Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Great shot of me cutting back against a Rockaway/Long Beach backdrop during Hurricane Katia's wonderful swell. This was the day they also held the final of the Quiksilver Pro. I was obviously too busy to watch it either live or on the computer. Photo by Meg Haywood-Sullivan. Check out her websites here and here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

More Scheduling Details

Sooo.....I'm planning on visiting my mother from October 2nd-5th. I plan to leave on Sunday afternoon, which means that I have lesson availability on both the 1st and 2nd of October. A few people have already expressed interest in the 2nd, but nothing's in stone yet. As far as the forecast is concerned, waves are looking in the 1-3 foot range for the weekend. All lessons that went out this weekend were awesome. Great weather, great waves, and lots of learning.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Surf Forecast Sept 20-Oct 6, Travel Plans, Etc.

Hey all! Thanks so much for your inquiries about the lessons. I've decided to add a surf report for this coming week. First of all, my first availability to teach would be this Friday at 8am. The surf is going to be in the 1-2 foot range, perfect for lessons. I am booked this weekend, the 24th and 25th, but for those who have scheduled, if you happen to check this, it is also forecasted to be in the 1-2 foot range, once again perfect for lessons. And on the outlook, well, the Surfline Lola prediction is for another week of 1-2 foot surf, and again, perfect for lessons. The water is in the high to mid 60s. I wore a 2 mil yesterday and was totally comfortable. It should be dropping as we head into fall, but we all should be fine in 3 mils until mid to late October. As for the first weekend in October, I am not sure if I'll be in town. My mom is coming to the East Coast (she lives in Tiburon, CA) to care of the house she owns in Baltimore, so I am probably taking a trip down to Maryland either Sept 26-28 or Sept 30-Oct 2 . I will be sure to update this as soon as I know for sure, as that definitely cuts into lesson scheduling, but I as I am sure you all concur, it is important to visit your mother. Well maybe I'll just speak for myself. But my mom drove me to all my surf competitions as a kid and has been supportive of me throughout, and now we live 3,000 miles apart, so I snap up any opportunity to visit with her. To sum up, the waves will be in the 1-2 foot range for the next week and a half, the water is still warm, and I have a few scheduling issues, which will be worked out asap.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Certification and Montauk

I forgot to mention: I am cpr certified. This is only kind of certification one can have as a surf instructor. There is no surf authority that bestows surf instructor badges. The other kind of certification might be beach permits or something like that - I don't have those but because my lessons are private and use a hard board, so we just look like two people out in the water - a friend teaching another friend to surf. Also I switch up location depending on swell and sandbars. Nice and low key. Also, I had a lot of inquiry about giving lessons in Montauk over the summer. I finally went up there and sussed it out. I found a few good places to give lessons and have a nice hook up on a cottage I can rent up there, but the price is going to be steep. For a lesson in Montauk it'll be $300 a pop per person. Still includes ride and all that, but in order for me to teach up there I have to pay for lodging and gas from NYC. If I lived up there full time things would be different. Even so, I'm down to do it, so if Montauk's your bag don't hesitate to set something up.

Surf Lessons in NY Magazine!

I assume this blog might be getting a bit more traffic from the NY Magazine article on Urban Surf Lessons. I am stoked on their write up. They did a good job getting down the gist of my lessons and of course you can always come here to learn more. What I'd like to say in defence of what they have called my "slow, steady approach" as opposed to other "more aggressive" approaches is this: no matter how aggressively an instructor is in getting you stand in your first few lessons it simply will not translate to when you go try surfing on your own. They are helping you with wave judgement, which is the most difficult skill to learn, and which, I am sure, all of the surf instructors mentioned in the article have mastered for themselves. The trick is imparting the skills of wave judgement to the beginner(s), which is what I believe I do quite well, and which is only ascertainable through a "slow, steady approach", which will eventually amount to years of dedication. Also, I did not notice that any of the other schools focus on style. Being so few urban surf schools, I sure hope they do and that NY Mag simply left that out of the article. Any one can eventually learn to stand up on a board, but who is to make sure that they are doing it with style? From the perspective of an experienced surfer, regardless of tha fact that I am also a surf instructor, it pains the surfing community to see beginners and intermediate surfers with wide poo stances, which is the most common style mistake, and is a result of bending at the waist and moving the front foot to far forward in a false sense of stability. It only takes slight adjustments to learn an aesthetically pleasing technique that works for your body type (there is more than just one way to surf with style as there are also a number of different body types and physical dispositions). At any rate, I hope this clarifies what I mean when I say that I focus on style. I look forward to the possible buzz generated by this article.The water is still warm, but it's hurricane season, which means lots of waves for better surfers and a few windows of small waves for beginning. The water should stay reasonably tolerable (fullsuits) through October and November and sometimes into early December, so I'd say I'm open to teach until then. I myself surf January through May but it can be pretty brutal getting in and out of all that wetsuit in below zero temps. If you have further questions or would like to set up a lesson do not hesistate to call or email.