WORRY, BE HAPPY
In his own words, a surfing instructor describes how he makes waves by breaking his students’ hearts.
“Imagine standing above your surfboard on a liquid medium of energy—positioned perfectly in the pocket, gliding across a moving wall of water. Magazines and movies do a wonderful job of stoking envy in landlubbers and beginner surfers. Unfortunately, those beautiful images fail to depict the heartache and dedication endured to get there. At the Surf Continuum, education isn’t about avoiding frustration: We go through it together in a methodical approach that cultivates your growth as an independent surfer.
“One pair I surf with has been trying to learn for years. This year they made a major commitment by signing on for 15 classes. I explained that I would never physically push them into a wave—a client-satisfying instructor technique they’ve grown accustomed to. They objected. Getting pushed into waves is good for their spirits and their surfing, they said. I listened politely before explaining that contentment kills progression.
“Our first classes were cringeworthy. It was difficult for them and me. I even questioned my principles. But strength comes from struggle; no one gets stronger if the personal trainer does all the lifting. Two months later, Eva and Grant catch many waves and can be found surfing on their own, going down the line, in the pocket.
“I can’t tell if I was happier when I got my first waves years ago, or when my students get theirs.” @ripchrisblotiau; thesurfcontinuum.com
“MAGAZINES AND MOVIES DO A WONDERFUL JOB OF STOKING ENVY IN BEGINNER SURFERS. BUT THOSE BEAUTIFUL IMAGES FAIL TO DEPICT THE HEARTACHE ENDURED TO GET THERE.” — christopher sebastian blotiau
The author in Ditch Plains, Montauk.