Greetings sea lovers! Posting today from Rancho Diandrew at our second retreat here in 2017. Just before this we did our first ever mini retreat to the south coast of Barbados. This trip came about because CSC mentee Jo Becker had vacation days at work that she needed to spend or lose. She told me she could do a trip on her own but would prefer to do a CSC thing if others were interested. I sent out a few texts. The erratic east coast winter had people frothing to go somewhere warm and consistent and we had a crew together in a matter of hours. I scouted locations and Barbados came up gold for price of plane tickets and odds on scoring surf. And score we did.
The full crew was Jo Becker, Mariza Daras, Ali Malipica, Catee Lalonde, Kim Corchia, Christina Nizar, Juan Heredia and me. We arrived on a Thursday afternoon, got straight to Zed's — an excellent lodging and surf complex in Inch Marlow — got the crew situated in their apartments, loaded boards on the rental cars, and then we headed to a local left hand reef break that's sheltered from the NE trade winds. It was chest to head high and rifling down the reef. All the ladies got a few fun ones before dark. We sketchily drove the right hand side drive cars back to our pads, showered, and ate an excellent meal at Surfer's Bar, on recommendation from Claudia, Zed's wife and all around awesome guide and coordinator of all things Barbados.
The next morning Juan and I had an instructor dawn patrol scout mission to a wave called South Point. It was high tide and a little wonky but there was a double rainbow and some fun surf. I shot Juan with the GoPro. Then we all had a nice breakfast together before surfing our brains out the remainder of the day. The next three days were not exact carbon copies but they followed the same mold: wake up, eat breakfast, do a bit of video review and on land coaching, then hit the surf. As you can see in the video, everyone made huge improvements to their surfing. We worked on the high/low alternation for speed generation, the backside rail grab in the critical section, catching waves in the power source, finding alternate peaks away from the crowd, and setting the foundation for solid bottom turn/high line combinations (essentially an outgrowth of the high/low alternation). As always, we were diligent about improving paddling technique and form because it is the key to solid surfing.
All in all Barbados was a total success. The people at Zed's were incredibly accommodating. They let us swap out boards daily. We focused on finding the optimal board for each surfer and for the women to feel the difference in different fin set ups, outlines, lengths, materials, and rocker contours. The favorite board of the trip, however, was the trusty Joe Falcone 7'10" "Dad Board" that Juan and I brought down with us. Juan and I only got to ride that board once before the women had it on lock down. Glad we brought it! Juan and I also brought a 6'4" alaia shaped by Bryan Döring, and a 5'7" asymmetrical board also shaped by Joe. It was a well rounded quiver and fortunately Jet Blue did not charge us for the board bag on the flight home!
In summary, Barbados is going on the roster. We hear there are waves there year round. The water is too beautiful, the people too nice, and the food too good not to!!! We are also planning another LA retreat, and a few more special trips for the spring, summer, and fall. As I wrote in the previous post, these mini retreats are the best way to fast track your surfing. Of course we're still doing private lessons on the east coast (NY/NJ/MA) all spring and into the summer. So whichever you're interested in, shoot us an email and stay tuned for more posts!
More waves more joy!!!!