S1.E07: How to deliver adventure like a pro with Krissy Montgomery

Episode 7: How to deliver adventure like a pro with Krissy Montgomery
Krissy Montgomery from the Surf Sister Surf School in Tofino, BC joins Chris and Jordy to talk about what it means to deliver adventure like a pro. Krissy shares her experiences teaching surfing and running a world class surf school.

Key Takeaways
Making the experience fun: Krissy makes learning to surf sound like a lot of fun, this is an essential part of an adventure.
Giving people control where you can: When we don’t give people control, they can become resistant to our feedback. They can also feel pressured to do things that they may not feel comfortable or interested in. To avoid this, try to give people as much control as you can.
Being inclusive: It doesn’t matter who you are, adventure is for everyone. An inclusive environment is one that is free of judgement, and one where people feel supported and cared for. If you want to get the best out of people, they need to feel physically, mentally and emotionally safe.

Guest Links
You can find out more about Krissy Montgomery and Surf Sister Surf School by visiting surfsister.com.
Watch Krissy teach Rick Mercer how to surf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvosJJPfFPU

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Krissy Montgomery: I saw, uh, I had, there was sort of like a beach, there was a bit of a dip, and then there was a sandbar where waves were breaking and I had swam across. Um, and I was playing on the sandbar. Uh, when I heard someone yelling behind me, I turned around and, you know, I saw someone, you know, drowning sort of in, on the inside between, you know, the beach and where I was standing, cuz it, it got deep again.

So my first instinct was, I’ve gotta save this.

[00:00:27] Chris Kaipio: This is Delivering Adventure. Welcome to the podcast that explores what it really takes to share adventure like a pro with your friends, your family, and as a profession. My name is Chris Kio, and I’m coming to you from Whistler, British Columbia. And I’m Jordy Shepard,

[00:00:49] Jordy Shepherd: recording from Canmore, Alberta.

After a lifetime of working extensively in different parts of the adventure guiding industry, Chris and I have teamed up to launch this podcast. In each episode, you’ll hear top adventure guides, managers, marketers, and athletes share their best stories, advice, and trade secrets. The goal of this podcast is to share how you can take yourself and others farther from the mountains to the office and.

[00:01:16] Chris Kaipio: In this episode we talk with Krissy Montgomery. Krissy is the founder and owner of Surf Sister Surf School in Tofino, bc. Surf Sister is a surfing school that is dedicated to creating an inclusive space for people to learn how to surf. Originally, surf sister catered to women who were looking to get into surfing.

Over time, the school has grown and has evolved to become an inclusive space for everyone. Krissy is going to share with us the secrets to teaching surfing. And her perspective of what it takes to deliver adventure like a pro. Jordy, you learned to surf with Surf

[00:01:52] Jordy Shepherd: Sister, is that right? Yeah, that’s right.

Chris. Uh, I, myself and my wife, uh, went and did a trip to Teo, uh, a number of years ago, and it just was, uh, a really good fit to, And the, the, their. Process is, is really quite amazing how they, how they roll it out right from, uh, when they outfit you at the shop there, uh, getting you out to the beach, uh, doing some ground school on, on the beach there.

Uh, you’re all wearing their, their pink trademark, pink shirts over top of your wetsuits so they can figure out who their students are amongst all of the surfers that are out there just in regular wetsuits. Uh, cause they wanna be able to find you and help you if you need help. And, uh, yeah, they basically got us pretty much standing up in one lesson.

And, uh, yeah, it was, it was the perfect experience.

[00:02:44] Chris Kaipio: Highly recommended. Okay, that sounds great, Jordy. Well, let’s bring Krissy into the DA Studio and hear what she has to say.

[00:02:55] Jordy Shepherd: Welcome to the show, Krissy. Where are you now?

[00:02:58] Krissy Montgomery: Good morning. Uh, I’m talking to you guys from my house here in Tofino, bc. Awesome.

[00:03:03] Jordy Shepherd: How do you define adventure?

[00:03:07] Krissy Montgomery: Um, gosh, It, it, to me, the, the first thing when I hear the word adventure that comes to mind is just the word fun, you know, um, adventures, you know, kind of pushing yourself and seeking out sort of new things that you’ve never tried before. Um, often it means something challenging.

But, uh, you know, to me that also means it’s probably rewarding. So, um, yeah, as soon as I hear the word adventure, instantly I think I’m game. How do I get to be part of this? I wanna go, uh, let’s have some fun.

[00:03:38] Jordy Shepherd: How did you get into the adventure industry? Uh, you’ve, you’ve, you’re operating a successful business.

You’ve been doing that for quite a while. It’s, it’s actually quite an amazing brand that you’ve, you’ve created for yourself there. How did you get into.

[00:03:51] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah, well, I moved up to Tofino, um, uh, just, uh, the week of my 19th birthday. I, I grew up in a nimo and, um, you know, in high school, uh, we had sort of adventured to the west coast, lots to go camping and tried to teach ourselves how to surf.

Um, and yeah, as soon as I turned 19, I packed up my car with my, my best friends and we moved out. To Tofino to become, uh, surf bums. Essentially, it was the, the full on Blue Crush Dream where we worked as chambermaids by day. And then in the evenings, uh, we were Surfers.

[00:04:26] Jordy Shepherd: We saw, uh, we watched your episode with Rick Mercer.

There. Uh, Rick, Rick, uh, for those of our audience who don’t know, is a Canadian, uh, TV show host, uh, who focuses on current affairs with, uh, a very funny bent to it. Um, what was it like to take Rick out and try and teach him to surf? Yeah,

[00:04:45] Krissy Montgomery: that was awesome. I mean, uh, the reason why he came on the show was cuz I was a big fan of his show and so, you know, I had written them a, a letter basically pleading him to come surfing with me because I thought it would be entertaining and, uh, fun for me at least.

So, uh, I think at the end he had a good time. But yeah, it was a blast teaching him how to surf. He’s such a humble and, you know, amazing Canadian treasure. Uh, I just love the guy. Um, yeah, it was, it was a,

[00:05:13] Jordy Shepherd: For those of you that haven’t seen it, we’ll put a link into the, uh, to the YouTube video segment.

Perfect. Surfing into,

[00:05:22] Krissy Montgomery: I was a lot younger then ,

[00:05:24] Jordy Shepherd: We, we all were uh, surfing into pheno. Uh, so what’s surfing? Like, why, why is it a thing there? Uh, I think, you know, probably some of our listeners are in some pretty warm tropical places and, uh, they’re wondering what, what’s up with that?

