as they are shallow reefs set up and often a long paddle away. The south spots get regular swells but are usually battered by strong onshore wind in winter. It's not going to be easy.
Every day, I check the msw forecast and hope the waves come when I'm free.