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June, 2014

Surfgirl ramblings…

By June 30, 2014 Thoughts

WritingOver the past few months, my blog has been picked up by a few surfers who like I write.  They have asked me to write articles for their websites which Im stoked about! You can check them out on my ‘published surf articles’ page.

The latest post has been published today, and I always get a buzz from seeing from words on screen. It allows me to combine my passions of writing and surfing, and this is particularly important to me at the moment while I’m nursing my shoulder injury.

My latest article is on The Surfing Sumo website – its a fantastic directory of all the surf schools in the UK. You can read reviews and make an informed choice before booking your surf lesson online. There’s hints and tips on there too, as well as a blog and its well worth checking out.

And whilst you are there, don’t forget to check out my article, all about the logistics of being a landlocked surfer :)



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The words I didn’t want to hear..

By June 29, 2014 Surf more

ShoulderBack in April, I wrote a post about my ac joint injury – a postural problem which has been exacerbated by doing TRX. I was doing my physio exercises, using  kinesio tape and ice packs after spin classes and hoping it would heal. Then, my Dad passed away and the shoulder exercises and spin classes, went right out of the window.

Spurned on by a fantastic surf trip and a new job, I decided to get a second opinion on the shoulder. I didn’t feel I was getting anywhere with the physio and he seemed to run out of ideas very quickly. Cue my new physio who charges the same price as my previous physio and spends the double the amount of time with me – no brainer!

Her assessment was pretty much the same as my first physio – ac joint injury and chronic neck tension. However as a result of the ac joint injury, the suprasinatus tendon is also affected. What I like about my new physio is the fact that she explains everything clearly and actually does some physio on me during the session – something my previous physio didn’t do. She has also given me some pretty intensive exercises to do which include a combination of stretches and strengthening. The prognosis is good, she says I don’t need a scan and her very positive outlook has rubbed off on me. I’m feeling a lot more hopeful than I have done for months

But at the end of my last session, she uttered the words that I really didn’t want to hear….no surfing for a while!

By ‘a while’ she means until the shoulder stops catching and clicking – it could be weeks or months.

I’m gutted! Surfing is my lifeline and my escape. I had all sorts of plans this summer, in addition to surf trips, including trialing a surf fitness programme for a surfing friend.

But, I have got to do what I’m told. So, until its healed, I will have to come up with some new ways to keep up the stoke.

Has injury kept you away from surfing? How did you keep up the stoke until you could get back in the sea? Get in touch, I would love to hear your story!



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Why ballet is like surfing

By June 15, 2014 Thoughts
Ballet and surfing

Ballet and surfing have many similarities

This week I went to the ballet with my mum. It’s something I did when I was younger and was the one hobby over the years, other than surfing, that i was passionate about. I was also pretty good; my dance teacher even told me that I was good enough to audition for the UK Royal Ballet School. Sadly, I gave it up…probably because I didn’t consider it cool enough when I reached my teens. Despite giving it up, I still love to watch live performances and am in awe of the combined grace and strength that these dancers have.

Whilst watching the performance, it struck me how ballet is a lot like surfing:

  • Both demand balance, flexibility, strength and agility
  • Professional ballerinas and surfers are athletes and demand a lot from their bodies
  • There are different styles in both activities – in surfing (longboarding, shortboarding, bodysurfing), in ballet (classical, contemporary and neoclassical)
  • Surfing and ballet are performances and both have a stage
  • Surfing has been described as like dancing on a wave
  • Some of the surfing manoeuvres have been compared to ballet – a grand jete vs an aerial
  • Both require rhythm – rhythm of the wave (in surfing) and the rhythm of music (in ballet)
  • Both require precision footwork, particularly longboarding when cross-stepping, hanging five and hanging ten

I wondered how others had considered the similarities and whilst checking stuff out for this post, I came across a really cool video called ‘Water Dancer’ featuring five-time ASP world champion surfer Stephanie Gilmore. Steph talks to Principal Ballerina Tiler Peck about the similarities between ballet and surfing, and how ballet relates to her passion for surfing. If you have got 5 minutes and are interested, check it out!

Over the past few months, I have been thinking about which way to go with my surfing – shortboarding or longboarding. I loved the idea of shortboarding and coming down in board size but I had so much fun on that 9ft longboard during my last surf. I love the style, grace and agility of longboarding which reminds me so much of ballet – the thought of being able to cross step and hang five and ten is amazing, and I think fits in more naturally with my ability, personality and style.

I wonder how much better I would be at surfing now if I had kept up with the ballet? I would certainly have more flexibility and strength which could spell a decent pop-up.  I have heard of yoga for surfers but what about ballet for surfers? Maybe its time to dig out my New York City Ballet DVD! Firstly though, I need to get this shoulder sorted out!

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By June 3, 2014 Escape, Thoughts

DSC01898Last weekend I went surfing and I am still buzzing and stoked! It was the best surfing session and most fun I’d had since embarking on my surfing adventures.

Several factors contributed to this (in no particular order of preference :)

  • Great conditions for beginners – 1-2ft, mellow waves with a light offshore wind
  • Sunshine, blue skies and toasty temperatures
  • Fantastic company with new friends….and hubby of course!
  • Lovely campsite with brilliant facilities – its a secret spot though, so I wont be sharing details!
  • Opportunity to try out some different boards….one in particular I have fallen in love with!
  • Stand up ratio 95% coupled with the longest rides I have ever had. Woop woop!!

Im not sure if it was the conditions, or the fact that I wasn’t trying too hard and just relaxed into it, but  I really felt that something had clicked. Ok, so I hadn’t been to the gym in a few weeks which reflected in my shockingly bad paddling technique, but I was standing and riding some long, epic waves and having a total blast!

And after everything that had happened over the past few weeks, I reckoned I deserved it, and it did me the world of good. Catching up on Twitter earlier, I saw a tweet which read “There isn’t anything a little time on a board can’t fix.” Thanks to @shelbyleobold for those words of wisdom – how true they are!

But above all, the weekend gave me the opportunity to meet up, for the first time, with my Twitter friend and fellow landlocked surfer @fredrickparkes and his family. I had the privilege of surfing with them and celebrating Mrs Landlocked’s birthday – surfing…what a brilliant way to spend your day! We all shared the stoke, traded tips and even swapped boards. It gave me the chance to try a 9ft longboard…a flaming beauty which helped me to catch my best rides ever. With that extra float and stability, I was popping straight up in a fluid motion. I didn’t want to hand the board back! Mr Landlocked had often commented that “longboards rule” – I totally understand why!

In the car on the way home, I couldn’t stop grinning. It had been such an amazing weekend and I thought about what my Dad would have said if he could have seen me, riding those waves and having fun, which is what its all about. I get it now, in a way that I didn’t before last week. Dad was all for meeting people too – he was one of those people that wherever he went, he knew someone and loved making new friends. That part of his personality is very much with me and I am so grateful for the chance to meet up with @fredrickparkes and his family. All because of our shared passion for riding waves. We will be keeping in touch and hopefully, meeting up again in the not too distant future for another weekend of surfing stoke. Watch out though @fredrickparkes …..don’t leave your longboard unattended!

Things are looking up, and in the words of Bruce Springsteen..”there’s better days shining through.”



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