My sister passed away in November of 2019 and the first thing I did was run to the ocean. It was also the second and the third thing I did, the only way I found to ease the pain. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to lose a twin, but this story is inspiring.
In researching other surf therapy providers, this one in Australia – Waves of Wellness – really caught my eye. They provide surf therapy programs for all ages for people struggling with more serious mental health issues as well as offering members of the surf community a healthy outlet for connection. I was incredibly inspired by this film describing their program.
I don’t know about you, but surfing has saved me so many times in my life. Surfing has helped ease the pain of a breakup, the hopelessness of crippling grief, and even helped me get clarity on some problem that needed to be solved. It helps me feel confidence and strength, humility and gratitude. Surfers know that surfing is healing but now the science is providing the official evidence.
An article in Stab magazine recently stated the following:
‘Surf Therapy’ is a direct response to the gaps in mental healthcare services that don’t resonate with everyone or offer the kind of support that is sometimes needed. Unlike checking yourself into a clinic, surfing is relatively approachable and free from stigma, which are often major barriers to seeking mental healthcare. Read More
With borders still closed to international tourists, Costa Rica has been focusing on domestic tourism. My standard gig with Surf With Amigas relies on international tourists – primarily Americans. So lately, I’ve been focused on virtual surf coaching and online surf clinics.
Lately however, people who live in Costa Rica have been venturing away from beach breaks and down to the longer waves of the Southern region. A lot of those have been women who prefer to paddle out with another woman who knows the lineup and the variety of surf spots. I’ve been stoked to be able to provide the service of surf guide, instructor and coach for some awesome ladies.
Last week I was lucky to be able to surf with a couple of families visiting from Nosara and this morning it was a couple of ladies from Uvita. It feels great to be able to share the stoke of surfing with other awesome women and help them refine their skills through video analysis.
If you’re in Costa Rica and looking to get away from your town and explore the waves of the South while getting some coaching from someone who knows the spots in the area, I’d be stoked to help you out! My WhatsApp is +506 8555 3688.
One of my specialties is “on wave” coaching. In the images above I’m trying to get her to cutback towards the whitewash, first by demonstrating, then by calling out “this way!” Riding waves together is super fun and a great way to learn.
Through Surf With Amigas I have been proud to be able to support a variety of awesome organizations doing good in the communities that I love. Surf With Amigas has been supporting baby sea turtle conservation in Nicaragua for at least 8 years (it’s hard to keep track of how long it’s been, it’s been so long!). Here’s a video from seven years ago describing the sea turtle project in Nicaragua. It is still going strong today, but needs funding support since tourism is currently not possible in Nicaragua and all the normal funding sources have dried up.
Several years ago, Surf With Amigas began also supporting a similar sea turtle conservation program in Costa Rica. There we are partnered with Tortugas Punta Banco with the same mission.
Last year we began supporting an art therapy project for kids in the remote Southern Costa Rican town of Pavones. In this town there are unfortunately not any extracurricular activities for kids. In many cases, this can be a kid’s first experience with art. Providing a safe space for kids to explore expressing themselves with a supportive teacher makes a huge impact on their self-esteem and ultimately their community.
Unfortunately, due to COVID, we aren’t able to run any retreats right now which is normally how we generate funds to support these organizations. We did just create a gofundme to try to raise some extra love to help these organizations continue their projects during this time. If you can, we thank you in advance for your support!
There are so many little differences that all work together to contribute to the feel of your ride. Length, width, thickness are just the beginning. There’s also bottom contour, tail shape, rail shape, materials, and fins! There’s a lot to know, but it’s also really fun to get into the little differences and start to pay attention to how subtle changes between boards make a difference in how the board feels to ride.
Fins are another factor that in most cases can easily be swapped out to adjust the feel of your board. If you are looking for more speed or more control, changing your fins may make all the difference. I have a whole lecture on what makes fins works, some history of how they have been developed over the decades, and what might work best for you depending on the waves that you typically ride.
I love having a diverse quiver that will prepare me for any types of conditions including boredom. When surfing every day, it’s fun to mix it up and try something different just to challenge your mind and body to adapt to something new. I’ll go over my quiver and talk about why each board is included.
I remember shopping for a surfboard at a surf shop could be a little intimidating. I give some tips on what to look for and what to ask so that you feel confident and don’t let a shop employee talk you into something that may not be right for you just so he can make a sale.
Many times, people think that shorter is better. So often people tell me “I ride an 8′ but I really want to get down to a shortboard”. In this clip I’ll explore that and discuss possible reasons for the goal to go shorter and also some arguments against the fascination with shortboards.
I have a 10 day class that will include 4 videos. The class is not live. You’ll have access to the content immediately and for a period of a month after signing up via the class platform. During the ten days you can ask me any questions on the content and I’m happy to discuss with you. Send me pics of your boards and any questions you have about them specifically or a board you might want to add to your quiver.
This has been a very fun way for me to support myself and my family in this time when borders are closed and we are not able to host retreats. I do very much appreciate your support and look forward to the opportunity to share my knowledge of surfing with you!
The popup is the most important maneuver in surfing in that it sets up your entire ride. A good popup will set you off cruising down the line whereas a bad popup will consistently hold back your surfing. The good thing is that an excellent popup can be trained and is probably the easiest thing in surfing to fix.
The course features an initial lecture that will go over all the elements of a solid popup. I’ll mention some common errors people make and how to avoid them. I’ll demonstrate ways to practice on land. THEN, you’ll have the opportunity to film yourself, send me clips, and I’ll give you personalized feedback. We will go back and forth until you get it! I have additional videos to add for better understanding as we go.
For more info and to sign up for this class, click here. If you don’t see an available start date that works for you, send me a message for a custom class. Here’s a video teaser….
On a nice sunny day in Costa Rica, I took the longboard out for a few long glides. It sure is nice to be in Costa Rica right now. I certainly would prefer to go back to a world where international travel was allowed. I miss inviting Amigas to join me. I miss sharing my love of surfing and knowledge with new friends in my favorite places. That said, the quiet time has had its benefits too. I’ve slowed down. I don’t surf as much, so when I do I’m all the more grateful for each and every wave.
I’ve been rocking Body Glove swimwear since I was 17. The company focuses on creating women’s swim, surf, and active wear that is super functional as well as super cute. For many years I was active in helping them design women’s wetsuits and bikinis that would be comfortable and stay on while surfing. Over the last few years, since I moved to Nicaragua full time, I’ve been a bit more out of the loop, so I was really excited to learn that Body Glove was launching a new line of women’s active wear called Breathe that included yoga pants and surf leggings. Check out the video…
I got myself a couple pairs of the surf leggings and have been trying them out the last couple of days during a retreat. Not only are they really cute (see photos for evidence), they are also really comfortable. Yesterday I wore them from 5am to 5pm non-stop with two surf sessions, breakfast, lunch, and some beach coaching mixed in. I highly recommend them!
The backside tube ride is a particularly difficult maneuver requiring strength, flexibility, and fearlessness. When well executed there are few greater feelings. When poorly executed you can count on a sore neck! Here Holly demonstrates the proper technique for a clean backside tube ride complete with huge smile and dance at the end.