Over the past three years Fraser has been teaching me how to surf and it has been a huge learning curve for me. I can honestly say it’s one of the hardest sports to learn because it is a challenge on multiple levels. But it’s also one of the most fun and rewarding.
I was prepared for the physical demands but the mental side was less expected. I have realized that surfing is a lot about letting go of thoughts, stress and physical force to simply be on the wave, allowing your body to fall into its natural rhythm. To achieve this I have had to overcome many emotional frustrations and personal expectations.
Here are a couple of examples: when we first spent time in the ocean I was extremely fearful of even the smallest wave... we’re talking probably less than 1 ft. I grew up in London; very far from any surf beaches. Or any beach at all really. I wasn’t a natural water baby. In these panic stricken moments, Fraser managed to keep me calm by showing me that the ocean is actually gentle and ‘on your side’ if you understand how it works. My confidence grows the more time I spend in the water... After three years I no longer fear 1 ft waves!
A more personal challenge was learning how to be patient with myself. I am so used to instant gratification and performing tasks with ease and agility that I really had to work on letting go and accepting that I need sufficient time to allow my surfing to progress.
I guess this is what makes Fraser unique in his coaching. Whilst his coaching tips and cues that refer to physical stance and technique are extremely succinct and easy to understand, his natural empathy and ability to ‘get inside your head’ is uncanny. He can pinpoint exactly what your personal obstacle might be and guide accordingly. This has really helped to progress my surfing. My biggest learning curve was allowing myself to RELAX and just breathe!
Learning to surf is really, really hard. You need balance, patience, accuracy, awareness, physical endurance and a deep knowledge of the ocean... But the rewards are exponential. I feel so grounded and calm after surfing. With all the stresses of modern day living I would say surfing is a very powerful aphrodisiac. It has become an activity I crave almost daily which is something I never expected!
Furthermore, as I learn to let go and relax on a surfboard, I find my attitude towards life itself becomes a lot less forced and a lot more about accepting and ‘riding the wave’ so to speak. Surfing has introduced me to a kind of happiness I never knew.
I have everything to thank Fraser for. Not only has he taught me how to enjoy such a technical sport with the necessary support and skills, he has opened my eyes to a whole new way of living. I recommend his surf coaching to anyone, of any age or ability level. It’s an experience you will be forever grateful for J.