|Arpoador - the rock between Ipanema and Copacabana|
I did it all, in no particular order, but most of all I nipped into a couple of the surf shops in Arpoador, and eventually walked out the proud owner of my first board. (worth noting that if you part with all the cash you have on you and pay for the rest by card in the cafe next door, you get a decent discount.)
I strolled back to the flat along the length of Copacabana beach wondering how I could go from fully equipped to actually being able to take to the waves without killing myself.
A few youtube clips later and I decided that professional help was the best way forward. I called the guy in Arpoador and arranged my lesson for the next morning. Very sensible Andy, very sensible.
At the bottom of our street is a bright orange bicycle station - so I tucked the board under my arm and headed off along the seafront to the Arpoador (the big rock between Copacabana and Ipanema).
My teacher for the hour was Jean, and he sorted it all out. The beach was rammed and as I lay on the sand trying to jump to my feet nobody seemed to be pointing and laughing. Infact when we took to the water about 10 minutes later nobody seemed to be pointing and laughing then either. Either I was looking double cool and nobody even noticed that this day one, or, quite simply, nobody messes with Jean. (Its worth pointing out here that some of the local kids at Arpoador can get a bit territorial - especially if a hundred or so beginner gringos are getting in the way every bloody wave - best get a teacher who understands the law of the land....)
Anyway, I stood up and Jean whooped in the distance (probably because I no longer qualified for the free lesson he promises if he dosen't get you on your feet) - seriously folks - this guy is worth meeting. At R$70 an hour, it beats drowning too.
|Try not to get run over, drowned, or the one that mows down a small child with a bucket and spade....|
And here's (a slightly dated) video show Jean Carlos (the guy who I had a lesson with) - and his ongoing project that helps to get the local kids surfing. Its easy to see why he has so much respect.