You’re never too old to learn to surf

2013-07-27 00:00

SOMERSET WEST — When she turns 90, she will probably take things more slowly.

But for now, Anthea Petzer (70) just wants to learn how to stand on her yellow Australian surfboard and carve up the waves.

“When I was younger, I thought 70 was old. I always thought I’d be resting on my bed then. Now I am 70 and a half and even 80 is too early to start resting! I’ll rest when I’m 90,” said Petzer from her sunny Cape sitting room this week.

Since divorcing her husband 16 years ago, Petzer has been taking life as it comes.

“I don’t plan things, they just happen. There is no bucket list of things I want to do. Things just come my way,” she explained.

One of the latest things to “come her way”, was to learn how to surf.

She paddled out into the surf for the first time in May last year.

“My youngest son, Delon, lives in Dublin. Among the things he left with his brother, Vadim, in Cape Town, were his surfboard and wetsuit. One day Vadim said he had a lot of stuff from his brother that he wanted to get rid of. It was then that I asked for the surfboard, because I wanted to learn how to surf.”

She promised her sons she would take surfing lessons before paddling out to where Cape Town’s big white sharks may lurk. So far she has been a grommet (new surfer) eight times.

“I want to take another lesson when the surf school opens again — to learn how to stand up. I am still just pressing myself up on my arms. My balance is very good, but I cannot stand yet,” Petzer said.

She does gym every day to stay healthy. But how does one stay so young and stoked?

“My oldest son’s friend is also my friend. He is now 47. I don’t just have friends of my own age, but also younger [friends]. They keep me young.”

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