SAND, SEA, SURF AND SQUIRTS
Surfing mothers finding peace in the water, one hour at a time
AT NINE months pregnant, two days before the birth of her third child, Kelly Howland was still surfing.
But looking after a new baby stops many parents chasing waves, which is why she’s a passionate organiser of Caloundra Surfing Mums.
The group meets twice weekly, children in tow, to surf at beaches between Kawana and Happy Valley, Caloundra.
The surfers each ‘tag’ with a partner, with one surfing for an hour while the other plays with the children.
Ms Howland and fellow surfer Liza Edwards are the new guard, taking over from Caloundra Surfing Mums’ founders Erika Kirk and Angela Fioraso, whose children are now school age.
“We post locations online – we check in the morning what the wind’s doing,” Ms Howland said.
Ms Howland has been surfing with the group since her first-born, Bodie, was three weeks old.
“I went there and haven’t looked back since.”
Then her second baby boy, Reef, came along and finally, her daughter Ocean.
“My husband’s quite funny, he would often say to me, ‘you just want to surf and keep having babies and going to Surfing Mums’,” she said.
Surfing with other mums has made it possible to hit the beach knowing her children are safe and happy, but she’s also made “friends for life”, Ms Howland said.
“We’ve all got, I guess, the same…interests. We don’t just talk about the kids.”
In other mothers’ groups Kelly has been part of, conversations revolve around nappy changes, the kids’ diets and other parenting issues.
“I found this… sanity for yourself. You talk about the waves, the last wave you caught,” she said.
Having other women in the water gave her confidence that goes a long way in surfing, a male-dominated and competitive sport, she said.
Join Caloundra Surfing Mums Facebook group or visit www.surfingmums. com.
ON BOARD: Rommi Beck and Kelly Howland leave the water after surfing a bank at The Pocket, Buddina on International Women’s Day.
SURF’S UP: Surfing Mums Rommi Beck and Kelly Howland with children Quincy Beck and Ocean Howland.