[00:05:43] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah, well I, you know, for me, surfing didn’t even kind of come on my RA radar until about high school.

And, you know, we got a hold of some surfer magazines and, um, you know, we just, you know, the fact that you were able to do it in Canada was just so mind blowing to us that we, you know, we wanted to be part of it. We didn’t care that it was cold water, um, for us, you know, putting on a wetsuit and boots and all that kind of stuff.

Part of the whole adventure. Like it didn’t, it wasn’t a hindrance in any sort of way. Um, if your choices are surfing with a wetsuit on in cold water versus no surfing, I’ll take the wetsuit anytime, you know? Um, so yeah, for us, uh, we were not dissuaded by the cold at all. We just wanted to, you know, be able to surf, you know, in our home country.

And, um, yeah, Tofino. Such a beautiful town and the surf is very accessible. Um, you know, you’ve got tons of sand bottom beaches and, uh, surf almost 365 days of the year. So it’s a very accessible and consistent place to surf. Um, so that’s, and you know, of course it’s, it’s beautiful. So, um, it definitely, the cold was not enough of a negative factor for me to take o to, you know, be dissuaded.

[00:06:56] Jordy Shepherd: So one of my first surf experiences was with Surf Sister in Tino there with my wife and I doing a trip there. And it was, it was a great experience. Uh, so you get a lot of people that have never surfed before or are, are probably very poor surfers and are really hoping to get into it. How, Talk us through the process of how, how you kind of start to finish in a, in a lesson, trying to get people to be able to stand up and experience that.

[00:07:23] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah, well, yeah, we teach, you know, beginner and sort of intermediate and even some advanced lessons, but, you know, the bulk of our lessons are beginners. Um, yeah, lots of families, you know, lots of first-time surfers, you know, we’ve definitely taken out people who’ve never even seen the ocean before. Um, but sort of the way that our lessons work is, uh, We always, you know, meet everyone in, in the parking lot and get changed in the parking lot, just like a regular surf bum, you know, no change rooms, just a towel.

Uh, then we head down to the beach and um, of course go over a bunch of safety stuff. Um, you know, for our lessons, that’s sort of our priority is. Safety and fun. So, um, we’re on the sand and we’re talking about everything from equipment usage and care, uh, to ocean safety, learning about rip currents, um, you know, paddling and pop-up technique as well as surf etiquette, like the rules of surfing.

And then we take all that information after we practice, you know, popping and paddling. Uh, so paddling and popping up on the sand. And then we head down into the whitewash waves and, uh, Yeah, get everyone to try catching waves on their own and, um, yeah, start to finish. A, a surf lesson is about two and a half hours, uh, whether it’s beginner or, or advanced.

Uh, just because after that all of our arms are quite tired. , as

[00:08:38] Jordy Shepherd: I’m sure you remember. I I do recall that, yes. Yeah. It’s a different muscle group than, uh, Yeah. A lot of us are used to using in other activities. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:08:46] Krissy Montgomery: It’s, it’s brilliant. I love it. Sometimes we have customers who are like, you know, the biggest buffs, you know, men and women coming in and, uh, you know, it, it, you know, they look over and it’s the seven-year-old beside them that’s popping up consistently.

You know, sometimes it, those big muscles aren’t always the most helpful. It’s, uh, you know, a lot of it is technique, flexibility and agility. Yeah. And often

[00:09:06] Jordy Shepherd: those aren’t, uh, they don’t go side by side. . No, No. Working against each other. and for the, for the equipment you provide, everything, people could just show up basically.

And uh, and you know, in with their swim

[00:09:20] Krissy Montgomery: trunks. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. Um, so we just, you know, tell people to bring along a swimsuit, a towel, a sensitive adventure, and probably some sunscreen just for their faces. But, uh, in our lessons, we provide you with everything, you know, full wetsuits, boots and gloves if needed, um, and a surfboard as well.

[00:09:38] Jordy Shepherd: What do, what do you find people tend to struggle with the most when they’re in the learning phase? There?

[00:09:44] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah, I, I, I think for a lot of people, um, it, it, it’s two things. It’s, it’s one of them is definitely like, you know, strength, um, you know, being able to like push, pop them pop up, uh, push themselves up quickly, you know, like you said, it’s a different muscle group than people, what people are used to.

Um, that, and then probably even more than that is just the timing. Um, you know, it’s something, unless you’ve, uh, done some like boogie boarding or something before, it’s kind of unlike any other sport. Um, the easiest. Surfing itself is just, is riding, you know, it’s like any other board sport like snowboarding or skateboarding, you know, that part is the easy part.

It’s just all the other stuff first. Uh, that is kind of a lot more difficult, you know, the paddling, the popping up, that sort of thing. .

[00:10:27] Jordy Shepherd: And is there a set of levels for surf instructors to go through?

[00:10:32] Krissy Montgomery: Um, yeah, there’s like a, you know, sort of like a basic criterion. Um, so if someone wanted to come out and, you know, have a summer job of teaching surfing, uh, what they’d first have to do is complete, uh, a bronze cross and bronze medallion swim course.

Um, so I have your basic life saving, um, or that, uh, course is taught out here in the ocean. So, it’s been modified from the pool version. Uh, cuz obviously, uh, doing rescues and things in open water with waves is a lot more difficult than out of a pool. Um, so first that course needs to be completed and that’s about 40 hours.

Uh, you also need your first aid and CPR. Uh, and then in addition to that, each, uh, surf school here, I know us, we do about a 40-hour in-house training, uh, just to make sure people are comfortable delivering the content. Um, but before any of all that, you’d have to prove that. You know how to surf. So, we always take our, uh, any applicants, um, out on, you know, out for a surf just to make sure that they are competent in the water and, uh, you know, consistent enough at surfing in order to be able to teach

[00:11:34] Jordy Shepherd: it.

Right? Yeah. You gotta know what you’re doing before you can teach it. Exactly. A lot of people feel, I think feel that surfing is a pretty adventurous activity. Some people aren’t very comfortable with the water environment, um, at all. So how, how, what are some strategies that you use to convince people that they can actually, they can do this and overcome their sort of trepidation or, or fear of the, the water or the activity?


