THE SURF­ING JOUR­NEY

Curl - - Curl Corner -

Words by Amy Mitchell | Im­age by Cory Scott

Surf­ing is hard! As a sport I’d have to say it must come near the top of the list for be­ing the most dif­fi­cult sport to get your head around. I’m sure peo­ple who have never tried it might dis­agree and maybe nat­u­rally ta­lented pow­er­houses might shake their heads. But if we broke it down, it would look like this:

A lot of us aren’t lucky enough to live on the wa­ter’s edge, so travel can be a huge ob­sta­cle. Ea­ger groms have to firstly find will­ing adults to drive them to the beach, and then mas­ter their own driv­ing on windy and gravel roads just to get to their surf­ing desti­na­tion.

Wet­suit, board, leg rope, tail­pad, wax, board­bag. Fig­ur­ing out what the right gear is can be mis­sion im­pos­si­ble! Too many op­tions, too much money!

What way should I be pad­dling? Who has right of way? What’s the surf eti­quette? Who are the lo­cals? This can be an ex­tremely in­tim­i­dat­ing and pretty off­putting con­cept.

Rips, cur­rents, break­ing waves, in­side, out­side. Where do we even start??

It’s not al­ways as easy as it looks! How far up the board should I be when pad­dling? How do I stop graz­ing the wa­ter like a fairy and start pow­er­ing along like a pro?

I don’t re­ally need to say any­thing here ex­cept it re­ally isn’t nearly as easy as the girls on surf videos make it look.

What waves should I catch? Are they go­ing to close out and dump on my face, am I too deep, am I too far on the shoul­der, what way is it go­ing to break? Can I just stop right there and say that’s a heck of a lot of learn­ing to be done and we haven’t even tried to surf yet…

Essen­tially this is the most im­por­tant les­son to learn. The pop up, it comes nat­u­rally to some and not so nat­u­rally to oth­ers.

Bal­anc­ing, chang­ing di­rec­tion, keep­ing your mo­men­tum… it may not look like much but it’s an ac­com­plish­ment.

Turn­ing – may seem like a sim­ple con­cept but some peo­ple surf for years with­out be­ing able to shred around cor­ners and send huge sprays fly­ing. It’s an art form. Then comes Cut­backs, lay­backs, bar­rels, airs, air re­verses, floaters, etc etc..

Surf­ing is a jour­ney. It’s not al­ways go­ing to look like what you see on the high­lights sec­tion of the WCT. There’s a lot to get your head around and a lot to mas­ter. So wher­ever you are with your own surf­ing take a mo­ment to check through this list and see how much you’ve al­ready ac­com­plished and be proud of what you can do. They don’t al­ways come in this or­der and you may not even re­alise you’ve mas­tered them… but next time you go for a surf, stop and think about how many of th­ese lessons you’ve learnt so far and give your­self a pat on the back.

Court­ney Con­logue | Im­age by Cory Scott

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