WE’RE BACK AGAIN TO CATCH UP WITH MORE ALUMNI AMIGAS THAT YOU MAY KNOW!
THIS MONTH WE’RE CHATTING Q+A STYLE WITH our friend grace who has joined swa retreats with the main goal being to reconnect with herself and to make new connections with others. STAY TUNED FOR MONTHLY STORIES AND UPDATES FROM OUR GOOD FRIENDS ACROSS THE GLOBE.
Q: Think back to when you attended your first SWA retreat. Why did you book that trip? What was that first retreat experience like for you?
I had actually been researching surf retreats and was ready to reserve a spot with a different group in Dominical area. I asked my friend, Jaime if she was interested in joining me and found that for the exact same week she had already reserved with SWA – so she suggested I tag along with her! Best decision ever!
Q: Now that you’ve been on several SWA retreats, what keeps you coming back?
Holly and her wonderful staff, the awesome women I have met, the great knowledge shared in the clinics/lectures, feeling of community and FUN times! I had lost my connection to surfing for a few years with life happening… the goal for the Costa Rica retreat was to reconnect, which definitely happened. I wasn’t even half way through Costa Rica retreat yet and booked Morocco! The Morocco holistic retreat that I joined took that further and I’m finally feeling like ME again… it’s been a long time and it feels great!
Katarina has joined us on several advanced surf retreats over the years. Without fail, she shows up with a fiery passion to “send it” whether it be in the surf, or in her Halloween costumes. She recently joined us in northern Nicaragua for her third Tube Clinic and she took her “charge it” mentality next level, consistently taking off on the biggest, hollowest waves and coming up smiling regardless of the ensuing wipeouts. She earned the nickname “Senderella”!
We caught up with Katarina post-retreat to learn about the impact that Women’s Surf & Yoga Retreats with SWA have had on her surf journey.
Enjoy this journal-style entry by Katarina Marlett:
I’ve just had these burning goal inside for a while now: to surf more critical waves and to get that dreamy barrel! To set a goal and achieve it at any age. To show myself I can do it, and to be an example to my two boys!
Heading to Surf With Amigas Advanced Clinic with a host of like-minded women and badass surfers makes those goals seem valid, intensified, and achievable. During the retreat, at every corner you are held up by the other women, both participants and staff, (and not in that cheesy way that makes you have nausea) but held in a way that actually means something and resonates.
Sometimes I think back to moments on other surf trips, of being intimated by a boatful of male Aussie rippers headed to the peak, or times of being growled at in the water by the resident grump who judges your every move. Not here! At these retreats you swap smiles for breaky and fist bumps for lunch – in that not so nausea-inducing way that I mentioned before. No eye rolls… it’s the real goods! It’s the actual feeling of being happy and understood, of being supported in every way and encouraged to feel exactly how you want, when you want. No judgement. You’re given the best window to get the best surf and then every wave is on video for analyzing, celebrating, and improving.
Every upset is met with a supportive Amiga so that you can wake up and try again, and every victory is celebrated with vigor. And every amiga, has similar goals. They share the exact enthusiasm you have, they want the same things!
The advanced retreats are unlike any others because all of these women rip! We all want to shred harder and our eyes are saucers to the lineup each and every time. We’re full of froth and every second is about achieving the most badass epic session possible.
14 charging amigas + 1 super cool amigo joined us at the Northern Nicaragua retreat location for a week-long shred fest! We had a record breaking week with the most tubes ever ridden, the gnarliest waves ever taken, and the best turns ever completed. This inspiring group of surfers spent the week pushing their limits and supporting each other along the way. We can’t wait to do a retreat like this again!
Enjoy this recap of the Advanced Retreat shred-fest in Nicaragua!
Most of our retreat locations are open to surfers of ALL levels and have plenty of shortboard-able waves close by. If you’re a fellow shortboarder and feel inspired to join a retreat and level up your technique, contact us here to see which retreat might be the best fit for you!
The cross step. Both graceful and functional, it’s how us long boarders really use the entire surfboard, from front to back & back to front. It’s how the most talented surfers dance and trim their way to the nose.
Ready to transform your longboard shuffle into a graceful cross step? Keep reading.
Start here: Practice on land!
Repetition of the cross step (or any technical surf skill) on solid ground will implant the physical movements into your muscle memory. If you can master the cross step on land, you’ll have a better chance of accessing the fancy footwork once on your surf board.
Cross step as you walk through the kitchen, while checking the waves, or while playing on your yoga mat. Practice it everywhere! Once the movement feels completely fluid and natural you can take it to the water.
The cross step setup goes like this- First, drop into your wave and get going down the line. Think about placing your feet closer to the inside rail of your surfboard, the rail that’s tucked into the wall of the wave. Then, it’s all about the stall. Shift your weight onto your back foot in order to slow down and steer the board up towards the top third of the wave. The stall often resembles a bottom turn, depending on the size and shape of the wave.
Taking the Step:
After the stall, it’s time to take the step(s). Shift your hips forward then let the feet follow. The back foot crosses over the front. To start, just cross your feet, hold, then right step back into your normal stance. Step lightly. Once this movement feels more comfortable, try and take a few more steps. The end goal is to take as many steps as needed (usually 2 or 3) in order to get your toes all the way to the nose.
Check out this video of SWA Co-Owner Jackie styling through a stall-to-cross-step combo during a Surf With Amigas Morocco retreat.
*As always, remember to take it slow, laugh through the wipeouts (there will likely be a lot of them), and surf with other ladies who inspire you to surf more + have fun!
At these retreats our goal will be to help you develop the skills needed to get your first tube ride. We’ll be getting up early and paddling out at sunrise, then coming in for breakfast, and paddling out again! If the tide and wind are good, we’ll surf four or five hours per day. This retreat is about surfing our brains out!
Surf With Amigas has been sponsoring the Waves of Hope sea turtle conservation program since 2012. We just committed to another year doing our part to give back by supporting the program that buys baby sea turtle eggs from poachers turned conservationists to ensure there will be turtles in the lineup for years to come!
See below for the video we made way back in 2012 in our first year of the project. All the info is the same! If you’d like to participate in the release of baby turtles, join us for a retreat in Nicaragua.