Posted by Rick Civelli | 10.14.2011 | Adult Surf Camps, WB Surf Camp News
Aloha Surfing Clinic for Veterans
Wrapping up our Aloha Series of free surf clinics this season was our Aloha for Veterans Surf Clinic on Saturday, October 8th. With a nice northeast wind bringing in a cool breeze and water temperatures still hovering in the mid 70’s, it was an awesome day for everyone. Getting to share our love for surfing with those who have served our country and potentially seen great conflict was something not to be taken lightly. However, no matter how tough you are, the ocean always tends to draw out the youth in everyone. The only difference is that unlike a little kid getting plowed over by the bigger set waves, when these guys got hit by the sets, they took it and pushed right back with huge smiles on their faces. The Aloha Spirit is always evident after that first wave when the rush of the waves and ocean energy washes over someone. No matter what life is throwing at them at the time, or how tough they are, the ocean has a way of momentarily stripping all of it away and displacing you into the present moment, soaking wet and smiling away!
Instructor, Josh Youse, recalls the day;
“The wind was working the longshore current pretty hard and the waves were choppy with crashing sets sending heavy whitewash into mid break area, but they all held themselves very well out in the water. They were attentive, respectful, driven to succeed, and fun to be around. Working the veterans aloha camp definitely made me think about my life and what other people are doing to contribute in order for our country to be a safe and civil place. Everyone did great! It took some a little longer to find their sea legs and balance themselves on their board, but they worked very hard and had fun the whole time. My favorite part of the day was after the lesson, reflecting on the surf session and getting to chat with and learn about each person. I’m glad I got to be part of such a positive and inspiring day.”
Fresh off a tour in Qatar in the Middle East, Army Sergeant, Randy Skeen was amping to learn to surf and ended the day absolutely frothing!…
“The instructors were awesome! They provided realistic expectations upfront that set the stage for the day. The beach portion of the lesson was informative and extremely valuable as it saved me time and energy in the water. Once we were out, the instructors ensured we actually caught waves and provided constructive suggestions that helped us each advance according to our ability levels.
I couldn’t have asked for better weather. The waves were great for learning. They weren’t too big and they just kept coming, which was perfect for learning.
While talking to one of the instructors I was struck that these guys were greatly over qualified for their position, and yet chose to be here because they love what they do. It’s amazing the hours they put in over the course of a summer and yet maintain their enthusiasm while pushing people into waves. I couldn’t help but question some of my life choices that prevent me from taking part in such awesome hobbies on a more regular basis.
I was also amazed by how much I learned over the course of a two hour lesson. One of the most important things I learned was how to read the waves. The instructors were anxious to offer guidance regarding how to independently develop our skills, what type of board to buy, and where the best places are to practice on our own. I learned a ton of invaluable lessons that have given me the motivation to really pursue this on my own.
Obviously, my favorite part of the day was when I caught a wave and was able to ride it in. It was unreal. All the talk about the stoke is true. I’ll be doing this for years.”