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The Surfing Concierge At The Cottages At Cape Kiwanda

I take my job very seriously. I can’t recommend it, if I haven’t experienced it for myself. With summer right around the corner, I had the hair brained idea that I should give surfing a try.

As I walked into Moment Surf Company, just the thought of putting on a wet suit frightened me more than getting beat up by the waves. The possibility of a shark attack didn’t even occur to me. I was more concerned about being seen in a black, unforgiving skin tight wet suit (Moment has 2 spacious outside dressing rooms to try these babies on). The staff was amazing! The shops “Grommet” helped me pick out the right size suit and booties. What’s a Grommet you ask? I had to dig deep into the Urban Dictionary to find the meaning. It’s basically a young surfer/skater/snowboarder who typically isn’t old enough to drive and or even shave for that matter. The term Grommet stems from the Portuguese word grumete, meaning the lowest ranking person on board a naval ship. The word has been widely used in South Africa since surfing became popular, and is currently being used in Pacific City.

Once in the suit, and with a 9ft surf board awkwardly balanced on my head, I made my way down to the beach. I set the board on the sand and looked at the big, blue Pacific. I strapped the leash to my right ankle as I am regular footed (left foot forward). As I entered the water the waves started to look much larger, as I am staring right at them. I thought it might be a good idea to get acquainted with my board and the water in general. Once I reached my waist I jumped on, a few seconds later came a small wall of white water that splashed me right in the face. Very refreshing! I kept paddling. After a few minutes of paddling I realized my upper body strength isn’t that of a seasoned surfer, and I could already feel the soreness of the next day. The rush of wave after wave made it very real; to think I could actually ride one of these completely frightened and excited me at the same time. It was time; time to catch my first wave. I positioned the board in the correct direction, which takes longer than one would think, then I began to paddle like CRAZY. Missed it! I tried the next one. I made a point to stay out of people’s way. There is nothing more annoying to a local than a beginner flopping around in their way (they are a little more forgiving with the ladies). The next wave I caught; it grabbed the board with ease. Uneasily, I made it to my knees. What fun!

Throughout the few hours I surfed, I would catch few and missed even more. Believe it or not I actually stood for a miniscule period of time. It was a blast. I’m hooked! I purchased my own suit, booties, gloves and a used board. I’m the girl in the water who no longer cares what she looks like in her wet suit. I’m having the time of my life! I recommend lessons with “Surfer Nick” from Moment Surf Company (, 503-483-1025) 2 hour lesson including 24 hour equipment rental and lunch for $120.    I must say to all the surfers out there “How dare you make it look so easy”.

Next on my list is Paragliding from the top of the Cape Kiwanda sand dune. AHHHHHHHHHH!

Shae Lambert-Concierge at the Cottages at Cape Kiwanda