In Byron, mums can surf while the kids play
A GROUP founded in Byron Bay in 2007 is now a national movement with thousands of women taking to the waves regularly with the Surfing Mums Association.
With The Pass, Wategoes, Broken Head, Belongil and Tallow making up some of the best surf spots on the East Coast all within a 10km radius, Byron surfers Vanessa Thompson and Julia Carle thought Surfing Mums was the perfect way to make friends and enjoy their hobby.
Since their first meeting the word has spread and now there are more than 40 Surfing Mums groups in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.
Surfing Mums public enquiries coordinator, Trista Vallentine, of Pottsville said she was introduced to Surfing Mums by her friend Allecia Brodie.
"I thought it was great and because I don't really like playgroups, but it was like a playgroup but by the sea which I thought was much better," she said.
Members of Surfing Mums groups pay $52 per year to cover insurance costs.
The women are then teamed up in pairs, Mrs Vallentine said, and they take it in turns minding each others children while the other mother enjoys up to a 45 minutes surf.
"When you are surfing you get time to yourself; you have to only think about being in the moment and forget about everything else that is going on in your world," she said.
"So if you get to surf for 30 minutes, that's half-an-hour just for you to relax, to not think about piles of washing and nappies and screaming children."
As children grow up and go to school, membership numbers fluctuate, Mrs Vallentine said, which is what is being experienced at Byron Bay now.
"Sally Gudge is trying to keep the group at Byron going because the groups go through cycles with their membership numbers," she said.
"The numbers drop off sometimes because the kids are at school and the mums can surf whenever they want, or they go back to work."