From Surf Camp to Surf Contest

Gilad LewandovskiFeatured, Surf

Just before Steve Gaffney snapped the photo at the South Bay Boarder Riders contest, Lucia (pictured) and I had a disappointing first heat. We struggled to catch good waves, and just as the heat buzzer went off, we hadn’t managed to ride a single wave. Lucia did catch a great wave after the buzzer, but unfortunately, it didn’t count towards our scores as it fell outside the heat timeline.

Seeing Lucia upset, with tears welling in her eyes, I offered her comfort, reassuring her that setbacks are normal in surfing and part of the learning process. I reminded her that every surf competitor experiences tough heats, and this wouldn’t be her last. Despite her disappointment, Lucia was eager to compete again, quickly put on her red rash guard to prepare for her second heat—this time without my assistance.

In the subsequent heat, where I wasn’t present to assist her, Lucia found herself as the only girl competing against older boys. Before she paddled out, I provided her with specific instructions on positioning and surfing strategy, especially as the high tide was rising, and only a few good waves were making it through the sandbar. I emphasized the importance of understanding which waves to drop in on and where to position herself in the lineup.

Throughout the heat, I communicated with Lucia using hand signals, visual aids from the beach, and, of course, the Freedom whistle, directing her to optimal surfing locations in the lineup. Thanks to our preparation and communication, Lucia performed admirably, catching four waves and securing her spot in the finals.

Super proud of both Lucia & Iciar for another great surf contest. Can not wait to the next Boarder Rider contest on April.