Monday, March 13, 2017
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Thursday, March 2, 2017
"Grab Your Wave: How to Start Surfing" by Jess Clark.
Despite the ubiquitous bikini butt shot on the cover, this was actually a pretty solid book. It actually helped me to get over some of my look nerves!
Start reading it for free: http://a.co/ePsbJtN
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
"The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean" by Susan Casey.
This is a fascinating, exciting book by a fantastic writer. It explores giant waves, from the perspective of sailors and shippers, scientists and underwriters, and most of all, surfers. A good amount of the book focuses on Jaws, with an insider view from none other than Laird Hamilton. Definitely a recommended read!
Start reading it for free: http://a.co/hdRIR1A
"Surfs Up: What You Need to Know To Start Surfing Like a Pro!" by Andy Bowman.
This book felt like the author was trying to get to a required word count for an essay assignment. There are a lot of words, but not much information. BAIL!
Start reading it for free: http://a.co/6UI3bNo
"The Kook's Guide to Surfing: The Ultimate Instruction Manual: How to Ride Waves with Skill, Style, and Etiquette" by Jason Borte, Matt Brown.
This is a cute how to start surfing guide. I worry about being a kook, so it really helped me to get in the right headspace!
Start reading it for free: http://a.co/hdlBHzl
Saturday, February 25, 2017
I LOVED this film. I didn't mess around, I bought it instead of renting. So glad I did!
Ostensibly a documentary about the Ocean Beach Babes, it turned out to be so much more. The OBB's are a group of hard charging female surfers.
The film explored women's surf history, the challenges of women's surfing, and the sheer bad assery of female big wave surfers. This is a film I will watch repeatedly. It made me stoked to be a surfer!
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
"Surfing Mavericks: The Unofficial Biography of Jay Moriarity" by Ryan August, LifeCaps.
Mavrericks is the gothic romance of waves. Dark, cold, rocky, sharky. And big. I will never surf it, but I am fascinated by it.
This biography is the sort of book one finds in a school library. Short and simple, but a fun read about the short life of one of Mavericks' surf warriors.
Start reading it for free: http://a.co/5wTh2wz
Monday, February 20, 2017
"Surfing Tips and Tricks 2nd Edition: A guide to the realities of surfing for beginner and intermediate surfers." by Ben Bryant.
Vague and generic, for the armchair beginner surfer who imagines they will learn on a shortboard. BAIL!
Start reading it for free: http://a.co/7t263Dm
Scratching the Horizon: A Surfing Life is a memoir by Izzy, on of the sons. It felt like a really honest book. He did not shy from the darker moments on the road, but still imaprts that they were a family. He is unflinching in the struggles to move from surf gypsy grom to responsible adult. Seems like he got their though. He now runs an foundation that brings surfing to autistic children. At least one success story came out of that family!
I think the most empowering feeling was nailing my pop-up last summer and riding a wave into shore.
The hardest thing about learning the pop-up is that you can read about it, and be told about it, and watch it, but a lot of it is just getting it. I went into surfing last summer understanding the concept of it. I've read so many books and watched so many videos. The first thing that helped, of course, was increased upper body and core strength. The second was confidence. I told my self that if I could do crow pose in yoga, I could pop up.
My fist session I got some wobbly pop-ups, but didn't catch a full ride. I already knew, however, that I was doing so much better that two summers previous. What finally got me up and riding though, was my hand positioning. I had been setting my hands more like I was doing a plank, or a push-up, or crow. Once I moved my hands right under my chest, under my boobs really, I was flying.
Now that I've nailed the pop-up, this summer's goal is to get my wave timing down. I can't wait.
- I am less anxious and more brave. Facing the power of the ocean, and standing up on water makes me feel as if I can do anything. I took my first airplane ride last fall and loved it. I think surfing helped.
- I am more invested in my workouts and fitness. Getting fit for surfing is both motivation and goal.
- I don't care about being skinny; I want to be strong.
- I am more patient. The experience of being in the line-up, waiting for a wave has taught me to relax a little when waiting for other things.
- I have become more passionate about protecting the environment, and especially the oceans.
