Last week one of our guests was front man of the Lt Dan Band, Jeff Verzain. That’s him above rocking out with fellow band member and actor Gary Sinise. On the last night of his two week stay, Jeff wrote and performed a song about his stay at Surf Simply. It was obviously musically really good but it was funny too and at the end more than one of the Surf Simply coaches had a a bit of a lump in their throat.
And here’s how Jeff and the rest of his fellow guests, who you can here him lyricising about got on with their surfing…
At the end of last week we asked our guests to try to put into words what surfing feels like.
After having a fantastic time in France during the fall, Surf Simply’s resort in Costa Rica is now open again for the 2012/13 season. However if you fancy coming to stay you may have to wait a while as the resort now typically fills up 3 to 4 months ahead of time. Even a few high rollers from Google and Facebook have had to be relegated to the waiting list which, for some weeks, is as long at 17 people.
Laura Wilkinson, who runs the media side of Surf Simply, sat down with Ru Hill, Surf Simply’s owner and founder as well as senior coaches, Oli Davies and Harry Knight to talk to them about what makes Surf Simply unique.
We close down the Surf Simply Resort in Nosara for September and October each year, as they are pretty rainy months in Costa Rica. This left us with the irksome issue of having no outlet for our relentless surfcentric geekology.
As so often happens in these situations, Kerianne and Harry came up with the solution and a few weeks later we had rented a beautiful, big house in France, found ourselves an appropriately Gallic chef, and were hod nobbing on the beach with the world’s best surfers at the Quiky Pro in Hossegor, alongside an enthusiastic, if now newly neoprene clad, jolly collection of Surf Simply guests.
The whole trip was a blast. We got to see Kelly Slater tearing apart perfect waves right in front of us, as well as getting in all the usual surf sessions, video coaching, theory lessons and long European dinners where Costa Rican Imperial was upstaged by a nice French red.
We’re already getting emails about next year so that’s pretty much set in stone now as well as whisperings of a Surf Simply boat charter in Indonesia in September. So stay tuned…
Right now though we’re back in Costa Rica where the Surf Simply resort is being unpacked, polished and upgraded in readiness for the upcoming season which begins Nov 12th. Although before then we’ll be running the International Beach Lifeguard Award course (Nov 2nd-6th), which now just has one space available. So if you’re keen to do the enormously enjoyable lifeguard boot camp with us drop us a line.
After school I went to Art College in London and I remember seeing my fellow students split cleanly into two categories. There were those who spent their time hungrily learning every new skill they could and there were those who spent a lot of time arguing that art was a subjective experience and not about acquiring a set of skills. The latter group may well have been right but 10 years later, it was those who spent time mastering every medium, that still thoroughly enjoyed making art.
Getting stuck into some mid session video feedback on the beach.
I’ve witnessed exactly the same phenomenon in the world of surfing. I’ve heard many people dismiss the maneuvers performed by highly skilled surfers, saying that they “don’t like all that flashy stuff, it’s too aggressive,” or “it’s not about how good you are, it’s about how much fun you’re having.” Ten years later, those same people are invariably still surfing at the same level and usually their enthusiasm for the sport has noticeably dwindled. By contrast the people who worked to master every new maneuver they saw, kept improving and remained in love with the sport.
Putting my body where my mouth is – laying back into a mid face hack is harder than it looks and consequently this was attempt number 3.
So what’s the art of learning to surf? Never dismiss anything you see being done until you can do it yourself because even if you decide that 360s, airs or headstands are not what you want to do on a wave, you need to be able to do them to know. Also, each new skill you learn will help you do something else better: chop hops will help you do airs, paddling a short board will help you catch more wave on your long board, carving a long board will help you do more powerful carves on your short board, noseriding will help your tube riding. No surf skill is isolated from everything else.