Surf's up, Tel Aviv

Walking down the beach after surf camp at Galim Surf School in Tel Aviv, the sun was setting on the Mediterranean Sea and I looked at my sons. Their faces are brown, their bodies are strong and despite the exhaustion, they are happy.

So happy, in fact, that my oldest asked me what he needs to do to devote himself completely to surfing. He asks about the rest of the summer and how to keep going throughout the year. Israel has surfing 12 months a year and the best surfing (from what I hear) is actually in the winter. Galim runs a school through the year and a camp in the summer and my boys want to go all in.

The kids who commit for the year train hard, they compete and they win in competitions around the world. More than that, it is clear from just hanging out for a little while, these kids and everyone at Galim are a tight knit group who approach surfing with a combination of camaraderie, spirituality and tenacity.

It is not easy to be a surfer at Galim. The sea in July is full of jellyfish, the waves slap the kids down off their boards and the instructors are tough. Complaining is basically not allowed. For some kids, this is overwhelming. For others, like my sons it is just what they need.

From what I can tell, at Galim they are not there just to run a camp, or to get kids riding a wave and having fun. Even the team of kids who compete don’t seem to be training just “to win”. They are training the kids build their confidence, to teach them respect, to help them find balance on the waves and in their lives.

Galim also runs a Surf Club for adults where they give private lessons, or you can join with a monthly membership for lessons and use of their surfboards whenever you want. Despite disastrous attempts to surf in the past, I decided to try again. I can’t say that I am doing as well as my kids (I am not even standing up on a board yet) but I am really enjoying the process of learning.

The first day of camp, I had free time and was hanging out on the chairs in front of the surf club drinking coffee and getting to know people. One of the regulars shared with me a spiritual lesson.

In Hebrew the word “Mazal” means fate or luck, but if you look at each letter they contribute their own meaning. “M” is for “makom” which is “Place”, “Z” is for “zman” which means “Time” and “L” is for “la’asot” which is the verb “To do.” That means that your fate or luck is a combination of being in the right place, at the right time and then doing something about it.

It felt like an auspicious way to start our vacation- indeed at the right place, at the right time and doing exactly what we should be doing.

If you want to learn more about surfing at Galim or sign up for lessons, check out their website here or give them a call 03-517-5517

Follow our family travel adventures all summer long staying at our Airbnb on the beach in Tel Aviv- surfing the waves and exploring the city for family fun and high tech adventures.

@sarahnadav on Twitter and @dayinthelife on Instagram