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Top 5 Tips for making the most of your URBNSURF experience!

Words: Nathan Rivalland

Being a part of the URBNSURF Melbourne family over the summer has been an exceptional experience and has been one of the fun environments to work in ever! Getting to watch all the excited faces when they catch their first wave ever, or there first barrel ever has been amazingly rewarding! When you mix barrels, almost always clean and rippable conditions, good vibes and amazing staff, it can’t really go wrong!

So, here is a ‘Surf Guide’s’ top 5 tips to making sure you enjoy your first time at URBNSURF Melbourne!

(c) URBNSURF / Adam Gibson

1. Don’t sit to close to the machine

This is a big one! As you are sitting in single file order waiting for the waves to dial up, it feels like you are sitting in a calm lagoon having a cup of tea. However, once that machine starts revving up to start the wave cycle you are going to want to make sure you are a few metres away from it. As the wave cycle starts, water is drawn to the front corner of the machine to make the wave, this creates a sucking effect which can drift you into the fence where you can easily lose a fin or even get your little toes or fingers caught in. To make sure that you are safe, sit a few metres away as you feel that surge start in the lagoon.

2. Bring a few boards!

If you are making your way up to Tullamarine tube land, it is a necessity to bring a few boards with you.

Due to the floor being concrete, it certainly doesn’t tickle if you or your equipment come in contact with it. If you do happen to hit the bottom or the concrete walls, it is quite easy to snap the nose off your board or make a ding on your rail. So, I’d definitely bring a few boards with you just in case you have a little collision with the not so nice concrete.

The last thing you want is for them to turn the barrel section on and you’ve got a damaged board that you can’t ride, and you’re left out of the water!

If you can only manage to bring one board or you can’t bring a board at all, you can rent boards, wetsuits and other surf specific equipment from the hire store on site if you don’t want to bring your equipment, the rates are pretty good and there are some great boards to try!

(c) URBNSURF / Adam Gibson

3. Paddle Hard

URBNSURF is not like any normal wave. You must position yourself well, and reasonably close to the wall to get the wave. In intermediate sessions you are going to want to sit relatively close to the wall, especially at the start when the waves are bit more mellow, just to make sure you easily get into the wave and get used to how it breaks. As the waves get bigger throughout the session, you can move further away from the wall and separate yourself a bit from being almost shoulder on the wall. In advanced sessions you can afford to sit a slight bit further back in the lagoon as well, especially when the turns waves are on as there is more energy in the waves, making it easier to paddle in.

But always remember, paddle hard. You don’t want to miss a wave when you are out there, because if you do, you have to go to the back of the line and that my friends, is not fun. If you paddle too hard though and go over the falls, remember to protect your head.

(c) URBNSURF / Ed Sloane

4. The Barrels

For those lucky enough to experience the barrel modes in the advanced or private sessions, it is important to know that the barrel wave breaks further inside of the lagoon, roughly 5m in front of where the normal waves would break. This is very important to keep in mind as the last thing you want to do is be caught out too far out where you miss out on getting tubed.  For the barrel waves, the take-off is quite mellow so paddle hard, and then wait for the section down the line! The Surf Guide on duty with you out in the water will let you know when the barrel waves are coming!

5. Be calm and have fun

URBNSURF Melbourne isn’t like Winkipop or a normal ocean wave. There is generally no snaking, no hassling and certainly no ‘agro’ out in the water. URBNSURF is all about having fun and enjoying the amazing waves that it provides. Everyone will get their fair share of waves, even if it’s a full session of eighteen (roughly 10-12 waves). Take it in turns as according to single file and have fun. Everyone has paid to come and have their enjoyment, don’t ruin the experience for someone else by snaking or being angry in the lagoon, which is what it certainly isn’t about.

Your Surf Guide in session will look out to keep an eye on all of this and make sure everyone is abiding by the correct surf etiquette.

One Final Note. URBNSURF Melbourne has waves for everyone, from beginners to the most advanced surfers. They are able to cater for any surfing ability, so certainly don’t let it scare you off if you’re a beginner and all you’ve heard about is the heavy barrels that reel through the lagoon, there is no doubt something here for you as well in form of beginner sessions and surf lessons!

Have a great time and remember to bring a smile and you may just have the session of your life!

You can book in a session at URBNSURF Melbourne here

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