Peniche in June. I see waves, many waves, I see even more people and fail again and again. I don’t dare, pull back. I am frustrated. I decide to get some surf coaching. I bump into Cami – surf coaching with her is unlike anything I’ve experienced before.
Cami, how do you teach someone to surf?
I don’t teach tricks, but the right attitude towards the ocean. To discover that, I first listened to myself long and hard. I used to play rugby. I was already the most emotional person on the team back then. I used inner anger as well as feelings of happiness and learned to channel them. That helps now with surfing: If I’m angry, I use the emotion to paddle faster.
Who was your surf coach?
No one ever taught me how to surf, which means I learned the hard way myself. That comes in handy today when I’m teaching. Everything my students experience, I have experienced myself.
The hard way – what do you mean exactly?
I was too self-confident, surfed on a board that was too small, wanted too much at once and didn’t give myself time to learn. Often,S I was frustrated, sad and angry, blaming other people and the conditions. I forgot that I started surfing because I like the water, it’s fun and it makes you forget everything around you.
Surfing teaches us to rediscover our own contentment, to push boundaries, to exercise humility towards nature, but also to confront our own fears.Eliana Graf
Surfing is a mental sport, why?
When surfing, if you don’t believe you can ride a wave, you won’t. Lack of confidence can get you into dangerous situations. You have to be full of conviction and confidence to catch a wave. It doesn’t matter much what experience you have. For example, a bumblebee physically can’t fly, but it doesn’t know anything about it, so it just flies.
Do you see a difference between men and women who are in your classes?
Men need challenges, women need to be supported. Most surf instructors don’t see that women need emotional and technical support. Of course, this is an average. Women also need challenges and men need support every now and then.