[00:12:01] Krissy Montgomery: So, um, we just asked like, our, our prerequisite for surfing here is that you have basic swim skills. Uh, you don’t need to be a champion swimmer by any, any means, but you do wanna be able to feel comfortable. The last thing we wanna do is take you out into the water and have someone be terrified, uh, of the water itself.

So, uh, basic swim skills are a must, but you know, the thing about surfing in Tofino is that. All the beaches here are sand bottom. Uh, they’re nice gradual breaks. So it’s one of the most, uh, you know, safe and easy places that I’ve ever seen, uh, as a surf destination for learning to surf. It’s, it’s perfect.

And the way that our beaches are kind of lined up here, um, they do face slightly different directions. So just because a swell is really big at one beach doesn’t mean it is at the beach around the corner. So often we’re able to kind of hide from the. So that way we can get people beginners, especially in the most appropriate waves and conditions for them.

Uh, so that’s a, you know, a, an easy way to kind of convince people that, you know, yes, there are big waves out here, but you don’t have to be part of those big waves. You can learn to surf in nice shallow water where you can stand most of the time. Um, I think the other thing too that, uh, you know, where people feel, uh, comfortable learning to serve here as opposed to other places, is also the fact that you’re wearing a wetsuit.

So here you’re covered by a neoprene wetsuit, which keeps you warm. Um, it also keeps you all tucked in as well. So I’ve, you know, done a lot of surfing in the tropics and surfing in a bikini is a challenge in its own. Um, so here, you know, we’ve got the wetsuits that, you know, cover you, you for modesty reasons, but also to act as a nice, uh, bit of buoyancy as well.

They do help you float. So that’s a nice, uh, nice added bonus of the wetsuit.

[00:13:46] Chris Kaipio: So, Christie, when I watch people learn to surf, I tend to see them falling a lot. I often see the same thing with people learning to snowboard. You know, windsurfing is another example. What strategies do you use to motivate people to keep practicing so that they can reach the point where they can start to really develop the feel for moving through the water and to find their balance?

[00:14:08] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah, I mean, we, we tell people right off the bat, like falling is part of surfing. Um, you know, part of our lesson is actually teaching people how to fall correctly, how to fall safely just to minimize any bit of injury. Uh, you know, one thing to that we do tell people to is like, you know, compared to skiing or snowboarding, your first day of surfing is much gentler.

Um, even though you’re falling, you are falling in water. So, it’s a lot easier to get back up. Um, But you know, with all that trial and error, what you’re doing too is you’re developing muscle memory. Um, you know, you’re, you’re learning as you’re going. So those things that some people are perceiving as failures, it’s still a learning experience.

So, um, yeah, I, I feel like people also have a lot of, you know, tenacity. They, they want to get up, so, you know, they’re going to keep trying until they do. So. Oh, and it does help too, that we give everyone a sticker at the end of the lesson. So we use that as bribery as well.

[00:15:06] Chris Kaipio: Yeah, I do find that when you’re teaching people to do new things, framing, framing, what success is, a lot of people come in thinking that, you know, they’re, they’re not doing very well because they’ve, they come in with an image of, of everybody, you know, really killing it, and then they compare themselves to that when in fact, normal is, is actually what, what they’re.

[00:15:27] Krissy Montgomery: For sure, definitely. You know, people have high expectations and people are really hard on themselves and you know, I just remind people that yeah, these failures, um, what, what you’re doing is you’re, you know, you’re building up your skills. You’re, you’re learning, you’re all these, all the times you fall.

Um, it’s, you know, because of a reason. So, let’s figure out what that is. Let’s, let’s learn more and get better. Um, yeah, it’s, yeah.

[00:15:53] Chris Kaipio: Now I’ve seen the people out on the beaches, you know, learning, uh, to surf it. When I, you know, when I watch tv, I see these videos of people surfing through these, you know, super cool tunnels of water with the waves, just curling over them as they go.

You know, I have to ask how long does it take for someone to get good enough to actually do that?

[00:16:12] Krissy Montgomery: That takes a very long time. um, surfing is, I think of it as a lifetime sport, you know, and, you know, it is what, what. You know, you get out of surfing. What, what it is that, you know, you, you put into it, essentially.

Like if you, if that is your ultimate goal is getting barrelled. Well, you know, you’ve, you’ve definitely got a, you know, a, a big learning curve ahead of you, but, The thing about surfing is you can have fun at any level. You don’t have to be that world champion guy in order to be having a, a good time out there.

You could be the person in the whitewash kind of floundering around, um, you know, catching, you know, waves that have already broken and you’re stumbling up to your feet and falling half the time. Like, that could be that person’s best day. So, you know, surfing is whatever it is you want it to be, you know?

Um, It’s a sport where, you know, the elements are constantly changing. Um, so every wave is different. Um, every session is different. So, it’s kind of, there is no sort of end goal. So, uh, yeah, you can just kind of keep progressing forever. But in order to get to that kind of level where you are, you know, Getting barrelled.

You, you, it does take years and years.

[00:17:30] Chris Kaipio: So, you just mentioned that every wave is different. Can you tell us about, uh, you know, how waves, how waves work, what you’re looking for, what you’re trying to avoid? Because, you know, for many of us that don’t spend a lot of time in the ocean, it is a, um, a very dynamic environment that maybe we’re not that familiar.

[00:17:49] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah, I mean the waves here in Teo are, you know, change every single day. Um, the first thing I do in the morning is, you know, check what the buoy report is, um, just so that I can kind of narrow down what my day’s going to look like, uh, where I should be surfing, where the best conditions are. Um, so your waves are ultimately generated by wind, like wind energy, um, you know, low pressure systems, storms.

Um, if you’ve ever blown into like a hot cup of coffee and you see the ripples that come out from it, um, that’s essentially what’s happening in the ocean on a much grander scale. So that wind energy blowing on the surface of the water creates giant ripples, which we call swell. And then as that swell travels towards, um, land and it hits, uh, you know, like a land mass like hits the bottom, it jacks up and creates a wave and folds over.

And that’s essentially what causes the waves at our beaches here. So, um, There’s always wind, there’s always waves. So, uh, you know, it’s changing constantly, depending on the seasons, depending on the day. Um, and yeah, it’s, it’s never boring.

[00:18:55] Chris Kaipio: So you operate a world class surf school. From your perspective, what do you think it means to deliver adventure like a pro?

