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The other side of fear

By June 17, 2017 Surf more
The other side of fear

5 weeks of Polzeath Ladies Surf Club has flown by and Tuesday’s session marked the end of the first phase. Looking back, I can see just how much I’ve achieved in a relatively short space of time.

5 weeks ago I couldn’t pop up properly. Years of bad habits meant I’d repeatedly gone to my knees and I wrote myself off as a lost cause. But thanks to a supportive environment, fantastic coaching and some perseverance, I’ve nailed it!

So on Tuesday I wanted to focus on the next step and another big hurdle – paddling out back. Now I’d corrected my pop-up, it was time to venture back into the lineup and have a go at taking off on unbroken waves. George had mentioned it a couple of weeks ago and I couldn’t wait.

Except when it came down to it, I was scared shitless. Which was weird, considering I’ve paddled out back numerous times before.

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Why I’m keeping a surf diary

By February 28, 2017 Surf more, Thoughts
Surf diary

When I was landlocked, I blogged about every surf I’d ever had out of sheer excitement…which was great at the time as it allowed me to feel more connected to surfing. It also fulfilled the original purpose of the blog – to track my surf progress (kinda like an online surf diary).

Now I surf a lot more and live closer to the coast, I don’t feel the need to shout every single time I hit the waves. It’s also probably a bit dull for you guys too, and not very exciting to hear about me wiping out in minuscule detail!

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Kook sessions: 4 ways to maximise your surfing on a flat day

By June 24, 2016 Surf more

Sitting out back

A couple of weeks ago the surf went pretty flat in Cornwall for a prolonged period. It can be frustrating when all you want to do is get out there and practice whatever it is you’re currently working on with your surfing.

For me, it’s water confidence which is the biggest thing that holds me back. Before my first surf lesson 6 years ago, I had never swam in the sea but with surfing more regularly and time spent in the water, my confidence is slowly starting to build.

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All in the mind

By February 28, 2016 Surf more, Thoughts

Watergate2

The smaller of the two specks is me!!

This weekend has been pretty epic. Despite it being February, the coldest month in the UK to surf, I pushed myself out of the warmth of the house and into the icy Atlantic – twice. Why? Because of this head over heels in love relationship I have with surfing and my desperate desire to get better at it.

I rarely suffer from lack of motivation but my confidence needs some work. So this weekend, I was determined that things would be different, and with clean small waves forecast, it was the perfect opportunity to try and get out back which still freaks me out. Once my feet can’t touch the floor anymore that’s it, the nerves creep in. I’m frightened of rips, wearing waves on my head and drifting out so far I end up in America.

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6 surf resolutions for 2016

By January 2, 2016 Surf more, Thoughts

wallpaper-new-2016-Sear-Sand

I’m usually pretty focussed when it comes to making new year’s resolutions but looking back over this year’s list, it seemed a bit woolly and lacked direction as to how I’m going to achieve them.

The biggest goals relate to improving my surfing, so with that in mind, here are 6 resolutions that will help me progress:

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Lucky escape

By July 19, 2015 Thoughts

Mick and Kelly

I’m sat in front of my laptop writing a blog post with the World Surf League JBay Open final on the big screen. Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson are in the water. Its 5 minutes or so into the heat and Julian Wilson has scored his first wave.

I glance away from the live action back to my laptop screen. The next thing I know, I hear the hooters which usually signify the end of the heat. Something’s very wrong.

I look up to see Mick Fanning scrambling onto the back of a jet ski with head bowed down. My heart’s in my mouth, I’m not sure what’s happened. He doesn’t look injured, but then I see him holding up his leash which has snapped in two and is detached from board.

It’s then that I hear the word ‘shark.’

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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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