I feel like I’m on the cusp of change which is pretty appropriate given the time of year and the change of seasons. It’s a good opportunity to set some new goals and intentions, and do things a bit differently to how I usually approach winter (which is hibernate!)
It’s the end of a busy season here and my summer job will soon come to an end. Luckily I’m fixed up with some winter work which will free up my daytimes to focus on my freelance work and surf!
So far Autumn’s produced some fantastic surf and it’s an incredible time of year to be in Cornwall. The line-up’s so much quieter, the weather’s still relatively warm and with a pretty focused surf goal in my mind, I’m fired up to get in as much as possible.
My goal is to get out back every session and catch the unbroken waves, build up my paddle power and by the end of the winter, feel confident enough to not have resort to the whitewater. So when it’s howling with wind and big, I’ll need to pick my spots carefully.
The ultimate aim is to feel totally confident in 3-4 ft surf.
I got to the stage where I was no longer feeling challenged. I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone and had dabbled with going out back with surf instructors, but then the next time I got in, I’d be back in the whitewater playing it safe.
The breakthrough came a few weeks ago. The surf was really small during the Newquay surf tour. There was pretty much no whitewater so we were all out back. Then a few nights later at Watergate, I paddled into a super friendly all female line-up when the waves were small. So I started to build it up from there.
After I finally plucked up the courage to surf alone, and then paddled into the line-up in the Bay (two massive confidence boosters), the momentum just snowballed. So, for the last few sessions, I’ve pushed myself to get out back (or as close as I physically can if it’s above my current upper limit of 2-3ft).
Bail or go for it
I’ve had some great surf’s just lately, and I can feel my confidence growing. Last weekend I paddled out back on my own whilst surfing by myself. Then, the next day I was out back with a friend when I saw a pretty steep looking wave approaching. Instead of bailing, I decided to go for it. I didn’t make it but the more times I go for waves like that and realise that they won’t kill me, the more confident I feel.
I love being out back and get more adrenalin rushes from being there than in the whitewater. It’s got to the point now where I’m actually enjoying getting waves dumped on my head! I’ve bailed on some pretty steep ones but made the drop on others and I’m enjoying this new found confidence.
Chances and challenges
Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve turned 40 too. I’m sick of letting fear hold me back from things and since the big birthday, I’ve thought sod it about a few things. That birthday probably gave me a kick to take some chances and make the most of things. I love that quote about great things happening outside your comfort zone – it’s so true!
It won’t always be possible to surf regularly over the winter, so I really need to pull my finger out and maximise my time out of the water. The process of paddling out back has highlighted just how bad my upper body strength is so my other goal for the winter is to build up that paddle strength. I’ve banned myself from wading out with my board, and I’m going to finally use my power stroke chord at home when I’m not surfing. That coupled with some shoulder opening yoga postures should really help.
Another goal I guess is to blog about where I’m at with my surfing at the end of the winter, to see if I actually stuck to the plan and what difference it’s made. The cold winter days will be hard to keep motivated but I want to progress so much right now that it’s lit a fire inside of me that’s showing no sign of going out….