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January, 2014

Back to basics

By January 26, 2014 Escape
Wolvo Surf Crew - post-winter surf!

Wolvo Surf Crew – post-winter surf!

A couple of weeks ago, I had an unexpected opportunity to go surfing…so I took it!

It had been 10 weeks since my last surf session and a lot had happened in between, including a death in the family. The motivation had slipped and I had all but stopped going to the gym so I wasn’t expecting great things, but the main thing for me was to give winter surfing a go, and just to be out in the sea again. Fortunately, the recent storms had passed, and the surf forecasts were predicting more beginner friendly 2-3 ft waves.

So, on a gloriously sunny Saturday afternoon, I ventured out fully kitted in my winter suit (the first chance I had to properly test it all out). With sea temperatures of 10 degrees, and air temperatures of around the same, it was a very mild day. The kit stood up to the test and I was cosy and warm.

But after only about half an hour, I was knackered. My arms felt like spaghetti and I was out of breath. I think I maybe stood up once but it was such a fumbled attempt. After that, I felt like I was fighting a losing battle with the usual rip current that always seemed prevalent when I surfed at Croyde.

Disappointed, I got out and called it a day. I decided not to surf the next day because honestly, the thought of getting into all that cold wet gear didn’t appeal (yes, Im a wuss!). Instead I took the opportunity to help the Croyde Bay Surf Club with their beach clean, to clear up the debris left behind after the Hercules storm. I had wanted to do a beach clean for a while, so it was my chance to give something back and help out at a beach I had surfed at so many times during the past year. The turnout was fantastic and I felt great for having taken part.

Later that day, back in my landlocked home I made a few resolutions:

  • Get back into a proper routine at the gym incorporating weights and core. I have started researching a surf specific programme and have enlisted the help of a fellow surfer who is helping to put something together for me….excited!
  • Practise my pop-up on dry land. I have never really followed any kind of technique….some say this is a good thing, others say it’s bad. I know the method I would like to use (the army crawl), so I aim to try and perfect this at home – it really helped my hubby and Im ashamed to admit it, I was too set in my ways to give it a go
  • I won’t be surfing Croyde for a while. Its just not geared for beginners and I would be far better off at Saunton where the waves break slower and it’s a more gently shelving beach. I need some mellow waves!
I won’t be going surfing again for a while so this is ideal ‘away from the sea’ time to knuckle down.

Let the hard work commence!

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New year, new focus

By January 7, 2014 Thoughts
Winter surfing - am I brave enough?

Winter surfing – am I brave enough?

This time last year, surfing was definitely on my radar, but not to the same intensity as it is now. Looking back on what I achieved during 2013, it was far beyond what I imagined and it has only fuelled my desire to surf more and go from kook to accomplished surfer.

The New Year is a great time to set some new goals so in addition to setting some personal objectives, I have made a separate list specifically for surfing. It’s more of a list of what I want to achieve rather than resolutions. Here it is:

  • Be able to consistently stand up (not just a handful of times per session!)…then I will think about turning
  • Work on the pop up
  • Learn at least one thing about surfing everyday
  • Understand more about the conditions (tides, currents, winds and what effects these have on the surf)
  • Get a photo of me standing up riding a wave…the only one I have is 4 years old and rather grainy (it could be anyone!)
  • Get a GoPro or similar so I can record myself surfing
  • Get some more followers and expand the scope of the blog (to include interviews, case studies and multimedia elements

I’m hopeless in the winter. The dark nights and cold weather make me want to retreat into the comfort of my home, and with far fewer surf trips on the horizon, it’s easier to think, ‘oh I will leave all the exercise until nearer the spring when I will be surfing more.’ But that’s just not going to cut it.

I remember how exhausted I was after only half an hour during that first session last April….and I don’t want a repeat performance when I finally do get to the coast. To go all that way and be too knackered to continue after half an hour would be a huge waste of time and totally demotivating. It’s this thought, and the fact that I want to do everything possible during my landlocked days and weeks to make the first two items on my list more achievable.

It could be the difference between an average year of surfing, and an epic one!

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