by Craig Paul of Lifestyle Surf Shop in Muizenberg.
I’ve been surfing for 25 years, and I’m not sure I would consider surfing as a sport; it’s a way of life. It has taken me all over the world, and taught me amazing life lessons. It’s been there for me in some of the hardest moments life has thrown my way and allowed me to meet the most amazing people. I’ve surfed with dolphins, sea turtles, whales, sharks and even a giant manta ray and I can’t wait for my twin boys to be out in the water with me, sharing waves and good times.
My dad started Lifestyle Surf Shop 40 years ago, and many would say he’s one of the legends of the sport in South Africa. Our shop is in Muizenberg and over the last few years we‘ve seen 1st hand the effect surfing can have on an area, on businesses, on individuals and most importantly on entire families.
For many surfing has become the catalyst for their families. No longer is dad trying to get a couple of hours break on a Sunday morning, drowning out the questions of the kids with a lawn mower or rearranging the garage for some peace and quiet, no more is mom begging for an extra 20minutes lye in under the covers, while the TV entertains your offspring making sure they’re full of energy for later in the day. Now the whole family comes for surf. The beach is the new Mall. Waves are the new fast food; Fresh air, sun, and water are the new, Xbox, Play station and Face book.
Mom cheers for dad as he has wave or helps push their son or daughter into the ride of their young lives, dad gives mom a high five as she gets the cutback back right, she been trying for the last few weeks, the kids faces light up as they catch their own waves and stand and ride towards shore for the 1st time. You are there , you’re in the moment with them , and all of a sudden you’ve got more to talk about , than bills to pay , and government corruption (I’ve never had a Politician steal a wave from me!)
Surfing is a lifelong passion, it’s a worldwide community. Walk into a room of strangers and meet someone who surfs and you’ll talk for Hours and be great mates afterwards. Should you feel motivated for children to surf? Some might say it’s a form of child abuse not to let them surf. You may start surfing with your children, but you’ll end your surfing with your grandchildren.
Hopefully you are now motivated for your kids to surf and for you to get out there with them, now let’s look at the safety aspect. Not only is surfing a healthy for the body and mind, it’s also really safe. I would say that your main worry would be the sun, and if you get your hands on a decent sun block you’re 90% done. Muizenberg is one of the safest beaches to learn to surf in the world, it stays shallow a long way out, there’s no rip currents or undertows and the waves are generally gentle and the water is a good temperature. When learning to surf you don’t go out far enough to get yourself into any danger and as long as keep an eye out for fellow surfers there’s very little to worry about. I don’t want to go into the same old statistics about sharks and how safe it is, but the fact is ,there have only been 2 attacks at Muizenberg in the 80 years that surfing has been taking place out there, and now with the Sharkspotters on duty from 8am to 6pm every day, the chances of encountering a shark are even less.
At Lifestyle Surf Shop we offer a variety of lesson packages and rentals of surfboards and wetsuits. One of our favourite weekly activities is Moms On Board, where you can come down and surf with a group of moms, and the equipment is on the house. It happens on a Tuesday morning at 9am and all moms are welcome.
Should you have any question about surfing or surf lessons, don’t hesitate to give us a call or Email me and one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist.
Remember “Only a surfer knows the feeling.”
Sea you in the surf.