I have this tendency to open my mouth when I'm doing something difficult. I don't talk, necessarily; I just open it. Maybe to relieve the pressure in my brain. I opened my mouth a lot during our surfing lesson, and perhaps that's why I swallowed a fair amount of ocean water, but it didn't matter because we were having so much fun.
The ocean off Kuta is a perfect playground for beginning surfers: the waves are big enough to give you a ride, but there aren't a lot of sharp rocks or other nasty things to cut yourself on, and it's so shallow you can just walk out instead of paddling. ("I hate paddling," said our teacher Nyoman in his charming Balinese-Australian accent. "It's so tiring.")
For beginner lessons they use these big foam boards that are very forgiving, so it was pretty easy to scramble up there and start catching waves. The real boards are a little more difficult, as we discovered when we rented one the next day. But that didn't dampen our enthusiasm. We are surfers now.