Surfing lessons popular for international students

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Surfing lessons popular for international students

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Published on 27 August 2012

27 August 2012

Learning to surf is fast becoming one of the most popular lessons for international students at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The University, in conjunction with Robbie Sherwell’s XL Surfing Academy, have offered reduced-rate learn-to-surf classes to USC students and staff since 2008.

USC Sport Manager Nathan Gordon said these once-a-month introductory lessons were popular among international students, particularly those on the Sunshine Coast for only one semester under the Study Abroad program.

“Most of the participants are from the United Kingdom or the United States who are here for a short time and have surfing on their list of things they want to achieve before they leave Australia,” he said.

“We often find that once students complete the beginner’s lesson, they want to develop their surf skills a little more and seek out extra lessons.”

A recent mid-winter session saw students from Europe, Asia and North America waxing down their surfboards before hitting the break at Alexandra Headland. All managed to catch waves and most celebrated by punching the air in jubilation.

Mr Gordon said the University was in a unique position to coordinate surf lessons because of its close proximity to Alexandra Headland and Mooloolaba beaches.

He said all participants underwent a safety briefing before venturing into the water.

“The instructors run through some theory first — things like water safety, rips and sweeps,” Mr Gordon said.

“Then they get the students to lie down on their boards on the sand and go through a step-by-step process of how to stand up when surfing.”

Mr Gordon said the next round of USC surfing lessons was scheduled for this Friday (31 August).

— Michelle Widdicombe

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