Michelle Connellan (Dip. Sports Management – Surf) and Socrates review Jaymie Faber’s “how to surf” book specifically pitched at the needs of women. We also offer a tiny excerpt from the book to whet your appetite.
The guide is a power to women looking at joining the surf scene. Whilst a lesson or two is still necessary alongside this book, it does cover all the basic terms and need-to-knows of surfing. Being a woman surfer myself and having surfed since a young age, a lot of the information covered seems to be instinct to me, but I must have learnt somewhere, right?! Well, Jamie covers most of this in her guide to surfing with confidence. Dad instilled in me that surfing is a ‘learn as you go’ sort of sport, which is true and is possibly the only advice missing from Jamie’s guide. With that being said, this guide provides women (and men) with the basic cake recipe necessary to have the confidence to step out of your door and onto the beach with a little less fear that you have no idea what you’re doing. Everything is explained with an encouraging ladies touch.
Excellent for those mums with kids learning to surf, or for women who just want to learn themselves. When I started surfing my mum was actively trying to learn with me. Thinking back now, she would have loved to have known that there were mother’s groups that did the same thing. She may also have found Jamie Faber’s book useful for learning the surfing terms without us telling her “derrr”.
Jayme is a great writer. She has a way with words that makes reading about a potentially complex subject a lot of fun. The content is good and the style is spot on. She has thought a lot about the kinds of things that women unfamiliar with the beach, the surf and surfing might want to know so that that first trip to the beach with the board under the arm will be just a little less intimidating.
One thing I especially liked is the way she openly discusses things that don’t seem to make much scientific sense but every experienced surfer has discovered is true.
“My gut has never made a bad decision… except for that one time in Thailand with the dodgy tacos. But that one time aside, my gut instinct is usually spot on. If you’re feeling uneasy, unsure or like something isn’t quite right, trust that feeling.”
While it’s true that Jayme’s aim is to create a start-up guide my feeling is that she could have expanded the “How to surf” section a bit with information on the early manoeuvres that the novice surfer will attempt. Subjects such as paddling into a wave, making the drop, a basic bottom turn and trimming seem to me to be necessary content for a beginner’s guide.
Overall, Jayme’s introduction to surfing for women would be a terrific investment for any woman wanting to take their first steps in surfing and not confident how to go about it. At $7.99 as a down-loadable file on Amazon it is a bargain.
Surfing is addictive. If you let it, it can be so much more than just a sport. Learning to surf is a journey. It’s a journey with no end destination to strive for. There is always somewhere new to go, something new to learn.
Mastering surfing takes practice, dedication and patience. It can be humbling yet equally enlivening, and if you stick it out, it will be the most rewarding gift you can give yourself.
Each time you go surfing, you’re at the mercy of nature. No other sport allows you to immerse yourself so fully in nature and to leave behind life’s problems quite like surfing does.
When you enter the water, you can truly switch off from life. Work, chores, partners, kids, studying and phones can’t follow you. Whether you get plenty of waves, or just enjoy the tranquillity that being in the ocean brings, the opportunity to return to shore refreshed and revitalised is always present.
Aside from pleasure, surfing has many benefits.
Surfing is great for fitness. It is no coincidence all professional surfers have banging bodies. But don’t worry if you aren’t fit. The best way to get surf fit is to surf.
Surfing is a full-body, high-cardio workout, which not only increases stamina and endurance but strength and balance as well. Due to the required amount of paddling, surfing also develops shoulder and back strength.
Your legs will also get a workout. Riding waves takes balance and coordination. After catching heaps of waves, or after a really, long wave, you’ll notice your legs may turn to jelly.
Your core will constantly be working whether you’re paddling, popping up or riding a wave.
In addition to the physical benefits, surfing is great for your mental well-being. Several studies have been released over the past few years confirming what every surfer has suspected – surfing releases stress.
Surfing requires you to be present, to focus on exactly what is happening in the moment as well as forces you to connect with your body. The ocean is healing. It provides comfort and solace and is definitely a healthier option than a block of chocolate and a bottle of wine.
Look for Learning to Surf: A woman’s guide to surfing with confidence by Jayme Faber at Amazon.com. Down-load price $7.99.