Surfing was the one thing my 14 year old son was desperate to try on our holiday in Cape Town. I'm a 52 year old Dad who has never tried surfing, nor had my son. Fortunately we received a gift certificate for an introductory lesson with Stoked, so our decision to choose this company was settled. I wrote this review as soon as we returned to our flat. Our instructor, Sarah Jane, made the experience fun, safe and exciting for both my son and myself. When I made the booking on the phone, she advised us to bring sunscreen, a towel and bathing suits (costume, swimmy) that were not too baggy.
We met up with Sarah Jane at Big Bay, near Blouwbergstrand, a long sandy beach popular for surfing and kiteboarding. After squeezing ourselves like sausages into our wet suits and grabbing our boards (designed especially for beginning surfers), we followed her down to the beach, where she snapped a quick souvenir photo of us posing with our boards before the magnificent view of Table Mountain draped in its 'table cloth'.
First Sarah Jane explained the basics of safely getting onto the board and upright on the wave. I was glad that she emphasized safety first, especially with a teenager who might get ahead of himself.
We practiced the basic moves on dry land a couple of times, then waded out into the long, gentle waves for our first attempts. Needless to say, as a not so fit guy, I struggled to get up past kneeling on the board, but Sarah Jane was fantastically patient and encouraging. My son took to it like a natural, and with Sarah Jane's guidance was up and riding the board in no time. She also took plenty of photos with her waterproof camera, which she promised would be posted to their Facebook page by tomorrow for bragging rights :)
After about an hour and a half of fun, we dragged ourselves up the beach, tired but happy novice boarders. Well, I dragged myself, my son was ready to go again! If you're at all inclined to try this sport, I highly recommend you give Sarah Jane or her sister Michelle at Stoked a call.