What’s Wrong With My Pop-Up? – Video Coaching from Afar


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-pittTuria 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.

Release Your Spine – Advice from Physical Therapist Sofia Costa

10926393_10204781003818710_5984368933912640093_nSofia Costa joined Surf With Amigas on a retreat towards the end of 2014. She is a Dr. of physical therapy originally from Puerto Rico, now living and treating surfers in Santa Monica, CA.

Sofia has offered to provide some physical therapy content that Amigas can use to treat their bodies right in between surf sessions. See below for a little introduction and her first offering!

Life doesn’t hold still for us. If we don’t move with it,nlife is just going to pass us right by. Surfing teaches us to go with the flow smoothly, and live in the moment spontaneously to get the most out of the wave and out of life.” – Gerry Lopez


Surfing is an experience that allows you to co-exist with nature and with yourself!

As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, my mission is to create body awareness, mindfulness, and teach you exercises that are specific for you and for surfing. I have a great passion to give back to surfers; to aid with recovery and provide skills necessary to self-manage and prevent injury; and as a gain, you can experience the addicting “stoke” that keeps you going out for more.

Contact Sofia at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @costasurfpt


Surf Completely – Learn to Generate Speed on a Surfboard by Practicing on a Skateboard

After catching a wave and standing up, learning how to generate your own speed is the most important skill in learning to surf. The success of every turn relies on having enough speed. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to learn how to pump, but practicing on land on a skateboard is a great way to learn!

Having the right skateboard for the lesson is important. A longboard skateboard is key, and I prefer a Sector9 Sidewinder series skateboard. Check out the video for tips on how to improve your pumping by playing around on a skateboard.

Want to get your own Sector 9 Skateboard with the Sidewinder trucks? Click here!
sector 9 skate

Surfboard Reviews – The Rusty Dwart


Picking the right surfboard can be challenging. Ideally you’d test drive before you buy, but unfortunately that’s rarely an option. I get a lot of ladies asking me for advice on the perfect board. It seems that most advanced beginners (someone who can paddle beyond the whitewash and is trying to catch green waves) are dealing with similar issues. They want to be able to ride a board small enough to duckdive but big enough to allow them to catch a wave.

That perfect combination can be a tricky thing to find. I often see ladies picking boards that are too small for them just so that they can duckdive, but what good is getting out past the whitewash if the board is too small to get them into waves?

The solution: get a Rusty Dwart!

The Dwart is a surfboard model by Rusty Surfboards that is relatively short, wide, and thick. It’s short enough to duckdive, but still wide enough to have sufficient volume for paddling into waves and gliding across mushy sections. Most Dwarts come with 5 fin boxes so you can experiment with the fast and loose feel of a quad setup, or the traditional but stiffer tri-fin.

See video above for Lindsay talking about why she loves her Dwart as she shreds on wave after wave in El Salvador.

If you want to see why I love my Dwart, click play below!