Is This the World’s Best Surf Coach? (Video)
Not all surf coaches are the same.
On one side of the spectrum, there’s the fictional character Paul Rudd plays in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Yeah, not very effective.
On the other side, there’s Raimana Van Bastolaer – the resident guide and tube whisperer at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch. Very effective.
In recent days and weeks, clips of Raimana, and his hands-on approach to teaching newbies, have been circulating. He literally rides waves next to beginners, instead of just pushing them in and hoping for the best; and when they fall, he picks them back up.
“You will get barreled here,” Raimana captioned one of the videos. “Just believe in yourself.”
Of course, not all beginners have the opportunity to learn at the Surf Ranch. Most first-time surfers still learn the old-fashioned way, in the ocean. In a wavepool, surfers of any experience level have the randomness factor eliminated. Every single wave is the same. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re trying to stomp your first air reverse, or simply trying to standup, you’ll get to practice it over and over again on the same canvas.
And, shocker, wavepools speed up that learning process.
One clip shows Raimana as he literally won't take 'no' for an answer. The surfer is falling all over the place, but Raimana keeps picking her back up. Even at the end, when she finally does fall off the board, Raimana catches her before she goes underwater.
"Never give up," Raimana wrote.
Another clip shows that wavepool-assisted accelerated progression. Raimana helps a beginner surfer as she struggles to catch a wave, let alone get to her feet, in the beginning of the day. Then, in the second half of the day, he shows the same surfer. Raimana is nearby, with his hands ready to stabilize her if she wobbles – but the beginner rides the wave mostly unassisted, even tucking into the tube at the end.
That’s pretty unheard of. Going from barely standing to getting barreled in one day? It’s like the surfing equivalent of a training montage in a film.
“It’s my contribution to others,” wrote Raimana on the clip.
Best surf coach ever? Maybe so.
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