Per Arne Zahl
Ett intervju med vinterens surf instruktør på Boretunet Shannon Ainslie
I vinter, midt i sesongens mest bølgesikre tid har vi satt av seks helger til vår første surfeskole for viderekomne sammen med Shannon. Du trenger ikke være en rutinert surfer for å delta, dette vil uansett gi deg noe du kan ta med deg videre. Bli bedre kjent med Shannon Ainslie og spørr deg, er det nå i vinter jeg faktisk skal få testet skikkelig surf trening?
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A intervju with Shannon Ainslie
Home town current and from childhood ?
- I was born in East London (South Africa) and then moved to Jeffreys Bay, and now I live in Unstad, Lofoten.
- I love strong coffee durning the day and a glass of red wine at night.
- I’m South African so it is definitely good meat. We spend a lot of time putting meat on a braai (BBQ) with friends and family so it’s a big part of the culture back at home. But I also eat a lot of bananas!!
Best surfer and why?
- I should say Kelly Slater because he is definitely the best of all time. But, because I’m patriotic i will say Jordy Smith. He has come runner up twice on the WSL and he stands a chance to win a world title this year. Plus he surfs with amazing flow, power and style.
Best surf coach and why?
- An old South African coach. He is around 85 years old or older now. He taught me a lot and helped me on a lot of my high performance training camps in South Africa and together with him we helped some surfers win big contests. He is super passionate, even to this day in his old age.
You been doing coaching for quite some time now. When did you start?
- Yes! I started when I was 19 years old. I’m 35 now... so it has been a while. At first it was just teaching kids and parents once a week for free and then i got too busy so had to start making money from it :p
You spent a lot of time traveling, where in the world have you been for work?
- Yeah I do travel a lot, mostly back to the same places. But I have done surf coaching in Namibia, Mozambique, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, The Netherlands, Portugal, and of course South Africa and Norway.
Since the first time we met, you have been filming your coaching sessions and that is over a decade ago. Why is this tool so importent?
- Video analysis helps a lot because the person you’re coaching can see what he/ she is doing or not doing. The theoretical part of coaching becomes visual and these 2 combined with kinetic training helps speed up the progress of ones surfing. And also, with video coaching you can break down each stage or turn of the ride and analyse the entry, execution and exit and break down certain movements etc. IT helps a lot.
We have set up a couple of weekends for advanced surf trening, what do you think people will get out of it that they dont excpect? Or what seems to be the biggest surprise for your students in other words?
- Some people think you can’t progress too much in one or two days, but you can! And also, surf coaching is for anyone, even for free surfers who don’t compete but want to surf better and be more comfortable in the water.
There are a lot of simple things that one can learn in just a few sessions of coaching that will make a big difference in your surfing.
So I would say when people try it out for the first time they get surprized and often wonder why they havent had coaching before. Even the pros still get coaching because they also learn new technique and better wave reading here and there.
When we talked earlier this fall you said there has been a lot of people booking advanced courses in Lofoten. Is there a chance the surf level up in Lofoten will get better than down south?
- Yes for sure! We have done a lot more advanced coaching lately. At first it was mostly girls but now the guys are into it too. Some of the local guys in Lofoten are ripping and they are progressing a lot after some video coaching.
Whats your focus to get people to move forward in there surfing skills?
- I try to focus on each individuals’ needs to get them to progress and have more fun. Everyone has their own style or way of doing something and also their own way of learning. So I try find the best way for each surfer and then teach them what will best help them reach their goals.
Anker Frantzen from Lofoten did well in the Norges cup last event here on Jæren, you have been working with him for some time. Whats been improving he`s surfing the most last years?
- I’d say the thing that helps the most is consistency. Rome was not built in a day! So with Anker, he’s been surfing a lot and has had more coaching with me than most people I’d say. He is still young and improving all the time so I think he will be the guy to beat in the future.
You also worked with Steven Sawyer back in south Africa for a lot of time. He won the trials in J-bay WSL comp and made a name for himself back in 2016. How did that it feel when you saw that?
- Yes I did. I started coaching him when he was 9 years old and to see him win the JBay WSL trial and also to win a world title in Longbaording was amazing. We are like family. We use to hang out doing coaching, surfing and eating sometimes every day for many years. So it kinda feels like family to me!
As a goofy footer on a fast right that is not an easy task?
- Fortunatley for him he grew up surfing on his backside and now he is better backside than frontside. He knows jbay like the back of his hand!
Now Steven is top 5 longboarder in the world. Why do you think he made the transition to just log? Is there a change in surfing back to more diveceti in surfing style and equipment?
- Steven currently rides short and longboards. He is focusing more on longboarding because it suits his personality, but he still spends a lot of time on his short board getting barelled and smashing the waves.
If someone rides a twin fin, or log, you can still coach them?
- Yes definitely. When it comes to reading a wave, timing, position and most body movements, it’s all the same no matter what board you ride. You’ve just got to learn to work with the board and every board will respond a bit differently.
You lived and worked on Jæren back in 2009 for a year, how does it feel to move back for while?
- I love stavanger. I have a lot of good memories and good friends there so no matter what happens I will be happy. Stavanger has a lot of good waves when it works so I am looking forward to surfing and training people down there. So far the forecast has looked good the last few weeks! Hopefully it stays like that.
Ok, to finish this of
Two free tips that surfers in Norway need to learn to become better surfers?
-Learn how to stay in the best position in the lineup so you can get a good wave count and the best waves.
The thing you need to most on a wave is speed. You can get speed in many ways... such has having the correct surfboard (quite a few people have boards that are too underbuoyant for them, especially considering all the extra weight we pick up in the thick wetsuits, boots and gloves we wear), doing an angle take off (the correct way), finding the pockets on the wave that provide speed and learning how to generate more speed while racing or even entering and exiting a turn.
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