[00:19:03] Krissy Montgomery: I mean, a huge part of it is, um, for me is safety, you know, uh, adventure. You know, it, it is taking risks often, but it’s calculated risks. So for us, you know, delivering our lessons in a very safe manner is the most important. Um, also too, in a fun way, you know, we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously, especially when we’re trying something new.

Um, so just being able to, you know, take people out and show them a. Experience in a really positive way. I think that’s really important. Um, and also too, you know, being professional, um, and making sure that you know what you’re delivering to is accessible to as many people as

[00:19:43] Chris Kaipio: possible. One of the things I’ve heard is that attention to detail is what differentiates a professional from an amateur.

What other traits do you think real pros possess that enthusiasts should aspire to develop?

[00:19:59] Krissy Montgomery: I mean, I think the, you know, that, that tenacity, that fire is huge. You know, that ability to, you know, if you fall, to be able to get back up again and try, that’s so important. Um, Yeah. I, to me, that like, in surfing, that’s the one that’s kind of, uh, you know, Gotten me where I am is just the ability to get back up, shake that off, you know, forget about that, wipe out or that bad session, and then get back out there and have fun.

Um, as long as you know you’re having fun and you’re going in with a positive attitude as well, um, you know, you are more open to, you know, potential good things happening. So, um, Yeah, that, that sort of like that tenacity and that drive, um, you know, as well as obvious. Attention to detail, .

[00:20:52] Chris Kaipio: Yeah. I do find that positive mindset is, is super important.

I, I love it when I meet people that your first interaction with them, they say, Whatever happens today, it’s going to be great. Um, but not everybody has that mindset, uh, unfortunately, and, and tenacity quite frankly. Um, how do you think people can develop some of these skills that you.

[00:21:15] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah, I mean, I know for myself, um, if I’m having a bad session or if I’m frustrated, um, you know, with the conditions, I often try to, you know, stop, take some deep breaths, um, kind of take stock of where I am.

Like, Oh, I’m at this beautiful beach. Here I am. I’ve got, you know, I’m not working today , but you’re, there’s some friends in the water, like that sort of thing. Um, and then what I like to do too is, Pay attention to who is catching waves in the water. You know, are they having fun, you know, often or if you see someone do something, you know, give them a compliment Sometimes, like me cheering on my friends in the water and watching them have success and be happy, it’s enough to kind of pull me up and out of my funk.

Um, that I think that’s a really, you know, important part of surfing, even though it is such an individual sport, is to, you know, Encourage each other, uh, you know, and, and pull each other up.

[00:22:09] Chris Kaipio: Like most sports and new environments that people, you know, are, are starting off in and visiting, you know, one of the things you probably find is people showing up with a lot of stress and anxiety and, and that sort of thing.

It’s, it’s all new for them. How do you recognize that in them? Like, what are you looking for? And then how do you try to diffuse.

[00:22:29] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah. Um, I mean, part of, you know, surfing in Tofino, um, When you bring people down to the beach and you sit them down in the sand, it forces them to just pause for a second and for them to even take stock of where they are and how fortunate they are to be there.

So I think, yeah, you know, slowing people down. Um, you know, in the beginning of our lessons, you know, we sit down in our circle and, you know, we go over some safety things and, but before we even do that, we do a bit of an intro and it’s just to kind of calm everyone, calm their. Um, kind of ground them and get them present as to where they are, uh, before we start, you know, into the, into learning to surf itself.

Um, just to kind of help shake that off a bit.

[00:23:15] Chris Kaipio: Yeah. I find sometimes when people are, are show up and, and maybe they’re not in a positive mindset, it’s just simply because of their, you know, their level of, of stress and, and fear. Um, that, you know, we can often as instructors miss and then, you know, if you don’t know somebody, you think, Oh wow, they’re maybe just in a bad mood.

Or maybe that’s the way they are when really they have a lot of anxiety definitely that you need to, need to

[00:23:38] Krissy Montgomery: deal. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. That’s why, um, we, we, um, you know, sort of ease our way into the, the lesson, um, just cuz that, you know, that is a very common thing that we see. It’s just people being anxious.

So, um, you know, we also too remind people that we only need to go as deep as, you know, they want. We only need to stay out as long as they want. You know, at any point the exit is this way, which is just the sand. So, You know, that sort of also helps kind of calm people, um, and allow them to, you know, be present and, and receive information.

[00:24:13] Jordy Shepherd: How big is your staff and, uh, you know, how, how have you grown the company over the years in terms of business decisions and making it what it is today?

[00:24:24] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah. So, um, the company itself, Yeah. Started in 1999, um, with, uh, it actually wasn’t started by me. It was started with another woman with just a cell phone and a truck.

Uh, I came in in about 2003 and we were operating out of this like a little shack. And uh, yeah, at that point I think we had a staff of about six or seven. , um, I, you know, began managing it and then in 2009 I took it over. Um, we moved to a larger location and you know, the Tofino. Itself kind of has, you know, boomed over the last, you know, couple of decades.

Uh, surfing itself has become a lot more popular. Obviously, movies like Blue Crush helped a lot to kind of expedite that. Um, and surfing our, our surf school in particular, it just, it grew quite organically. Um, you know, I feel like. People do have hesitation coming into the sport because it was perceived as, you know, a very extreme sport, but it’s only as extreme as you want it to be.

Um, you know, understanding that you can access surf in a, in a safe and fun manner, um, was something that really appealed to people. So, um, yeah, the business just sort of grew from there. Uh, current day in the summers we have about a staff of 35. Um, and in the winter we drop down to maybe about 15.

[00:25:44] Jordy Shepherd: Oh, still pretty sizable.

Kind of small business moving towards larger business. Nice work. Thank you. So with you being out in the, in the surf on the beach, in that environment, you, your staff, your company, uh, quite constantly, uh, I’m sure you’ve probably seen some stuff, uh, that’s kind of questionable or, or some things going sideways or wrong for people.

Um, yeah. If you do have any stories of where you’ve been able to, uh, to help out and, and, and be part. Survival for folks?

[00:26:16] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah, definitely. I mean, living out here, um, you know, our beaches are very wild and there are no lifeguards anymore at any of the beaches, so that’s been something that’s been difficult to us as surf instructors.

Um, it, it means actually a lot of the rescues in the area have come down on our shoulders to do. During our workday or on our own free time. So, uh, our staff, for example, you know, we go through the training, the life saving training. So we’re constantly, you know, whether it’s my, you know, my day off and I’m free surfing, or I’m actually on, on shift, I’m constantly scanning the waterline to see if I can see, identify people that are in trouble.

