One of the things I love about Corinne’s Surf Tour days is that each one is a unique experience. New surf spot, fab new ladies to meet, new surf stories to share, different conditions and a chance to focus on a different aspect of my surfing.
Yet last week’s surf and yoga day had some familiarities for me – I surfed one of my home town breaks and met up with some familiar faces!
Surf inspired yoga
Arriving early to help Corinne set up, I greeted one of my closest friends from back home, Kelly, who led a fun, surf inspired yoga class to kick the day off. She’d promised shakas, a surf inspired playlist and lots of fun which was exactly what we got! I’ve never done yoga to ‘Surfing USA’ before but it was the most fun I’ve ever had in a yoga class. Sometimes yoga takes itself too seriously and Kelly’s laid back approach was spot on, accessible and proof that absolutely anyone can do yoga!
Small but ideal
After yoga and a nourishing protein bar and refreshing water courtesy of My Protein and POW, we headed to Great Western beach in Newquay Bay for the first of the day’s surf lessons. I had surfed it once before at Easter with Surfabella and had a fun little session so I was looking forward to surfing it again. It can be pretty mellow and with small waves forecast for the day, it was the perfect opportunity to get out back and drop in on some green waves.
We split into two groups with the intermediates getting some tips from surf coach Betsy. She ran through a different take on the pop-up which involved a twist onto the hip which creates more space to bring that front leg through. Betsy also ran through turns, body positioning and for bonus points, grabbing the rail!
Knowing that the waves were pretty small and with big lulls between the sets, I focused on paddling, maintaining position and sitting on my board out back. I treated catching waves as a bit of a bonus and it was a great way to take pressure of myself. It was also a fantastic opportunity to develop my paddle technique by making sure the nose of the board wasn’t sticking too far out of the water and that the board glided efficiently through the water. It’s something my surfboard shaper commented on a few weeks ago when I bumped into him in the water one evening and I’ve been working on it ever since. It’s amazing how much difference it made and how much further the board seemed to cut through the water.
I felt confident, strong and just stoked to be sitting out back in the sunshine.
The lulls between sets created opportunities to chat to some of the other girls, including blogger Nicola, whose lovely travel blog I’ve followed for a while now. We’ve exchanged comments online but never met in person. I love meeting people and it never ceases to amaze me how blogging and surfing has allowed me to meet some fantastic people (and what a seemingly small world both communities are!).
For Nicola, it was the first time back in the water for over a year following the birth of her little girl, and it was as if she’d never been away!
I got chatting to a few other girls who follow my blog including Amber who I met just a few weeks after moving to Cornwall last year. We chatted about surfer girl struggles and I shared my frustration at struggling to get out of a chest zip wetsuit unaided. Amber though, who also struggles has the ultimate solution – use a long handled shoe horn. Genius! I reckon she should write a surf tips column for Surfgirl – she’s thought of everything!
Setting the foundations
After a yummy lunch and an opportunity to fuel my smoothie addiction thanks to Blue Bird smoothie bar on Towan beach (highly recommend the ‘Surfers Delight’), it was back into the sea for lesson number two. I stayed focused on paddling although towards the end of the day, my arms felt like noodles! I caught a few, putting Betsy’s tips into practise and it was so nice to be surfing clean waves.
The day was heaps of fun and a big confidence booster! I’m hoping the smaller summer conditions will set me up for when the Autumn swells roll in and I can head out back when it’s a big bigger!
All images courtesy of Checkered Photography