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shark + surf stories

Many of you already know of my double shark attack which was caught on video camera many years ago and how that changed my life, but not many of you know of all my other crazy stories. There is something about me, or my smell that attracts big fish!

I first came to Stavanger, Norway in 2009. A few months into my stay I was contacted by an American author who asked if he could write a biography about my life. I said yes, thinking that it would take two or three years to finish and then to publish. I was wrong! It took 13 years to get it done. We hit many obstacles on the way and I must admit, I almost quit and pulled out of the process.

It took countless phone calls, video calls and emails back and forth between myself and the author as well as many family members, friends and other people who were present on the day of my shark attack and other shark and surf related 'near death' experiences that I had.

Just 2 weeks ago we published the biography and is now available as a paperback cover as well as an ebook. It can be found on Amazon and Takealot.

What does the biography have in it? Well, the book tracks my life growing up during post apartheid South Africa in a single parent home and facing a couple of hardships here and there and how my shark attack was the turning point of my life. The attack was not my only shark encounter or near death experience, so the book brings up those other exciting stories and has interviews from people and family present in my life or on those days where I had these encounters.

My biography also reveals how I became a surf coach and how while in South Africa I used surfing and surf lessons and surf coaching to reach out to other surfers, specifically teenagers to try influence them in a good and positive manner and in a way, being a bigger and older brother to them to talk to or confide in.

I lived and surfed in Jeffreys Bay for a while before moving to Norway and I had up to 85 surfers signed up for monthly coaching where I would do some water surf lessons, but mostly, video surf coaching with intermediate to advanced surfers. A lot of my students got really good and won national and international surf contests.

It has been fun starting up the same kind of business in Jæren, Stavanger. I don't have many youngsters coming for surf coaching, but there are a few. Most of the surfers who have signed up are working men and women and some students studying at the university of Stavanger. There has been great progress in a lot the surfers who have bought the local surf packages and now that winter is here we at least have a lot more consistent surf which makes for more coaching and better progress for the surfers who sign up.

I have just got back from a trip to California where I attended a conference and did a small book tour. I spent a lot of time catching up with friends, meeting new people and sharing my shark stories. Oh, and a lot of surfing was done! The best thing is that the air temperature was between 25- 35 degrees Celsius and the sea temperature was around 18 degrees Celsius. It felt like I was in the tropics coming straight from Norway.

I am off to Germany tomorrow morning where I will be running an event with Norrøna and trying to surf the river wave in Munich. I get back on Friday and then leave the next day for Ghana where I will be running a surf coaching course and a surf judging course for the International Surfing Association. I am looking forward to both trips. I will be in Ghana for 7 days and then straight back to Stavanger for more surf coaching and surf lessons.

If you are interested in reading my biography then clock on the link to find it on Amazon.

And Christmas is on the way so if you think a surf lesson or a surf coaching session with video analysis or even a surf coaching package is something they would like then go through the options on my website to see the different choices.

Have a good day and see you in the water.

Shannon Ainslie

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