I can’t help it. It’s the surf instructor in me. I’ve been doing it for so long that I can’t shut it off. Um, that, yeah, we’ve seen people. You know, it happens constantly. Um, you know, people getting in over their head. They’re not, you know, realizing how big the surf conditions actually are. Um, or they’re getting caught in rip currents or, you know, falling, you know, incorrectly and, you know, getting hit by their board and things.

So we are doing, you know, a fair amount of rescues. Um, we keep track of everything, uh, just cuz one day we really do hope that we can lobby for, um, some water safety here. Our town, uh, just to keep people safe. But, um, you know, the, the one thing that I’ll just say on the subject is that, um, before you go and aid someone, you just, you need to make sure that you know how to do that safely.

Um, cuz I have seen that happen where, you know, people have the best intentions to go help others, but they themselves. Um, equipped to, to deliver that, you know, and then all of sudden you have multiple people now in trouble. So, um, yeah, I, I do encourage everyone here who’s on the West Coast or spending any amount of time in the ocean to take a water safety class, um, even if it’s at your local pool, um, you know, anything you can do to kind of like educate yourself, uh, in about the elements that you’re going to be in and, um, the better, essentially.

[00:28:24] Jordy Shepherd: Yeah. Good on you. That’s, um, a lot of these smaller communities, you know, whether it’s coastal or interior in British Columbia and across the country. I was just teaching Avalanche Search and Rescue in Quebec on the Gas Bay Peninsula this last winter, and, and there’s not a lot of resources available and it’s kind of interesting how.

People just band together that are in whatever industry is, is having the issue, whether it’s surfing or ski touring or ice climbing or, or um, hiking, all that kind of stuff. And yeah, it sometimes falls on the, on the local business owners and, uh, volunteers, but not even in an organized really way. Um, we we’re still working on that in Canada.

[00:29:07] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah, definitely. Um, like with all the surf schools here, we do have, you know, an annual meeting one or two times a year. And even though there’s, you know, competition between the offices when it comes down to the beach, if there’s a rescue, uh, all the surf schools here would help each other in a heartbeat.

Um, they would band together. And we also realize too, we’ve taken on this role as sort of defacto lifeguards on the beach. So, um, yeah, we take it all quite seriously and all. Record these incidences just so that, you know, hopefully one day we can lobby for, you know, uh, a, a lifeguard program on the west coast.

[00:29:42] Jordy Shepherd: Yeah, absolutely. I, I recall, uh, years ago I was in Maland in Mexico with a buddy on tour with my Volkswagen van, and we’d been out in the surf swimming and not, I don’t think we were surfing, but, uh, a Mexican surfer, a local, had an issue. He got separated from his board and was not a very good. And so my, my buddy noted that and went and swam out and brought him in.

So the police showed up on the beach and, you know, he was okay. All worked out fine and we reaped the benefits of that because, uh, we got busted for camping in town in the Volkswagen van, kind of a couple nights later, by the, by the local police. They knocked on the window and uh, we happened to recognize that it was same police officers that had been on the beach when we’d rescued this Mexican surfer

And so they, they gave us a buy on.

[00:30:31] Krissy Montgomery: That’s awesome.

[00:30:32] Chris Kaipio: That, that’s great. Yeah.

[00:30:34] Jordy Shepherd: Some benefits of, uh, of, uh, putting yourself in harm’s way. .

[00:30:37] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah, definitely. Yeah.

[00:30:40] Jordy Shepherd: So, a trait of a pro is being willing to acknowledge and learn from your mistakes. We all know that right? In in the various things that we do, uh, in your career, if you look back and think about, Wow, I wish I’d done that differently.

Is there anything that comes to. Um,

[00:30:57] Krissy Montgomery: you know, actually the story that you were just telling that, that sort of, uh, you know, sparked something in me where, Yeah. It was very, very early on in my surfing, um, where I was at a beach. Yeah. Swimming. I saw, uh, I had, there was sort of like a beach, there was a bit of a dip, and then there was a sandbar where waves were breaking and I had swam.

Um, and I was playing on the sandbar. Uh, when I heard someone yelling behind me, I turned around and, you know, I saw someone, you know, drowning sort of in, on the inside between, you know, the beach and where I was standing cuz it got deep again. So, my first instinct was, I’ve gotta save this guy. So I. Swam straight to him, but I, I didn’t have any sort of flotation device with me.

Um, I approached him, you know, headfirst as opposed to foot first, which was a mistake. Um, and you know, the guy just grabbed onto me cuz I was floating and, you know, he was so desperate, um, that he started to pull me under as well. So I then was in trouble. Um, uh, a friend had to, has saw the whole thing and he came as well and, you know, was able to kind of grab the guy’s arms so that he could.

You know, clawing at me essentially, so that we could grab, you know, I could grab his other arm and then we could drag him back to shore. But, you know, it was an example of one of those things where, you know, you have the best intention sometimes, but if you don’t have the, you know, the skill set or the knowledge, um, maybe you just wait or try to get somebody else, or, you know, go as a pair just like we ended up doing.

But, um, you know, things like that, I, I look back on and I’m like, Whew, , I got, got lucky there. Um, I definitely never made that mistake ever again. Um, but. Yeah. And then as far as like, you know, the career goes, um, there’s, you know, it’s been a lot of trial and error. You know, I came into this business as a surf bum, not as a businesswoman.

So, uh, there is definitely a bit of a learning curve there. Um, I feel like I’ve, you know, overcome a lot of that. And, uh, I actually really do enjoy the business side now as well as the adventure side. Um, but yeah, it’s all, it’s all learning. I chalk it up all to the.

[00:32:58] Jordy Shepherd: Yeah, that’s great. Uh, info for our listeners to, you know, just think about, you know, look before you leap and, um, yeah.

It’s, uh, yeah, it’s a, you know, these are dangerous environments and when people are floundering, they, you know, they’ll push you down to try and get up themselves, right? It’s, it’s just human nature. Uh, so yeah, do everything you can to protect yourself, but again, uh, Good on you for, yeah, being there and, uh, and helping folks out in.

[00:33:26] Chris Kaipio: Krissy, I find one of the traits of an Adventure Pro is to be able to frame experiences, even if they were tough as being positive. What do you think we can do to help to influence people to ensure that they see an experience as being possible? And what types of strategies do you use?

