What to do if your child wants to be a grommet

Rock up at Manly in the school holidays with your kid and you will probably run into a bunch of other children waving their arms around while ‘riding’ on surfboards in the sand.


Manly beach is well known as the place where kids (and adults!) go to learn to surf at the Manly Surf School. Surfing is one of those sports that can be both relaxing and exhilarating, making it an excellent choice for a healthy lifestyle.

If, upon seeing how much fun the other kids are having, your child decides to take up surfing, here are a few tips on helping your child become a grommet).

1. What’s a grommet?

According to Urban dictionary (a great resource to use when your child becomes a teenager), “grommet” is surfer slang for a young surfer.

2. Make sure your child can swim

Because surfing is a water sport, it is essential that your child can swim. The waves at Australian beaches can often get quite rough so a good understanding of rips, sidestroke and how to call a lifeguard will help your child navigate the seas safely.

In the early stages, it’s best to pick a beach with regular lifeguards (such as Manly) before venturing to more isolated beaches like Freshwater and Curl Curl.

3. The right outfit

If you are anything like me, you love dressing up your kids in customised outfits for different occasions. There should be plenty of stores at your local shopping centre like SDS (Surf, Dive ‘n’ Ski) or if you prefer online, you can check out The Grom

4. Sign up for surf lessons

Unless you yourself are a seasoned veteran, teaching surfing is best left to the experts. Manly Surf School does a great job in providing a fun and safe atmosphere for first-timers. They run lessons everyday and their exciting holiday program is just about to start on 14 April. All equipment is provided.

5. Get your own equipment

Now that your child has fallen in love with surfing, they will probably be hoping to actually get a surfboard. Lessons are great but once they are over, you’ll need to get your own equipment.

To a surfer, a surfboard is more than just a slab of fibreglass. Whether it’s the tail pads or the actual board, the brand, the size, the pattern and the shape all play a role in establishing your child’s identity as a surfer so make sure you get what’s right for your child.

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