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Cardiff International White Water
Watkiss Way
Cardiff Bay
CF11 0SY

 

Having recently finished my A-Levels and trying not to think about getting the results, I was eager to find something fun to do and this seemed like the ideal activity. Taking place at Cardiff International White Water (CIWW), Indoor Surfing involves riding waves of water while on a board.  

I ventured to the centre, bubbling with excitement. Upon arrival I was greeted by a bright reception, decorated with many shades of aqua blue. Behind me through some glass doors I’d spied some watery fun already – the white water course where a team of rafters was letting out gleeful giggles and scared screams. If I’m honest I instantly wanted to run, scale the fence, dolphin dive into the raft and join in, but somehow I managed to anchor myself to reception. After speaking to an affable receptionist, I filled out a safety form (as always safety first!) and headed outside to the rafting courtyard – the meeting point for indoor surfers.

Our training instructor, Ryan, guided us to the wetsuit pick-up-point, then everyone diverged in different directions to the changing rooms. Once there, I confidently put on my wetsuit – one leg in, two legs in, zipping up the front tightly and securely. I was ready to go, and go I did. I strode through the damp corridor to the indoor surfing area, pushing the double doors wide, then took a seat with my fellow surfers.

Ryan smiled and the rest of group twisted their heads, beaming with smiles. I was confused. Were they just really happy? Or did I do something wrong? Then it struck me – I’d put my wetsuit on back-to-front! My zip was secured neck-tight at my front. I’d like to say in my defence that I haven’t put clothes on back-to-front since I was little, struggling to figure the mystery of clothes. So have mercy on me – please?! Anyway with slight embarrassment, I pussyfooted back through the double-doors, fleetingly got changed (with the wetsuit the right way) and headed back to the group.

We watched a short safety video on a flat screen and then Ryan guided us to fun, great, fun. The wave simulator was a slanted blue structure with torrents of white water propelling upwards. The spraying noise of the water was so loud it was difficult to hear the instructions Ryan was giving. However, he used animated gestures and gave demonstrations before it was our turn. I named the demonstrations – the twirling meditation, the rolling barrel, the superman dive and other easy things I can do without toppling off my board (honestly… I mean why would I lie?!)

Excitedly everybody grabbed their bright bodyboards from a pile and one by one we all had gallons of fun with water spraying in our faces, bodies being soaked, and our boards smoothly sliding on the white water waves. Some toppled, some rolled, and some even bumped bodies into each other, but everybody certainly had an hour of fantastic fun.

So if you’re looking for something to do with your friends or even alone this summer, whether you’ve finished A-levels, GCSEs, your degree or any sort of stressful experience, you should definitely come to CIWW and try indoor surfing. Or if not, have a go at another of their aqua sports like the rambunctious white water rafting I spoke about. But whatever you do… remember to wear the wetsuit the wrong way around to be right! (Zip at the back, not the front).