Recently we had an Amiga from Western Australia visit us for a week in El Salvador. She had quit her job and decided to embark on a journey around the world to surf and explore. You can read about the whole journey on her blog.
After Rebecca’s trip she emailed me to say thanks and also to ask for 1 thing that she could work on back at home in order to continue to improve her surfing. Rebecca is a yoga teacher, she’s super fit, has been surfing for a few years, and she brought a thin, narrow shortboard on the trip. My response was as follows:
“ Hey Bec,
I think one of the things you could work on is to relax and not be as serious about it. I feel like you are a perfectionist which is what makes you so awesome at things but in your surfing it may lead you to get frustrated which is counterproductive.
You’re surfing really well I thought but riding a thicker/wider – but not longer – board might help too. Your board doesn’t carry speed very well because it’s thin, so you have to work really hard to make sections. You looked really good on those longer boards that you rode, but they were so long. Riding something like 6’0 or 6’1 but 19″ x 2.5 or even 2.25 thick might really be awesome. If you have mates at home with boards like that you should ask them to try theirs to see how it feels.
Ok, I know that was more like two things, but in the end it just comes down to enjoying it and having fun!
That response sums up the advice that I have for multiple Amigas. I’ve noticed that the girls that improve the most have a few things in common.
1. When we give feedback, they don’t make excuses. They don’t take the criticism personally. The say “ok, cool, thanks” and then immediately try to implement the advice.
2. They don’t get down on themselves. They think positively. They don’t say “I can’t do it” or even “I’ll try” but “I will do that on the next one”. The way we talk to ourselves makes a difference. If you say “I can’t” you’re right. Saying “I’ll try” leaves room for failure. If you say, “I will” then you will, maybe not that very next time, but eventually you will!
3. Don’t get too caught up in trying to ride a board that’s not right for you because it’s cool or it’s what you have. Finding the right board for you whether it’s a longboard, fish, or fun shape, will allow you to get the best waves and thus have more fun.
4. Remember that it is all about fun. With a smile and happy attitude, none of the rest of it really matters. If you’re having a good time, you’ll surf longer, be happier, and enjoy improvement.
To read the blog posted by Bec on this subject, click here.
Check out the video highlights of Rebecca’s sessions in El Salvador
We think we are awesome.
We’re silly. We like pink, and blue, and stripes.
We like making up stories, doing cutbacks, and going for long walks on the beach.
We ride longboards. We shred on shortboards.
We surf, we do yoga, we laugh, we dance. We encourage back flips and water fights.
You should come surf with us…
Because we are awesome!
Music “I Dunno” by Grapes Courtesy of http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Baby turtles are so freaking cute! The Amigas are partnered with a non-profit called Waves of Hope who are working to protect sea turtles from poachers. After several months of collecting eggs and keeping them safe, the nests are starting to hatch!
Every few evenings between now and mid-December we’ll be having baby sea turtle sunsets. Come down and help baby sea turtles make their way out to sea!
Part of surfing is knowing that the waves will not always be overhead and perfect. Sometimes it’s small. Sometimes it’s windy. Sometimes it’s crowded. If you’ve got a longer board and a silly attitude, none of that matters and you’ll always have a good time.
Our first few days in El Salvador this week have been a little bit on the smaller side. There’s a good swell coming in a few days, but we passed the time waiting by getting super silly with friends, and doing yoga!
The surf was flat yesterday.. so some Amigas and I spent the day in the cloud forest of El Salvador for a little adventure. The Laguna de Alegría at the top of the inactive volcano offers a spa treatment that some people pay upwards of $100 for: a hot mud bath.
According to local legend, the lagoon was formed from mermaid tears. She cried so hard when the volcano erupted, she drown herself in the water.. and her spirit remains to this day.
For more stories by Jackie George, check out her blog.
Picking the right surfboard can be challenging. Ideally you’d test drive before you buy, but unfortunately that’s rarely an option. I get a lot of ladies asking me for advice on the perfect board. It seems that most advanced beginners (someone who can paddle beyond the whitewash and is trying to catch green waves) are dealing with similar issues. They want to be able to ride a board small enough to duckdive but big enough to allow them to catch a wave.
That perfect combination can be a tricky thing to find. I often see ladies picking boards that are too small for them just so that they can duckdive, but what good is getting out past the whitewash if the board is too small to get them into waves?
The solution: get a Rusty Dwart!
The Dwart is a surfboard model by Rusty Surfboards that is relatively short, wide, and thick. It’s short enough to duckdive, but still wide enough to have sufficient volume for paddling into waves and gliding across mushy sections. Most Dwarts come with 5 fin boxes so you can experiment with the fast and loose feel of a quad setup, or the traditional but stiffer tri-fin.
See video above for Lindsay talking about why she loves her Dwart as she shreds on wave after wave in El Salvador.
If you want to see why I love my Dwart, click play below!
I rarely post two videos covering the first three days of a retreat, but we’ve been scoring in El Salvador. Thanks to video feedback analyzed after every session, these girls are seriously improving, starting to do deeper bottom turns, cutbacks, and even some top turns. It’s so fun to watch!
A few times a year we offer super surf focused (with some yoga thrown in) retreats for Amigas who either already came to a womens surf yoga retreat Nicaragua or can prove that they know how to surf, but want to improve. This group is one of the best we’ve ever had, which makes it really fun and easy for me! It feels just like a surf trip with friends! Check out the awesome shredding at the super user-friendly wave called Las Flores in El Salvador! This footage is only from the first day. Wait til you see what happened later in the week after all the video feedback!
Anastasia Ashley and I use to do battle over 1st place finishes back in our amateur days. We have since become good friends although I don’t get a chance to surf with her very much anymore. So it was with a mixture of competitive “ha ha!” and friendly “yikes!” that I watched this video of her getting destroyed by a late drop at a gnarly reef pass in Micronesia.
I then thought that it was an entertaining and instructive video on what not to do. If you notice in the clip, the problem is that she doesn’t fully get into the wave before standing up. She takes a few paddles and pushes to her feet, but the wave hollows out beneath her, and she air drops, landing in the flats, and then face plants and bounces as the wave swallows her.
What could she have done? Taken a few more paddles! If you watch her try to stand up at the top of the wave, she gets held up in the lip for a second. On a wave like that you really need to paddle down the face a bit. Even in “normal” waves, it’s a trend I see a lot with Amigas – trying to stand up too soon before they are really into the wave. If this is a recurring problem for you, try taking a few more paddles! The next time you’re out surfing, think about it. Take as many paddles as you normally do, and then take a few more before you stand up.
Feel free to come back, leave a comment and let us know how it worked out for you!
Our location in Northern Nicaragua is an awesome place to learn to surf. The waves break far out and gently roll towards shore making it really easy to figure out how to stand up and ride them all the way in! There are great waves for intermediate surfers too and we always end up with a mixture of abilities, but the group featured in this video had mostly beginners. Check out the footage for some great rides, including the very last clip of Ahyoung. She didn’t even stand up on day 1 but ended up scoring the wave of the week with an awesome high 5 from William the sexy French guy! Score!
Come learn to surf and do yoga with us at the best women’s surf yoga retreat!
Check out the schedule for available dates!