It was time. With a full time job and a toddler, I get out to surf much less than I would like. Less time in the water, means that while I wasn’t getting any worse, I certainly wasn’t getting any better–my surfing had definitely plateaued. Even though I am rounding the corner of 40, and could certainly just be happy with my skills as they are, there are still some things I want to be able to do. First and foremost, I need to be able to do a proper duck-dive. I blame my lacking skills in this department on the size of my boards. I mostly longboard or ride a hybrid board, neither of which are duck-dive-able, and the shortboard I ride is rather fat and a little to buoyant for my weight. I also want to be able to do more powerful turns. My friend and I were sitting out in the water the other day and we were fantasizing about hiring a surf coach. We needed someone to push us out of our comfort zone and help us improve. My husband definitely has skills out in the water, but as he knows well, there is little I like less in this world than taking critiques on my surfing from him. There was one guy I had in mind. I knew he did some coaching and he is certainly an excellent surfer, but I didn’t have his contact information. As chance would have it, I ran into him at the beach the other day, gathered my courage and asked him if he was interested in coaching me.
Cut to our first session. Thankfully, the waves were decent and right in my comfort zone. We paddled out and of course I wanted to do my best. I caught a wave right away, and paddled back eager to hear his thoughts. After a few more, he encouraged me to lift my shoulders up. I believe, and don’t quote me, but he compared me to Gumby. We caught a lot of waves that morning, him ripping 360s and hitting the lip, and me trying to lift my arms up without looking like a total spaz. He continutally gave me feedback and we worked on my duck-diving (I was secretly happy when he agreed the board was a little too big for me to push under water). I will be practicing all my new moves until our next session. Let’s hope this old dog can learn some new tricks.