Surfing Group this year was a little different to last year, although no less fun! We had a Grandma join us and a couple of mums with grown up children. We opened the group up to anyone who wanted to catch waves this year; whether it was on a surfboard, kneeboard, or boogie board, and it worked pretty well!
We were extremely lucky with the weather this year, it was balmy and warm, with only one or two exceptions for the entire 3 months! In addition, and excepting the final session, the waves never exceeded a metre high!
Our first enrollment was Gaye, mum of two grown up boys, who wanted to learn how to surf. Her husband is a longboarder and she wanted to be able to enjoy the sport too. She purchased her very own “foamie” and was on her knees from the second session! It took a little longer to get to her feet, since she had to spend a few weeks developing the flexibility and mobility to achieve it. She then spent a while working on her balance, foot placement, and figuring out what order to to put her limbs, before she was finally up and surfing around week 10!
You’ll already know Kathy from winning our very first Client of the Quarter! Kathy grew up boogie boarding in Port Macquarie, and wanted to use her (now grown up) son’t boogie board that was still sitting in her garage gathering dust. She found out in her first session that a kid’s boogie board wasn’t much fun when you were all grown up, and purchased an adult sized one for the rest of the sessions. Kathy got the wave of the day about mid-way through the program; she was out the back and caught the first wave in a 1M set… she took the drop and landed it, it looked very exciting! She enjoyed getting wet each week, having coffee afterwards, and just feeling the ocean and experiencing the surf.
Siobhan was a late entry, ostensibly joining because her son wanted to give it a try. Siobhan and her children moved here from London a few years ago, and have zero experience of the ocean. Surprisingly it wasn’t Siobhan’s son that took to surfing, it was her daughter Hannah! Hannah was a classic “quiet kid” but she was also one very determined young woman! Hannah took wave after wave on the head, getting hammered and half-drowned every second wave. She would collect herself and then paddle out the back without a glimmer of a moan or complaint, smile across her face, ready to paddle on to another wave and do it all again. She certainly earned our respect! Siobhan herself was brave, and learned to enjoy the experience of being pushed around by the waves. She broke her hand around week 8 but didn’t miss a session! By the end Siobhan had learned timing, and was catching waves by herself.
Debbie is our Grandma who has been nominated for this Quarter’s Client of the Quarter award! Debbie wanted to learn how to kneeboard, spurs in her hip prevent her from having the mobility necessary to climb to her feet. She had a cold about 4 weeks in, which turned in to the flu. She was back for 1 session before she severely sprained her ankle. Despite these set backs, she still got to her knees in the second last week, and was chuffed to have achieved what she set out to do!
You probably remember Belinda from last year, the only participant to come both years! She can already surf, and spends these sessions enjoying the company, consistency, and regularity that these programs offer. Belinda improved just because of these reasons, and even took a short board out a few times to challenge herself! She has also inspired her son to join her in a couple of sessions, which is what it is all about!
Finally our bubbliest participant Julie, who had a lot of kids sport and travel, but was determined to come when she could! She got to her feet but hadn’t quite mastered the “surfing” bit afterwards! However the group was a great opportunity for her because she could bring her young children and they could play on the beach with someone watching them… opportunities like learning to surf are something that a lot of us mum’s miss out on because we have young children. To be able to do both is powerful and exciting and we were pleased to be able to provide Julie with it!
A great feature of having the different kinds of surfing was that each participant got to try out different boards and styles. They learned that the foamies were easier to paddle on to the wave, but harder to get through the whitewash. They figured out that you could kneeboard on a surfboard, and heaps of other little lessons that you can only learn on the beach in the ocean! This year, instead of meeting for a second surf, we met at the gym and took them trough very specific mobility and flexibility drills alongside our regular functional strength training. This half an hour meant that our team achieved their goals with half the surfing time as last year! The girls have promised to keep in touch and keep getting wet regularly, and we are so proud of what they’ve achieved!