It’s never too late to start a new sport but it is important to choose one that suits your capabilities. To succeed in your journey to take on a new activity a good instructor is key!
Here is my personal experience… I love a challenge and after years of dancing and teaching fitness I decided to take up surfing a few months ago. It’s a very challenging and unpredictable sport with no routine as every wave is different. With that said, I wouldn’t have gotten to the level I am without the experience and dedication of my instructor, Kieran Conway.
I grew up in a small coastal based suburb called caves beach, it was here where I fell in love with the ocean. Caves Beach hosted the perfect stretch of coastline for learning to surf, with its long rolling reef break, blessed sand banks. At the age of 5 my feet first gripped to wax when my dad gave me the gift of surfing. I still remember my first wave, the whole 5-10 seconds of it. That first surf I spent 4 hours in the water because my dad was so stoked that I was surfing.
At the age of 8 I entered my first contest and came away with a semi final result. At that point in my life I focused all my attention to surfing. Teachers started sending notes home about my attendance, as my hours in the water racked up.
At the age of 13 I was scouted into a development program for upcoming surfers. My competitive spirit continued to push me through the doors of professional surfing, which is how I met my mentor and coach Dan Frodsham, owner of Newcastle Surf School.
We travelled together chasing my goals with many ups and downs along the way. My most successful year was 2015 where I had 4 wins and countless finals appearances. In 2015 my flights were booked for the European leg of the Qualifying series which I never boarded. The week Before departure I dislocated my right shoulder tearing the rotator cuff surfing a local heavy reef break of swansea heads. The doctor quoted 4-6 months out of the water.
After weeks passed and mobility was being regained I started working for Dan at his surf school to gain some ocean therapy. I decided if i couldn’t surf then i’d like to share my love and passion with the ocean through coaching.
The more time I spent in the water the happier I was. In late 2016 I came into the position of head coach of newcastle surf school, logging over 30 hours a week in the water. As the nature of surf coaching started determining my future I moved North from Newcastle to the gold coast for job security.
After speaking with past surfing legend Sasha Stocker I was granted the position of head coach at Tweed Coast Surf School and performance coach at Surfing services. As long as I am in or around the ocean I am calm. If I go to far inland my gills dry up and I lose all sense of being. There is nothing more rewarding then watching someone progress in their surfing, because I get to relive my first wave, over and over again.
Kieran has transmitted his passion for surfing onto me and now I am addicted! I still have a looooooong way to go but with his help and my current physical condition from Pilates I will get there. So now my only hope is that the sharks don’t like the colour of my wetsuit…