- I've become very interested in the weather. Weather = Waves!
- I'm more relaxed about storms, since now I know that there may a swell as a reward.
- I've completely lost interest in fashion magazines.
- I don't care as much about fashion and makeup. Sure, I want to look put together for work, but it's not a huge priority anymore.
- I've become a very boring conversationalist. I can find a way to work surfing into just about any conversation!
Sunday, February 19, 2017
"Wingnut's Complete Surfing" by Scott Bannerot, Robert Weaver.
It's been said, and it's true. You cannot learn surfing from a book. You, however, learn about surfing from a book. This is the best of the many how to surf books I've read. I am a big fan of Wingnut anyway. He's a great freesurfer and an unabashed longboarder. Most books assume that the surfer's goal is to eventually to a shortboard, but this book really embraces the beauty and grace of the longboard. I feel like this book will help me to be a better longboarder.
The differences between a professionally written book like this one and an amateur self published one are evident. Well written, with a conversational tone, fun stories and informative photos, this book is highly recommended to any would be longboarder!
Start reading it for free: http://a.co/3xA5vIp
Friday, February 17, 2017
"Adult Beginner Guide | How To Surf" by Chris Anderson.
Some solid tips in this book, but not my first recommendation. There are better learn to surf books out there. It does have some good instruction on the pop up.
Start reading it for free: http://a.co/4aIIQdd
"Body Like a Surf Pro: Get Fit, Lose Fat and Catch More Waves Than Ever Before" by Troy Adashun.
Some of the concepts in this book are solid: eat clean, build core and upper body strength, focus on endurance and not bulk. However, some of the nutritional advice veers into junk science territory, and the advice doesn't really seem enough for a full book. BAIL on this one!
Start reading it for free: http://a.co/aU3z2tA
Thursday, February 16, 2017
I could not wait until women's surf night started up again. And then, the day I found out the exact date, I got home and found I had won an Amazon gift card. I decided to do something impulsive with it. I bought a board. I am now the proud owner of a 9 foot!
It's not fancy and not custom, but it's my first board. I spent all my birthday money (thanks mom, dad, auntie and gran!) on what I needed to get in the water- wax, racks, hood, booties, gloves and a beautiful 5/4 wetsuit. As soon as I got everything I needed, the waves went flat. I am ready to hit those cold winter waves! I obsessively check the forecasts, praying for a Nor'easter to hit a day or two before the weekend. It's gotta happen soon!
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
I started going to Women's Surf night at Surfari. I was nervous the first time I went. I wasn't afraid of falling, or wiping out. I was afraid of failing and being frustrated. That first night I didn't nail it, but I didn't fail either. My on-shore pop up was strong. Once in the water, I felt in control and confident paddling. I wasn't nailing the pop up, but it wasn't because I wasn't string enough, it was more about timing and finesse. My last wave of the night I got the pop up. Staying up would be a story for another day.
My A-ha moment
I knew that really getting the pop up would be like casting a Patronus...I would be able to do it once I knew I could do it. The magic ended up happening in a SUP lesson. Once I knew I could get up and stay up on the paddleboard, I knew I could get up and stay up on a surfboard. The next night, at surf night, I did it. I had a few short rides, and then my last wave of the night I rode it all the way to shore. It was a official. I was a surfer.
Last summer was the best of my life. Every week I felt more confident in the water and on the waves. I went from the super gigantic beginner boards to the merely huge. By the end of the season I could even manage a left turn. I'm a goofyfoot, so the right turn has eluded me so far. That summer was just the beginning of my surfing life.
That summer I ended up winning a two day camp from Wahine Kai in Maine (sadly no longer in existence.) I was a year ahead of schedule!
It was both wonderful and terrible. Wonderful to be in the water on a board. Terrible because I realized that I was not in shape for surfing at all. I'm a good swimmer and am accustomed to the ocean, but even just paddling around I felt out of control. And actually catch a wave? Forget it. I sort of popped up, once. And promptly wiped out.
Yet somehow, it was an amazing, fun, exhilarating experience. I knew I would be back....