SAND, SEA, SURF AND SQUIRTS

Surf­ing moth­ers find­ing peace in the wa­ter, one hour at a time

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Nicky Mof­fat

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.

PHOTO: JOHN MCCUTCHEON

ON BOARD: Rommi Beck and Kelly How­land leave the wa­ter af­ter surf­ing a bank at The Pocket, Bud­dina on In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day.

PHOTO: JOHN MCCUTCHEON

SURF’S UP: Surf­ing Mums Rommi Beck and Kelly How­land with chil­dren Quincy Beck and Ocean How­land.

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