You may have heard the saying “its not the destination its the journey”. It has always kind of annoyed me because the journey normally means long plane rides, delays, layovers, canceled flights etc., and I just want to get to the destination already and skip the “journey” part. But, it doesn’t have to be that way at all. It’s good to think of the journey as an adventure and wherever I end up, even if its not the place I had intended to go, as the destination.
My latest surf adventure was by boat with 3 girlfriends, a cooler full of beer, a comically large quiver of surfboards, and a desire for right hand point breaks. We left not so bright but very early (4am) and loaded up the boat with all of our boards. We brought long boards, mid length boards and short boards. The great thing about traveling with a boat full of women is that we are always prepared with stylish surf costumes, which explains the plethora of bikinis, leggings, rash guards, surf hats, and some surf sun glasses. Oh, and just in case, the snorkel mask and fins.
For those ladies who already know how to paddle into and ride down the line, we offer several advanced coaching sessions per year.
On these retreats the focus is breaking down higher level skills via classroom sessions and awesome surf sessions with our super talented coaches. This particular week featured guest instructor – 2x world longboard champ Jen Smith and super stylish longboard cruiser Macy Sivage.
On a recent advanced retreat in Costa Rica, I asked the group for suggestions on classroom session topics. One of the guests suggested a talk about how to have good style.
What is style?
Style is one of those things that you know when you see but is hard to describe. One of the most stylish female surfers, Stephanie Gilmore says “there’s no right or wrong, you do what feels good to you.”
The SOul arch
For the talk, I listed a handful of generally considered stylish professional surfers and then created a slideshow of photos of them. One thing we noted that almost all had in common was a tendency to do a “soul arch”. A soul arch is when you usually have your feet relatively closer together and you thrust your hips out, arch your back, and lean your head back. Whether it is in the tube, on a bottom turn, or during a nose ride, a lot of stylish surfers will go for this move. It looks cool, it feels cool. I encouraged the Amigas to try it on their next session.
Inspired myself to take my personal soul arch to the next level, I really went for it one session. I was paddling out with a local friend and we were talking about surfboards. She wanted to try mine and suggested I try hers. She weighs a bit more than I do so her board was quite a bit thicker and stiffer than what I’m used to riding. This is a video of my first wave riding her board. After a few turns, I went for the soul arch, into a cheater 5 nose ride soul arch, into a head-dip tube. Does it look cool? It felt amazing. In the end that’s all that matters!
I dare you to try a soul arch on your next session. Let us know how it feels!
At our Costa Rican location, we offer surf coaching retreats for advanced beginners and intermediate surfers. We define advanced beginners as those that have already stood up in the white wash, can paddle themselves outside, and are ready to start riding green waves. Although we have been flexible with this description, these are the types of surfers that tend to have the best time and are able to take advantage of the amazing waves our Costa Rican location has to offer!
This week had absolutely firing surf. Each day had it’s own flavor – from super long point breaks, to adventurous boat trips, to bigger waves, we sampled a bit of everything. Normally we have a mix of ability levels, but on this retreat, almost everyone was pretty close to the same level. They were all catching tons of waves and working on turning.
One day the swell was a bit smaller, but still offering really clean long waves. Holly had just gotten a new longboard so she convinced everyone to paddle out on longer boards. Since it was super sunny, everyone threw on surf leggings and big floppy hats for full sun protection. Holly paddled out with the GoPro to capture all the awesome rides from a surfer’s perspective.
Surf Yoga Retreats led by women are the most fun! Come see why!