Back in November during yet another frustrating surf spent thrashing around in the white water, neither enjoying myself nor making any progress, I promised myself that, this was going to be the winter I’d crack it. I didn’t really establish ‘how’ I was going achieve my goal, but I knew I wanted to emerge from winter riding green waves and living a dreamy life. I had ages to work on it, or so it seemed…
So December brought snow and sub zero temperatures, then it was Christmas, New Year, family stuff, my mums ill health, my busy work schedule… my list of excuses was pretty impressive. I spent most of January aiming to go tomorrow, and this mañana mañana attitude got me nowhere.
Three months in and I was no closer to catching green waves; I’d got so caught up in the negative self talk going round inside my head, that my surfing was actually going backwards.
In late January, in desperate need of help and inspiration, I signed up for a Women + Waves Progressor weekend here at Great Western in Newquay. It’d been a few months since I’d had any coaching, so having 6 hours of instruction in a relaxed, friendly, zero pressure environment was a game changer. It got me out of my slump and back on my surf mission; enjoying my time in the water, and able to observe myself during video analysis with curiosity, rather than judgement. It was an epic weekend and the girls in my group were a lovely bunch, who I really hope I will surf with again in the future.
Sophie, my incredible Women + Waves coach, then introduced me to the Big Green Surf Gals, a relaxed Sunday afternoon coaching session, right on my doorstep in Crantock. I went along and was met by smiling faces, and technically brilliant coaches, it was another turning point for me, and a huge confidence boost learning in a new environment.
I was on a genuine high, like I’d been injected with positivity, and I started to really notice gains in my surfing. So I set myself an ultimatum to stop ‘trying’ and start ‘doing’. I was aiming for 28 surfs in 28 days, kind of like dry January, except I was determined February would be my wettest on record.
I won’t give you a blow by blow of each surf, but honestly, what a difference a month can make:
My attempt at 28 surfs in 28 days began as a gimmicky personal challenge, but genuinely has started to transform the way I approach surfing and how I’m supporting myself during this humbling learning process. Naturally I’m still a total novice, but I’m hungry for it; I’m hunting down those green waves now, they’re within my reach.
- I stopped making excuses, and I started finding time to surf
- I experienced the magic of dawnies and sunset surfs
- I explored new surf spots and went on a few road trips
- I surfed in all conditions, small, huge, spring highs and neepy lows
- I became much more familiar with surf forecasting
- I tried a few different boards, still foamies, but different brands and sizes
- I strengthened friendships through surfing, although mostly on my own in the water, a pre-surf chat or a post-surf coffee was heartwarming
- I noticed the benefit of the cold water, the way it cleared my head and set me up for the day
- I discovered how positive self talk could transform a surf
- I began surfing for me, performing to an audience of one, and stopped imagining what other surfers might be thinking about me. I also realised that if I smile and wave they’re actually a super friendly bunch 🙂
- I leant the power of consistency over intensity, taking a baby step forward each surf and focusing on just one thing at a time.
- I stopped taking myself so seriously, and getting frustrated by my mistakes.
So I just wanted to share this with anyone who may find themselves in a similar position. Show up for yourself, put that wetsuit on even though it’s still wet from yesterday, and try and work on just one thing at a time. You never know where you’ll be a month from now!
Photo credit Marie Lepage @mjfotoscornwall