Surf coach Wayne Hudson, or “Huddo” as he is more commonly known, has become a local identity in the Port Macquarie community.
Wayne’s business, the iconic Port Macquarie Surf School, is located at Flynns Beach, which he describes as the “best office in the world”.
Wayne was not only born with the legendary Hudson surfing gene, but he has also inherited his family’s friendly, easy going nature and sense of humour.
The opportunity to start up the surf school came up while Wayne was competing on the world qualifying surfing series. He stopped travelling and focused on creating the school with his dad, Peter and brother Grant.
Wayne found that being a surfer and having the opportunity to open a surf school was a natural progression. “I had been competing and travelling for a few years and thought it was time to share my passion and knowledge of the ocean with others,” Wayne said.
Peter had recognised that more locals and tourists alike were interested in learning to surf in the town, and came up with the idea of the surf school, which was one of the first of its kind in Australia. It is now the longest established surf school in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area.
After close to 20 years coaching through the school, Wayne found himself taking over the reins from his father in delivering surf lessons and sharing his love for the sport with others as head coach of the school.
With a Bachelor of Environmental Science with honours under his belt, Wayne has also studied a Diploma in Education and has been teaching science in local catholic high schools during the quieter winter months. Wayne has also been a professional life guard, is a Level 2 Surfing Australia Surf Coach and has his First Aid qualifications and Bronze Medallion, as well as five state and two national surfing titles.
The greatest thing about the job is watching his students grow and improve in confidence, happiness and skills in the water. Wayne has found that in his role you need to be “encouraging, happy, energetic, have good people skills and be a great communicator” to do the job well. The best part of his day is watching someone catching their first wave to the shore.
Behind the scenes there is a lot of work involved in managing and marketing the business, all taken care of by “The Boss”- Wayne’s wife, Amy. “We are a great team, and this is why our business is so successful.”
Their three children, Ollie, Eli and Pippa also keep them busy with their extra-curricular activities. When the young family have a free weekend together, they love getting away along the coast to spend quality time with one another.
Although it is not all fun and play for Wayne, as he has to walk around 70 surfboards and wetsuits up and down the 38 stairs at Flynns Beach each day (yes, he’s counted them!)
For details on Port Macquarie Surf School, call 6584 7733 or visit portmacquariesurfschool.com.au
By Laura Collins.
5:00am – alarm goes off, time to drop the trailers to the beach
5:30am – Breakfast and pack my things for the day. Head to the beach to start getting the equipment ready for the surf lessons
6:30am – 5:30pm – First surf lesson for the day, either before-school surfing or private lessons, followed by group lessons, school sport, life guarding for school groups and after-school surfing
5:30pm – Pack up for the day and head home
6:00pm – Arrive home; wash and hang up the buckets of wetsuits used that day ready for tomorrow. Change boards around in the trailers to get them ready for the next day
7:00pm – Dinner, spend some time with the kids, doing readers, homework, before putting the kids to bed
8:30pm – Catch up with Amy about what’s gone on in the office for the day. She fills me in on the bits I need to know, and tells me what I have on for the next day
9:30pm – Bed