· By Maria Nilsson
Turns out Saturday was international surfing day unbeknown to us, but I feel like we spent the day in the best way possible. No better way to re-ignite your love and appreciation for surfing than spending the morning at the beach with this bunch of absolutely frothing Mummas and their beautiful families.
We stumbled upon the ‘byronbaymurfers’ instagram just a few days ago, loving a video posted of one of the ladies (Amie) on an epic long wave at The Pass, navigating plenty of people with confidence and grace. What a pleasure to see an account filled with women having fun, loving learning and just generally living the dreamy lifestyle, celebrating surfing with family and friends. We had to meet them!
Chances are you may have met one of these lovely ladies, whether it's procuring some delicious curry paste at the farmers market, admiring their artwork in a local gallery, purchasing the finest children's linen or even read a book one of them has written! Even though they are all very busy little mumma bears, they decided collectively last summer to learn to surf. Come this beautiful winter morning and it seems that have taken to surfing like they were born naturals (or goofy’s).
Saturday morning, we arrived at the Murfers' favorite local beach, true to Byron shire style, we arrived a little late and so did the rest of the gang. As the family vans and ‘soccer mum’ cars arrived (literally were taking the kids to soccer after surfing) the kids tumbled out excitingly and their mums and dads greeted us just as excitedly. We made our way onto the beach, boards under one arm, a baby or pram under the other. The Murfers were oozing with enthusiasm to surf, barley able to wait as we snapped a few photos.
The Murfers paddled out and covered the point, catching wave after wave. The dads assumed their roles on the beach, babies strapped to chests, having a chat to each whilst keeping an eye on the bigger kids that played happily. After the Murfers caught enough waves for the froth to subside a little they tagged in the dads for a surf and we grabbed them for a chat.
With the exception of one or two of the women most of these women have taking up surfing just recently for the first time in their lives, or ‘just half an hour ago’ as Jess jokes. All with children, some still breast feeding, they all seem to have picked up the skills and high levels of froth pretty quickly!
We spoke about what made them want to take up this new hobby, all agreeing with Pricilla when she said “We all appreciated doing something that was completely different to just sitting on the beach being a mum. It was a chance to switch off and go challenge ourselves, get out of our comfort zone and then we just got addicted”
How do they manage to add this new hobby into their busy lives? Well they all laughed that quite often it does make life harder, Amanda joking “Motherly duties disappear. haha, the house is way messier, heaps more washing to do.” “Pizza nights help, we eat more pizzas and burgers.” But we are happy and “I feel like I'm a better parent for it”
As you can imagine life with kids doesn’t usually allow for too many moments to yourself and surfing being a majority self-indulgent pastime does seem impossible for mothers to learn. But for these ladies they really have found the perfect balance together with their friends and partners to make sure everyone gets their go in the water. An honorable mention has to go out to the fathers, who told me that usually they take turns, a couple of waves each and then swap roles but this particular morning they left it to the Murfers to make the most of the small but dreamy surf.
Meanwhile… the ladies were plotting how they could stay longer at the beach, I won’t name names but it was mentioned by one of them “maybe we should just send one of the dads to get us all burgers?”.
Whether credit be given to whoever pushed them on their first waves, all that time spent observing their partners surfing or all the support and encouragement they give each other they certainly have taken to surfing like ducks to water. You have to admire them regardless of their surfing levels, they are the ones in the surf with the biggest, dorkiest grins and having the most fun. I just hope I’ll be as cool/happy/fun/ripping as these women when I'm a mum.
@byronbaymurfers - Check it out!
Words & Film Photos by Brianna Oconnell