A couple of weeks ago I went to St Ives for the second stop on Corinne’s Surf Tour. My focus was a little different from the previous surf day at Gwithian. I wanted to practice what I’ve been doing on small days – building my confidence by going out back, catching small green waves, sitting on my board (which I couldn’t do previously), and getting more comfortable in deep water.
New surf break
St Ives wasn’t somewhere I associated with surfing yet Porthmeor beach is a great spot. It’s sheltered from southerly winds and when everywhere on the north coast is big, it’s smaller and suitable for beginners.
It was a sunny day and the conditions were ideal – 1-2 ft and clean and no excuse for me to stay in my comfort zone in the white water!
After some guidance and tips on the beach from Corinne and fellow surf coach and pro Tassy Swallow, the group headed into the surf for a 20 minute ‘froth’ session. The idea was to catch as many waves as possible so that Corinne and Tassy could establish where we were at with our surfing.
I wasn’t the only girl in our group who gets nervous in the sea and it was good to buddy up with Broni. We sat out back together and encouraged each other onto waves. During that first 20 minute froth session, I was having trouble reading where the waves were going to break, so I paddled back into the whitewater to catch a couple of waves which helped to smooth off the nerves.
The key thing which Corinne and Tassy advised me to was stay low. I’m often too quick once I’ve caught the wave and got to my feet to then get into an upright position. I then have zero manoeuvrability to speed up, slow down or turn.
I also chatted to Corinne about my nervousness in deep water, when my feet can no longer touch the bottom of the sea bed. It’s something I really want to conquer, to the point where I feel confident going out in head high waves.
To help me overcome my nerves, Corinne paddled out alongside me and reminded me that out back is a lot safer place than in the impact zone getting pounded by waves. When I reached the line up, I sat on my board scanning the horizon for a wave.
After a few mistimings and hesitant moments, I put the nerves aside and decided to just go for it. I took off on what Corinne later said was one of the bigger waves of the day, caught it, and rode it all the way to the beach. It felt fantastic and the confidence boost it gave me was incredible!
That pesky pop-up
The other thing that still holds me back is my pop-up. It has sped up, but is still via one knee which, when catching green waves needs to be quicker. It’s the difference between riding a wave to its maximum and watching it disappear from underneath me (which happened a couple of times as I was slow to get to my feet). Time to start practicing at home again and doing some burpees!
Time to relax
After our extended surf lesson, we had a fab, healthy lunch at Porthminster Beach Cafe and chatted away with the sun beating down and the waves lapping the shore. A yoga session was the perfect way to end the day and what better place to stretch, be mindful and breathe than overlooking the beach.
One last dip
Feeling exhilarated after such a good day, and with the crystal clear sea looking so inviting, myself, Sarah, Erica and Broni swapped our wetsuits for bikinis and dived into the sea for a swim. It was a little chilly without our wetsuits but it feel so good to immerse ourselves in the ocean – something ticked off the bucket list for me and an amazing way to end the day.
Improve your surfing and get expert surf coaching from Corinne! Book now onto one of her surf and yoga days taking place in North Devon, Cornwall and Wales. Visit the surf tour website to find out more and book your place!
All images courtesy of the super talented Sarah Clarke (Checkered Photography)