Adventure

Why Surfing This Wave Pool Is The Most Fun You Can Have In Melbourne, No Matter The Weather

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Despite having grown up on the Central Coast, the first time I surfed was in my mid-20s on a 12-hour Hawaii stopover headed to my new home in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

I. Loved. It.

Due to the whole ‘surrounded by mountains and not a drop of salt water’ thing, my budding surf career is very much intermittent and still budding. Yes, sure, I did move back to Sydney since then, but the thought of sharks and having no friends I can convince to come with me, have still kept me away.

The solution? A super sophisticated wave pool with zero sharks and people you can pay to show you what to do.

Urbnsurf is proving that ‘wave pool’ doesn’t mean what it used to back in the day. We’re not talking the same five rhythmic waves pumped out to give people floating in blow up rings a small thrill.

 

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Don’t ask me to explain how it works, because I don’t know, but their complex wave system produces several different types of waves in different sections of the pool, with settings from beginner to hard. In fact, it was one of the first high performance, world-class surf parks, and definitely still the best in Australia.

This means you can find the perfect type of wave whether you’re brand new or a world champion (literally though, there was a world champion female surfer in the pool when I was there, I can’t remember her name though because I’m a terrible journo/ I was super nervous about my lesson).

The day I turned up for my beginner surf lesson was a truly gloomy Melbourne day — except for the exact hour that we ended up being in the water when the sun kindly decided to bless my learnings. Although the pool was still cold, I finally understand why surfers can brave the ocean in winter with their wetsuits — holy crap they keep you completely warm. Seriously, I’m always the first to wimp out in cold water and I was totally fine.

 

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Anyway, lessons can have up to 30-ish people in them, but we’re lucky today with just three of us in the class, being taught by our very friendly and patient instructor, Liam.

After a bit of time going over our pop-up techniques on land, we take to the baby waves at the front of the pool. The next hour goes so quickly, with only my tiring muscles proving that time is passing at all. Time flies, etc etc.

By the end of the lesson, we’re all able to stand up and make it all the way (most of the time), and Liam has departed some valuable tips about taking our skills into the ocean. I’m tuckered out and having the most fun in a pool since Marco Polo.

 

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You can replenish your energy at the on-site restaurant too, and it just happens to be cult favourite, Three Blue Ducks. There is nothing better than one of these delish wood-fired pizzas with a cold beer after your hard work.

Throughout the year they even hold surf comps and live music nights — honestly, it’s probably the best thing in Melbourne.

You can hit the pool yourself starting from $30 per session, with boards and wetsuits available to hire. Lessons start from $79 each and include all your gear hire.

There are also memberships available if you’re hoping to go more regularly, starting from$116.67. You’ll get surf sessions, be able to enter as a spectator whenever you want, get 10 percent off the whole park and more.

Right now, Urbnsurf is on the outskirts of Melbourne in Tullamarine, but a Sydney Olympic Park venue is set to open in 2022.

The writer attended as a guest of Tourism Australia.

(Lead image: Facebook / @URBNSURF)