WORRY, BE HAPPY

In his own words, a surf­ing in­struc­tor de­scribes how he makes waves by break­ing his stu­dents’ hearts.

Hamptons Magazine - - Contents -

“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.

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