[00:33:44] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah, I mean, I, I guess too, you know what, what, like with surfing, so much of it is, uh, developing, um, like muscle tone.

Um, the endurance and, and muscle memory really. That’s, that’s such a huge one for us. So even if you’re trying and failing constantly, you’re still building. Little, you know, that muscle tissue that, that, um, that memory in your muscles of going, Oh, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. This is how it’s supposed to happen.

Um, Yeah, I, I guess too, uh, you know, with surfing as well, the more time you’re spending in the ocean, the more you’re learning, you know, the more you’re watching waves and looking, Even when I’m watching a commercial, if I see a wave in the background, I’m constantly scanning the horizon. Like, Oh, where’s the peak?

Where would I take off? You know? So it’s like, it’s all, it’s all learning. So a lot of it too is just putting in your time so you know whether you are considering that time you had spent in the water successful. You know, quote unquote successful or not. Um, it’s still all just building blocks. It’s still all adds up to the, the greater picture of becoming, uh, you know, a prolific surfer.

So yeah, the more time you spend out there, the better.

[00:34:57] Chris Kaipio: Yeah, I think that’s really important. To frame those things is all part of the learning experience. And you know, this. This is what the takeaway from this is. It might not have felt like you succeeded, or it, you know, it exceeded your expectations, but this is all still part of the process.

Definitely, yeah. I had a situation where I had a, a lady, I actually made a mistake. I, I took her down the, uh, I took her down a, a run that would’ve been a challenge under nor normal circumstances, but it was actually, um, super icy. The snow was awful and, I think I, I’d used every strategy in my, you know, in my book as a ski instructor to get her down.

And, and, you know, we, we made it all work and, and that’s fine. And she wasn’t in danger, but it wasn’t enjoyable at all. And, you know, I got her down and, and she was crushed and, you know, rightfully so. And I ended up, you know, stopping and, and I’m like, Listen, first of all, look back at what you just did. You got down there, like it wasn’t pretty, but you got down there and sometimes when you’re skiing things don’t look pretty and they don’t feel great, but you know, there’s no rules out here.

You just have to get to the end in, in one piece. And then, and then we just sort of went through all of the pieces of how we made that. Work. And then I finished off by saying, Listen, you know, I, I’m so glad you had that experience with me versus maybe say your husband dragging you down there and how much worse that would’ve been for your relationship with the two of you.

And oh, by the way, we’re not doing that. Uh, you know, again, But it can be, yeah, it can be really, um, tough when people are deflated to frame that experience as being positive when they feel the

[00:36:43] Krissy Montgomery: complete opposite. Yeah, no, that’s true. Like that the technique that you used is great. And, uh, you know, just even you mentioning about the husbands, like that’s what we’ve been saying for years is just like sometimes.

Loved ones. Teaching loved ones is not the best, the best thing for your relationship, the best thing for your relationship is get a guide, get someone else to do it. Um, that way they can, you know, cuz we do have these tools, we do have these experiences on how to, you know, spin into a positive. Um, whereas loved ones don’t always, and they don’t always have the most, uh, patience as well either.

So, um, yes, that’s, that’s where US professionals come in. .

[00:37:22] Chris Kaipio: Oh, you’re, you’re so right now. Why do you think that is? Like why, why is it that we struggle to teach and manage the people that are the closest to us? Why is that seem to be the hardest thing

[00:37:34] Krissy Montgomery: for us to do? Because they’re not paying us. No. Just kidding.

No. Um, I think it’s just because you, you know, you have less patience, you know, with your loved ones than you do with strangers often. Um, you know, they know how to push those buttons, you know, and you know how to push their buttons. And so, um, Yeah. Often too, uh, yeah, if it is a negative experience, you know, Person is being blamed for it.

Um, whereas if it was with a professional, um, like you said, you could put a spin on it, um, and also you could frame it in a much more positive way. So, um, yeah, teach it, it, it is nice if you can give tips, uh, to loved ones if they’re willing to receive it. That’s what I say too sometimes to friends. If I see them doing something wrong, I’ll ask them.

Do you want a tip? Do you want any help? And if they say yes, then you know, I can point out what they’re doing wrong and point out a better way of them being able to do it. Uh, but sometimes people just aren’t ready to receive that information either. So, uh, that’s why I always ask first. But,

[00:38:37] Chris Kaipio: so, you know, for those people that are out there trying to teach their friends and, and their family, and, um, Maybe they don’t have the opportunity to, you know, to hire an instructor or they just don’t want to, you know, What kind of advice can you give those people, uh, to help them succeed?

Like what kind of strategies would you advise them to, to use? Yeah, I

[00:38:55] Krissy Montgomery: mean, definitely do it slowly, you know, there’s. Uh, there’s no reason to push it. Um, so acknowledge those like little, you know, those little milestones. Hey, you’re in the wetsuit. Super. That’s great. Okay, let’s get in the water. Oh, let’s just splash around first to make sure we feel comfortable with it.

Like those sorts of things, like taking baby steps, um, so that you’re not. Overwhelming someone, cuz the last thing you want to do is take someone out and let them have a bad experience. You know, cuz then it’s done. They won’t wanna do it again. So, you know, introduce it to them in a, you know, in a gentle way.

Um, also too, make sure that you’re in appropriate conditions, like make sure you know your conditions before you take anyone else. Out there, um, you know, is the surf even appropriate to be teaching someone in or taking kids in or, or that sort of thing. So, um, yeah, just take it very slowly and then yeah, acknowledge all those, like mini milestones and celebrate those.

Um, so that way when you walk away from, you know, the experience at the end of the day, maybe they didn’t stand up or whatever, but there was all those other like mini things to celebrate, like catching a wave or just having fun or, you know, whatever, whatever.

[00:40:05] Chris Kaipio: Yeah, that, that idea of pacing is, I find super important because I, you know, as someone who does a lot of this, Um, a lot I find it’s very easy when you get with your friends or family to want to rush it to, you know, to kind of push things faster than, than you would normally with other people that are paying you.

And, and the paying part is because there’s that expectation of you’re the professional and there’s a, there’s a level of responsibility there that seems to be different than when we’re with our friends

[00:40:39] Krissy Montgomery: and family. Yeah, definitely. Yeah.

[00:40:43] Chris Kaipio: So, what do you think comes next for surfing? You know, in other sports we’ve seen how technology has changed the equipment.

