Alexandra Headland Surfing Mums Ride the Concrete Waves by Jenna Hebbard

Published Thu 30 Nov 2023

In the last couple of years that I have been a member of Surfing Mums we would often go surf skating if the surf was no good. Starting off, we went to netball courts with mum's, kids and skateboards flying in all directions. Katelyn La Roux who use to work for Smooth Star would very generously give us lessons for free.

A lot of the Surfing Mums invested in getting surf skates and started doing it more regularly. It was always a lot of fun, and so inspiring to see one another progress. I was first inspired by Liza Edwards, former Co-ordinator for Caloundra group, to take my skating to the next level. Liza would often share footage of her skating at the pump track. At that point I had not yet been, so the first day I went and saw the track in real life I was so intimidated by it - that I decided that this couldn't be the same place Liza was skating at in her videos lol.

Anyway next thing you know we have a whole gang of surf mum's hitting the pump track and again mum's, kids, skateboards and scooters in all directions. 

I practised and practised surfing manoeuvres on my surf skate on my driveway at home. Bottom turns, cut backs, generating speed and also body position and how to use your arms etc. Being able to repeat manoeuvres as many times as you like is so key, as so often when we surf we might only get one or two chances to work on a particular manoeuvre or position. 

I noticed an improvement in my surfing, especially if I surfed the day after I'd been skating. Also skating is so much more accessible. You don't have to rely on surf conditions and you can pretty much skate anywhere as long as there is concrete and it's not raining. 

When I heard about the WABE grant offered through surfing mum's I thought it would be a great opportunity to use the grant money to pay for some skate lessons. Especially to help make surf skating more accessible or inviting for the members that have never skated before, as well as the members who are wanting to take their skating to the next level. 

It was really easy to apply for the grant. I just followed the prompts via the link on the Surfing Mums website and detailed my ideas for the lessons.The idea was to try and spread the WABE grant money across as many lessons as possible. 

I put up an expression of interest on our group’s FB page for a beginner surf skate lesson and there was a lot of interest. I organised the first lesson through a local non profit business called Surf Proud, who provided all the equipment and safety gear. Sarah from Surf proud provided an overview of the lesson.

“Surf Proud introduced Surfing Mums to the latest trend making waves globally; surf skating, a dynamic fusion of skateboarding and surfing techniques. Surf Proud's Surf Skate Intro Day provided a space for women to grasp the fundamentals, connect with fellow enthusiasts, and enjoy riding the concrete waves. 

Unlike surfing, where conditions can be unpredictable, this event allowed participants to refine their skills in a controlled environment through fun and challenging drills. It was a valuable opportunity for the women to perfect their surf stance, enhance control, and gain stability, crucial elements that complement the art of surfing" 

Meg, a member since March 2023, said "I told my husband I was going skateboarding. He laughed in my face. “You’re 38 and a Mum of two, why would you do that? You can’t even skate”. I laughed too - but then I thought “why let the kids have all the fun?”

Our surf skate session was the best! A mixed group of ages and abilities which didn’t seem to matter under the instruction of Sez. Easy to follow cues, clear practical guidance and a really relaxed vibe. It was one of the few times I didn’t really feel self conscious (definitely not the norm for me) which I credit to Sez and her professional experience. If you’re thinking about a surf skate lesson I recommend you just stop and book it! You’ll surprise yourself and have heaps of fun"

Steph, a member since February 2022, said “oh it was great cos Sez broke it down into bite sized pieces to slowly build up my confidence. Loved the imagery she used to compare it to surfing so that made it relatable.”

Prior to this and over the last couple of months I had started watching some local ladies on Instagram who were skating in the bowl and dropping into ramps and it really inspired me. These ladies were meeting as part of a group called Skate like a Girl. So I went along to a couple of meetings, which were actually lessons, led by the ladies at Fastplant Skateboarding in the Sunshine coast. 

My first two lessons at Skate like a Girl with Fastplant were so epic! I did things I'd never done before and didn't think I could actually do. They held my hand to drop into a ramp, taught me how to do a front side kick turn and more. I left feeling a similar level of stoke that you feel after a great session surfing. I was frothing!! 

So I decided this would be a great way to get the more experienced surfing mum's skaters a lesson and to continue to use the WABE grant money. I asked the ladies at Fastplant to see if it would be ok if I invite some more surfing mum's along to the next Skate like a Girl meeting and they were keen as!! 

So last Friday, three Surfing Mum's, including me, attended the Skate like a Girl meet at Alexandra Heads skatepark and got a lesson from the ladies at Fastplant. The feedback was really positive and we all got so much out of it. The best part for me is a line of ladies cheering you on and encouraging one another to attempt new and challenging things.. 

The ladies at Fastplant are really good at what they do and I am so inspired by seeing other ladies my age, 40 years young, from Skate like a Girl skating dropping into the big bowl after only one year. 

My reason for starting to surf skate was to improve my surfing and I can see how it has. However, now I'm skating to improve my skating too! I’ve discovered how fun and supportive the skate community is and how accessible skating is and you can also do it with the kids!

So many talented and professional surfers are also ripping skateboarders like John Florence and also the upcoming generation of surfers like Caitlyn Simmers, Erin Brooks and Quincy Symonds are all sick skaters!!! 

So if you've always wanted to learn to skate it's never too late!  And it most definitely will help your surfing to improve. The next time the WABE grants come around - apply for your group. 

Big thanks to Surfing Mums, Surf Proud, Skate like a Girl and Fastplant Skateboarding.

by Jenna Hebbard Group Co-ordinator Alex Heads- Kawana 

Jenna Hebbard has been a member since January 2020, surfer, skater and frother! Jenna also owns and runs Dig In Health Co; a veteran-owned and family run company promoting health and well-being through quality nutrition and sustainable growing systems.