One of my favorite things about Surf With Amigas is the chance to help ladies improve their surfing. But what if you can’t make it on a retreat? Can you still get some tips? YES!
We have decided to start offering an opportunity to get feedback from one of our coaches to ladies who may not be able to join us on a retreat, or who have been on a retreat but want to keep working on things at home. Here’s our first student!
We received this letter from an Amiga who lives in Australia:
My name is Turia, I’m a 28 year old Aussie who was badly burned during an ultra marathon four years ago. I got burned because a fire started during the ultra and swept through the course. I’ve managed to relearn (almost!) everything – from getting dressed to competing in triathlons.
I live on the coast and I’ve surfed since I was a little girl, but since my accident I can’t figure out the pop up! I do yoga regularly, I do 20 pop ups a day (on dry land) but when I get in the water… I can’t figure it out. The worst thing is that I’ve gotten into the habit of getting on my knees. I’d love to send you some videos of me, maybe you can give me some pointers?
From SWA Coach, Holly Beck:
It’s a bit hard to tell exactly what’s going on because the video is taken from so far away and the quality isn’t great. It looks like you start to pop up and then panic and give up. I see that exact type of thing when someone is fearful of the drop. The knees become a safety position. That would explain why you can do it on land but not in the water.
It would be helpful to see a video of you popping up on land to see if there’s something in the technique you’re trying to use that is making it impossible in the water. Barring that, I’d say it looks mental. Are you getting nervous on the drop and freaking out?
If so, or to test that…. try popping up straight to your feet in a non-threatening situation – whitewash or a really mushy wave.
Another thing to try, is to force yourself to skip the knees. But instead of going all the way into a popup, try a baby step. Push up into a plank position and then step up with your left foot (front foot). Then put your back foot up. Get out of the habit of using the knees. Then the more you do it, maybe you can get both feet up at the same time.
That’s my best advice. Please update me on how it’s going now!
Turia Pitt was competing in an ultramarathon through Western Australia’s Kimberley region in 2011 when she was caught in a bushfire. She suffered burns to 65% of her body and had four fingers from her left hand and her right thumb amputated.
Pitt was named the New South Wales Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year 2014, and she was a finalist for Young Australian of the Year. She has graced the cover of The Australian Women’s Weekly, which attracted world-wide media attention.