Do you, do you think that surfing. You know, do you think that the version of surfing that we see now will stay the same, or do you think that, you know, future in advances in technology or techniques will, you know, will change the sport? Yeah,

[00:41:06] Krissy Montgomery: I mean, if you look at surfing, you know, even over the last.

Couple of decades. It, it, it has evolved in that, you know, now with all the, the aerials things, tricks and stuff that are happening or, you know, and bigger waves are being ridden than ever before. So, you know, there has been definitely some technology that’s helped those, uh, that, that out. I can’t possibly imagine it getting.

Better or bigger than what it is right now. I’m sure there’ll be a lot more, um, exploration. You know, surf breaks are still being discovered all the time, um, as people kind of like sprawl out into this world. But, um, I think at its core, you know, surfing is, you know, It, it’s, it, it is such a pure sport that it may, you know, technology may change it, but that may just become its own type of thing.

Surfing at its core really is just a board and a, and a person and a wave, you know? Um, so yeah, I, I s. You know, it could evolve down different channels, but, um, for the most part, you know, the core will always sort of stay the same. Um, what I, what I’m finding fascinating, um, now is just, uh, the equality in the sport.

Like, uh, surfing was the fir, you know, one of the first professional sports to have equal prize money for men and women on. Professional tour. Um, and you know, just watching women, you know, now being able to surf some of the breaks that they weren’t historically allowed to surf before in contests, like pipeline.

Um, you know, that I think is fascinating just watching how that equality then, you know, raises the, the level of surfing, you know, for women, but also like in general. So, um, you know, we’re seeing the best surfing we’ve ever seen now, and it’s, I think it’s fascinating to me.

[00:42:55] Chris Kaipio: Yeah, that, that’s amazing. Just going to go back, uh, a moment here, cause you, you got me thinking about something, uh, that I wished I’d asked earlier. You know, what are some of the skills that you see, you know, new instructors struggle with? You have a lot of staff, uh, you know, coming in into your school and.

That are probably new. What do you see people have a hard time with and how do you develop that to help them to make that

[00:43:20] Krissy Montgomery: stronger? Yeah. I think, um, you know, so much of being a good guide or a good instructor is, is reading the person that you’re with, you know, um, you know, and keeping them like engaged.

So, you know, I. You know, I’m teaching a kid, I’m constantly asking the kid questions just to make sure they’re present. Um, I’m teaching them information and then one minute later I’m quizzing them on it just to make sure that, uh, they’re engaged. And I think, you know, time makes you a better instructor, um, just cuz you get more familiar with clients and, you know, different personality types and how, um, even though you’re ultimately delivering the same message in every surf lesson.

The way you go about doing it based on your audience will, will change. And I think, um, you know, that that’s something, uh, that, you know, sort of you, you develop as you go on. Um, a another, another thing too is, you know, as you. Become a better surfer yourself. You’re able to often, um, you know, identify these micro movements that are happening in other people that, um, you might not have noticed at the very beginning as you were a novice surfer as well, and teaching beginners.

So yeah, like with our staff, um, you know, we do a lot, you know, a ton of in-house training with them. Uh, we also get, um, the Canadian Olympic Surf Coach Shannon Brown, to teach us, uh, as well. So, it’s like one of the perks for, for working at the store is, um, once a week we go and get video analysis done with him on our personal surfing.

So, you know, we’re still. I’m still learning from the top pro, you know? So, um, yeah, I think just giving all, you know, the girls as many tools as possible just, you know, helps them in, in their own teaching careers.

[00:45:09] Jordy Shepherd: Can you, uh, talk to us a little bit about documenting, uh, you know, surf day or a lesson like everybody wants, wants some video, some photos, uh, you know, to show that they were there doing it.

And I, I, I’m just picturing the ocean eating. Everything from cell phones to GoPros, to SLR camera rigs, to, to bait data, vision, video cameras, . Yeah. How does that all

[00:45:39] Krissy Montgomery: work? this, this one is, is, uh, it’s such a frustrating and tough one for me because, you know, So much of surfing is just being present, being in that moment.

Um, and so I find just cameras take away from it so quickly, it just ruins the experience. So we tell people they can take before and after photos, um, but we don’t allow any. Cameras, like any kind of, uh, GoPros to be worn during the lesson. It’s also just an extra piece of equipment that, you know, could be broken or lost in the ocean and we don’t want to, you know, be responsible for that.

Um, so we, you know, allow people to kind of, we’ll do a before and after, but we’re not doing anything during the lesson. Um, you didn’t come here for photos. You came here to learn to surf. And if you wanna do a photo shoot, then you can go be the influencer in the wild down the way. I’m, uh, very adamant about, uh, just being present and, and doing the sport.

You know, the, the photo things can come afterwards and, uh, I’ll let you know too that the photo of your first day surfing is not the one that you want hanging above your mantle. , I’ll tell you that it’s not going to be pretty and, uh, Uh, it’s, it’s not the ultimate goal. So, um, you know, I just encourage anyone who’s getting into these, you know, adventurous sports and things and, you know, hiking and or skiing, tour ski touring or surfing, just enjoy that moment.

Take that mental picture. Um, yeah, let that be the focus as opposed to the, the digital image of, of it.

[00:47:16] Jordy Shepherd: and, and do you see people there just like, they go out and they just come back and they have nothing with them. Like they’ve, they’ve lost booties. Their surfboard’s gone, they just barely get back to shore thing and they’re just like, Yeah, I don’t, I won’t need that stuff anymore.

[00:47:32] Krissy Montgomery: Yeah. Oh yeah. We’ve seen it all. I, that’s the one that kills me the most is when people are, You know, panicking and they’re in, you know, deep water. Maybe they’re heading towards the rocks or, or you know, they’re afraid they, they, to catch a wave in them ditching their surfboard. It, it’s one of the most.

you know, ridiculous things. You could do the biggest mistakes because that surfboard is a flotation device. As long as you have that thing, you are not sinking, uh, you know, you are safe if you are with your surfboard. A lot of people, um, you know, they, they’ll panic and they’ll try to ditch it and swim a.

But you are so much better off with that piece of equipment than you are on your own. So to me, it seems like the most counterintuitive thing. But you know, when people are in a panic, you just never know. Um, I’ve definitely seen as well too, you know, the ads, the, the classic one for surfers is, you know, getting changed in the parking lot and you put your clothes or your wetsuit on the top of the car, and then you drive away.

