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Surfing Have A Go Suitable For All

Jess Terrill is the ideal person to conduct lessons at the upcoming Southland Boardriders Association Have A Go days on both Sunday 12th and Sunday 19th January.

NOTE: Due to weather Sunday 12th has been cancelled.

Jess, of the Southland Surf School, is a former South Island, New Zealand and two-time Oceania Cup Champion and represented New Zealand at the World Junior Champs three times.

Jess grew up in Taranaki and was into horses until the day her neighbours held a garage sale and threw a board over the fence. “It was something new to try,” says Jess, “so I took the opportunity. It was a one-hour ride on my bike to the beach but I loved it – the solitude, the challenge and the experience of being in the ocean.

” What Jess did not realise at the time was the fact that the board was totally unsuitable for learning. “It was an old 5 7 retro 1970’s twin fin classic board but I thought I was doing everything wrong. Even so surfing took over my life. It took an awful long time for me to catch my first green wave. When I did it was Christmas Day. It was the best Christmas ever.”

“When I had kids, I really liked teaching them and they enjoyed it too. You just feel so revived, refreshed and invigorated.”

While Jess’ first days were challenging she says it is so much different these days. “People can stand up very quickly and catch their first green wave not long after starting. Life is much easier these days,” she laughs.

The have a go day is suitable for everyone says Jess. “Anyone of any age can come along, even if you are not a confident swimmer. We only go out to knee to waist deep, there is no need to go beyond. Last year we had a 73- year-old who was up and riding in no time. We have had a 75-year-old come along and have a go and the youngest was a 4-year-old.”

All gear, boards and wetsuits will be provided on the day at no cost although Jess recommends if it is a grey day to bring a filled hot water bottle which will help with comfort. While the event will be held in the Riverton area the exact location and time of the event is weather and tide dependant and will be posted on the club facebook page: Southland Boardriders Association. Should conditions demand a cancellation this will be posted on the page at 7am on the day of the event.

Club members will assist Jess on the days and those that participate will be welcome to join the club. There is no better time to do so as there is the incentive of a $15 membership which will also come with a Southland Boardriders t-shirt.

Any new members will be able to join in some other fun events suitable for people of all abilities later in the summer.

The Southland Boardriders Association is a club of 140 members aged between 4 and 70-plus years old.

The club exists to encourage, promote and advance the sport of surfboard riding in Southland. It also supports and promotes environmental concerns and issues particularly around water quality and the coast environment and has a spirit of co-operation with any other group whose objectives are the same or similar to the clubs own.

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