At our hostel the day before, we had used Skype to call and try book surf lessons as we missed the opportunity to surf in Australia. We ended up booking surf lessons with Discovery Surfing NZ (89.95NZD for 2 hours beginner)and headed to Mount Maunganui Main Beach in Taraunga. Our awesome instructor Tully took Andrew, myself and an American from Seattle named Brendan out to catch some waves. He outfitted us with wetsuits to stay warm as it was the first week of autumn then taught us the basically instructions. We practiced on land for a bit to get in the motion of popping up off the board and what foot naturally leads. My left goes naturally forward but Andrew’s was goofy (right foot first).Did you know that when you pop up, its your comfortable leg that leads. If your right foot leads; its called a goofy foot and if left; your a natural. Basically when you pop up, you want your lead foot to be where your sternum was when lying down. When you are lying down, you use your foots position at the back end of the surfboard for reference thus your weight isn’t to forward etc. For me I have to have my feet further back. I can tell you its tiring. I worked with 3 different boards. The first one I had gave me trouble trying to balance and then he switched it for a smaller one which I think was the best one for me. He then made me switch with Brendan and his longboard which was a heavier and bigger board which meant pulling it over the waves was that much more difficult.
There are technically 2 techniques Tully showed us; the easy way and the hard way. The winning combo that worked for me best (where I actually stood and rode the waves) was a combo of the 2; Get on the knees and then pop up. There were many times I nose dived in and some where while I was about to pop up my foot got tangled with the cable as well as 2 that I think would of been perfect rides my left leg didn’t charlie horse. Even Tully was riding hard and broke a board on a wave. Now I can say I’ve surfed and surfed in New Zealand to add to it. Hopefully next time I go surfing, it will be warmer.
I drove back in the direction of Rotorua for about an hour and we went zorbing. Zorbing is pretty much a giant inflatable ball that looks like a hamster ball that humans jump into. Andrew and myself both did Zydro (39NZD) where there is water in your zorb. I chose the straight a way and basically I went down a huge hill in this hamster ball with water inside. At first, I was turning all over the place then my back settled near the end. I should’ve done what Andrew did because the zig zag course made him do a few flips. I also made a friend with one of the zorb guys – Che. We did a bunch of jumping shots which are my favourite type of shots. Be prepared and bring a change of clothing as you pretty much can go zorbing in anything from a swim suit to full clothed. It was very chilly leaving. We got back to Rotorua and ate bentos. There is a large amount of Japanese and Korean restaurants in Rotorua (mainly Korean).