So you know your wetsuit’s lost somewhere on, on highway. Before, um, that’s, you know, all too common. I’ve definitely lost a pair of gloves that way. Um, but yeah. And then yeah, of course the odd GoPro washing up here and there, but it’s not too bad, thank goodness.

[00:48:46] Jordy Shepherd: Right? I, I, I saw a tip, uh, on social media not too long ago.

If you’re on a beach anywhere in the world and, and you’re going swimming and or going out, you know, in the water, surfing, whatever, and you wanna keep your valuable safe, just carry a diaper. And just wrap them up in a diaper and put them beside your towel here.

[00:49:05] Krissy Montgomery: Oh my God. That’s genius. I love it. Yeah, it’s like the anti theft device.

I, I, I think that’s great.

[00:49:11] Jordy Shepherd: No one’s going to go searching there. No. For your wallet or your phone. No, that’s brilliant.

[00:49:19] Chris Kaipio: Well, thanks for this, Christy. This has been great. If you wanna find out more about Surf Sister and their programs, you can visit them at Surf sister dot. Okay, Jordy, when it comes to delivering adventure like a pro, what were your takeaways from what Krissy had to say?

[00:49:37] Jordy Shepherd: Well, Chris, uh, one of the standout things is that adventures are supposed to be fun. She, uh, she makes learning to serve sound like a lot of fun, and I can tell you it is from my experience with her company. And that’s really the, an essential part of any adventure. And if you, if you are doing things with your spouse or with your, uh, kids, Um, you know, or even just a group of friends, uh, you can’t lose sight, that it has to be somewhat fun.

And especially when you’re in the, in the very learning phase, which is kind of what they, they focus on there. Um, if it’s not fun, you’re going to, you’ll probably never do it again. So try and keep it fun. And then the other one is, uh, just the safety-first attitude that they have there. Uh, it’s such a dynamic environment, the ocean environment.

And lots of training and awareness, um, is required. Uh, and, and she really highlighted how she, uh, she, her staff, her company, focus on the, the whole safety aspect. And I can tell you, you don’t even really realize it’s, it’s so smoothly done when you’re with them. Uh, at how much is going on in the background there and how prepared they are.

You know, even I, I didn’t realize until she told us that, uh, that she actually commits to having, uh, the National Surf coach come in and, and do professional development regularly with her staff. Like, that’s, that’s amazing. Uh, many employers if they don’t have to do it, they don’t do. She goes above and beyond.

And that just, it makes them better at what they do, um, personally, and that means that they can deliver that adventure quite safely and effectively. And Chris, uh, what did you take away from our great interview discussion with Krissy there?

[00:51:22] Chris Kaipio: Those are great points. Jordy, I’ve got two takeaways of my own to add to the conversation.

The first one has to do with giving people control where you. One thing I’ve learned the hard way is that having a measure of control over our destiny is an important human need. When we don’t give people control, they can become resistant to our feedback. They can also feel pressured to do things that they may not feel comfortable or interested in doing.

Krissy mentioned the example of giving people the opportunity to leave a class whenever they want. In this example, she gave people control by showing them that at any time they could just walk up the beach and leave the group. By giving people this measure of control over the situation, she’s empowering her students in a way that lets them make the decisions based on their own level of risk tolerance.

The importance of this is something that Will Gadd highlighted in a previous episode. The other takeaway that I want to highlight is inclusivity. As Krissy mentioned, her surf school started out focusing on the concept of promoting surfing to women. However, over time, this has evolved to become fully inclusive of everyone.

One of the key values that Jordy and I want to promote with this podcast is that adventure is for everyone. Anyone can have great adventures and anyone can push their limits and achieve more than they ever thought possible. When it comes to delivering adventure, the rule for each of us is to work to create a safe, supportive, and inspiring environment that allows all of the people that we are interacting with to have the ability to reach their full potential.

This is something that Krissy has obviously worked very hard to promote when it comes to delivering adventure like a pro. One of the key values to practice is inclusivity.

Now let’s turn it over to you, the listener. What were your takeaways? You can share your thoughts, stories, or insights with us via our social media feeds or by emailing us.

You can find our contact information at deliveringadventure.com. We’ve also posted our contact information in the show notes as well as links to how you can find Krissy and Surf Sister. Also, before you go, please don’t forget to follow or subscribe to this podcast through your favorite streaming service.

This is how you can help us to keep this podcast going so that Jordy and I can keep bringing you more content. And if you really enjoyed the show, please recommend it to your like-minded friends. We aren’t quite done yet, though, as we have one last funny story from Krissy to share with you. Thanks for listening.

[00:54:33] Krissy Montgomery: Uh, you know, there’s always the classic, We actually have a, a sticker, like a little cartoon designed of it of. You know, the person putting the wetsuit on backwards and, you know, zipping it up the front. And, uh, I remember I, I had this particular, this man in, in my class once and you know, we, we tell you at the beginning, you know, this is how you put your zipper on and, or, sorry, this is how you put your wetsuit on with the zipper in the back, blah, blah, blah.

And. He came back and he had the zipper in the front and I was like, Oh sir, you know, I’m so sorry. Um, you know, it’s on backwards, like you’re going to need to go flip that. Um, you’ve put your wetsuit on backwards and all he heard was flip that. So he went back to his car and flipped it inside out and then put it back on.

But still with the zipper in the front. And I, uh, when he walked back up, my jaw just dropped. I was like, Oh man. And then by this time too, the whole class is waiting for him. So I was like, Uh, oh my gosh, sir. I’m sorry. You’ve misinterpreted me. I mean, the zipper needs to go in the back. Now the suit is inside out and backwards.

And I think, uh, he might have used some profanities after that and went back to his car. But, uh, you know, for the most part, um, you know, any of those kind of things that, you know, We do see a lot of humor in surfing. You know, of course there’s a lot of wiping out, there’s a lot of trial and error. But you know, there are also too, are those like endearing moments where it just kind of melts your heart.

Like I remember teaching, um, these twins, uh, they’re 73 year years old. These, these women and, uh, for their birthday every year for 73 years, they do something together that they’ve never done before. So they had gone through their list, they had gone to 73 and they. Well, shoot, we’ve never gone surfing before, so they’re like, Well, it’s never too late to try.

So it was so cute to see them out there together, like learning at 73, this, you know, adventure sport, and they just had such a laugh. Like it was one of my favorite lessons that I’ve ever taught.

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Further reading

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