Collaborating with the International Surfing Association has taken me around the world.
It has been a good warm week in Stavanger with some fun waist to head high waves. It is rare to have both good waves and good weather on the same day in Norway, but when it happens everyone makes the most out of it and the beaches are packed and so are the waters.
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I noticed that almost every year the last week of school vacation has both good weather and waves. It's a gift from above to all those who are about to get back to the books or work and everyone makes the most of it. I had a couple of busy days with private water coaching and some days with video coaching. To top it all off I managed to get in some surfs too.
I have been a qualified surf coach for many years, but am also a level 1 and level 2 surf coach presenter. The International Surfing Association is the governing body of surfing world- wide and they are responsible for surf development and surf education. It's thanks to them that surfing is now an Olympic Sport. Through their efforts they have made it possible for many surfers around the world, especially from third world countries, to make it as a professional athlete.
Take the Brazilian Storm for example. It's only the last 7 years or so that there has been a big surge of Brazilian surfers taking over the professional surf scene. Many of the surfers on the world tour have come through the development programs and international surf contests which the ISA have run.
One of my long term goals living and working in Norway as a surf coach is to develop surfing amongst the kids/ juniors. How cool would it be to have a Norwegian Storm on the world tour? People would least expect Norway to produce world class surfers right? Well, Norway has the longest coastline in the world which means there is plenty of coastline to surf!
People say that it's too cold to surf? Well it is not! There is no such thing as cold or bad weather, only bad clothes, or bad wetsuits. I use the Norrona wetsuit, boots and gloves and have no problems with staying warm in the middle of the Arctic winter. So lets get the juniors in Norway to start surfing!
Having said that, I have had the privilege of being a surf coach course presenter to accredit surfers as international coaches. I have presented these courses in South Africa, Norway, Israel and now in Nigeria. Nigeria has a great coastline with many good waves and with it's huge population of 206 million people they certainly have the chance to produce some good surfers.
Surfing is not easily accessible in Nigeria as it is a very poor country and many people grow up not been taught how to swim. So the thought of trying to surf or even swim in the ocean can be scary and dangerous for most! Nigeria has a surfing federation and have affiliated themselves with the ISA where they adopt the ISA surf coaching standards and start growing and developing the sport to put together a national team who will then represent their country at international contests.
This one week trip to Nigeria is also in collaboration with a French non- profit organisation called The Paddle Paddle Surf Project. Check them out and give them some support. We need more non profits like these who give back through surfing and help give other people a fun experience and also a future through the sport of surfing.
I'll arrive in Nigeria tonight. I am definitely looking forward to it and am excited to be in a tropical country with super warm water. This means no wetsuit needed. Just board shorts and a lot of sunblock! The waves get very good at the place we will be at. Our host, John Micheletti has been scoring some epic uncrowded waves and sent this photo to me a couple of days ago.
Don't get jealous knowing that I will be surfing amazing waves in tropical waters.
Have a good day and go surfing!