As I walked out of Talalla at the end of my week long Wellness Retreat (you can check out that blog here)... I had a sneaky feeling I'd be back. We spent a week exploring some other hidden gems around Sri Lanka - which was insanely magical - but I couldn't stop thinking of Talalla's Surf Camp.
I grew up in Cairns, Australia, which is a deliciously humid tropical paradise. I didn't grow up near the beach but that didn't matter too much because Cairns beaches are a bit of a tease for surfers. The Great Barrier Reef unfortunately blocks any potential surf from hitting the coast. And even if this amazing Wonder of the World did happen to let some swell through - you'd have to share the line up with jellyfish and crocodiles. No fanx.
Howeverrrrr, this didn't stop me from being a water baby (ie. a swimmer for 12 years) and it didn't dampen my obsession with Blue Water High or the excitement that came with receiving my first Roxy boardshorts. Mmhmm. Full time frother before I'd even touched a surfboard.
The weather and scenery in Sri Lanka is very similar to Cairns. Which made it feel extra homely. And in a nut shell, my two weeks at Talalla Surf Camp fulfilled every childhood dream.
Sunrise and sunset surfs, video analysis, coaching clinics combined with in-water coaching, workshops, mid morning naps, delicious & healthy food (if my portion control had any element of 'control'), endless laughs and an epic crew of down to earth, hilarious fools from all around the world all keen to have a good time. AND two weeks of solid, uncrowded waves!
Sunrise @ SK Town
Surf check @ Sampath's
Daily coaching clinics with our coach Garrett.
Analysing our video footage. This. Was. Epic. And an absolute game changer.
Post surf roadside coconuts.
When there's a red moon and a trusty iPhone manages to capture it + everyone's excitement (spotted on the horizon, middle-ish of the photo).
Our team photo for Week One. Garrett nailing the ground pound.
Team 'Lion Strong'.
My video compilation from Week One.
You're only allowed to watch this if you promise me that you'll watch Week Two as well.
K? Ok ;)
Rather than spending my time at surf camp long boarding (riding my usual 9'1 or 9'6 mal - very looong boards), I told Garrett I'd like to start from scratch and delve into the world of short boarding. So that's exactly what I did. Challenging but heaaaps of fun!
PS. Click the Settings cog on the video and choose 720p to watch in HD.
Another firey sky to kick off a 3hr sunrise surf.
Back of the surf truck. Home to inappropriate banter and banger singalongs.
Conquering my fear of 'big waves' - a very subjective term ;).
Friday night film review selfie! A chance to go through everyone's waves and wipeouts. A ridiculously enjoyable way to round out the week!
Our team photo for Week Two. Person with the most barrels got to hold the knife...
My video compilation of Week Two. YEW!
AND GUESS WHAT!?
This little frog on a log somehow won WAVE OF THE WEEK. Whaaaat.
And Chris Hemsworth's* video compilation of Week Two.
*Also known as Sam.
It was amazing to surf with da boiz. Definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Without exaggerating, this was hands down the best holiday of my life.
I love learning or refining skills and I couldn't believe how quickly I managed to improve in such a short amount of time. Credit to Talalla's amazing coaches!
The guys here have put together such an incredible program and if you'd love to give it a go they cater for everyone. From those with absolutely zero surfing experience right through from Level 1 to Level 4.
If you're thinking of booking a week at their surf camp, make sure you use the code SHARESTOKE10 for a discount :D.
I'd love to hear about your experience so keep me in the loop if you make it over.
THANK YOU TALALLA!
You were a dream. I can't wait to come back and do it all over again.