Mini Blog #4 – Surfing Lots of Times

This miniature blog post is the fourth in my CAS series called Mini Blogs. In this little series, I will write some small blogs about CAS-related activities that I have completed, focusing mainly on only one learning outcome. The other learning outcomes related to each blog post will be briefly talked about at the end, with a short sentence about how that learning outcome was addressed with each activity

LO1 Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth Students are able to see themselves as individuals with various abilities and skills, of which some are more developed than others

Panorama of Hiriketiya, Photo Credits: Kelly Fenton (Mom)

In this month of April, I have been lucky enough to go to the Beach 2 different times to work on my surfing skills. The first time I went, was on the week of the April Break, from the 13th-17th, and then, my family went again on the 23rd – 26th long weekend. For my Extended Essay, I had to go to this beach many times to interview people, so we went again 1 more time during May. The main benefit of this was surfing! We went one time from the 7th of May until the 9th of May. I absolutely love surfing, and doing it so much more often has really increased my love of the sport. 

Hiriketiya Beach, Photo Credits: Kelly Fenton (Mom)

Part of the reason for this enthusiasm is the beautiful little bay in Hiriketiya, where we went surfing at each of these times. Surfing more frequently has helped me see myself more objectively while surfing. Also, my parents both video me and my brothers surfing often, so it’s a great tool to look back on many of the waves we caught, and take it as an opportunity to reflect on how we can get better, and improve. Also, my brother Ethan is particularly skilled at surfing, and watching him really helps me improve my technique as well. (My younger brother Isaac is also exceptionally good at surfing – especially for his age!). All of these aspects really help me see myself as an individual with a certain skill in surfing. I recognize that there a few specific things that I am good at with regards to surfing. And I know that there are tons of different things I can to do improve my surfing skills.

Me after Surfing, Photo Credits: Kelly Fenton (Mom)

In terms of my developed skills, I think that I have really improved at surfing. Since in the past we have not gone surfing back-to-back,  it always took a while for me to get into the rhythm of surfing. However, since we went many times in this short period, I have really gained confidence in my skills as well. this was also because recently (At the TAFA Coaching Camp, and in Hikkaduwa), I had also gone surfing. So, this lead to a huge increase in my confidence in surfing. I think my confidence made me a better surfer, as I took more risks, trying to go for bigger waves (with either a huge wipeout or great success). I think I have more board control now, and I also have begun trying to use a smaller surfboard, so I have more maneuvering control on the waves. I am getting better at dropping in, and I have also begun experimenting with surfing facing the wave, as opposed to surfing with my back to the wave (which I usually do).

Surfboards, Photo Credits: Me

Having said that, there are still so many ways I can improve my surfing, and areas that I need to develop still. As I said before, I primarily surf with my back to the wave (which is atypical for most surfers to be more comfortable with). I need to work on surfing while facing the waves, so I am flexible and can surf both ways. I also need to try to stand up faster, as oftentimes by the time I stand up, the wave has already died out. In addition, I need to practice trying to catch the wave before the break, during the buildup of the wave, as opposed to during the time the wave is breaking. This will give me much more time on the waves and help me catch the smooth water (as opposed to the white water). I also want to try to catch some bigger waves! To be able to do this, I need to master the art of standing up at the right time, (as there is a huge drop when the wave breaks if it is mistimed). Finally, to improve I also need to keep trying to catch the waves at an angle, so it is easier for me to surf sideways.

Here is a short iMovie video I edited, of my surfing experiences over the past 2 weekends. There is a video of me heading out to surf, a few (mediocre) waves that I caught, and a couple of missed and fail waves. Video Credits: Jason Grandbois (Dad). It is very clear that I have improved now, since the video of me surfing previously (in my CAS blog for surfing at Hikkaduwa)!

Other Learning Outcomes (Shortened):

LO2 Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process Anew challenge may be an unfamiliar experience or an extension of an existing one. The newly acquired or developed skills may be shown through experiences that the student has not previously undertaken or through increased expertise in an established area. – Surfing has been a huge challenge for me. Gaining self-confidence in myself had always been a challenge, as I had constantly been comparing myself to the skills of my younger brother Ethan, and to my other friends who surf. It has been a challenge for me to see myself as an individual who is improving, rather than chasing people who were already better than me and not feeling good enough. I have finally accepted that I have individual skills, separate from others and that I should be measuring my growth and improvement individually. This new mindset is the new skill I have developed, and it has been a huge personal challenge to reach this skill.

Me After Surfing, Photo Credits: Kelly Fenton (Mom)

LO4 Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences Students demonstrate regular involvement and active engagement in CAS. – I showed commitment and perseverance to surfing, as when we went to the beach, I surfed every day for at least 6 hours per day. I also keep going back to the surf and spending lots of time improving my skills. Since I always watch the videos of me surfing, I re-watch them to try to reflect on myself, and improve my skills; which is active engagement in CAS. I have also been surfing since I was 9 years old, so I have been working at it and improving for a long time (despite the occasional 1-year break in between surfing trips)

LO6 Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance Students are able to identify and demonstrate their understanding of global issues, make responsible decisions, and take appropriate action in response to the issue either locally, nationally or internationally. – I showed engagement with the issue of destroying coral reefs while surfing. I made sure that I stayed well clear of the coral reefs, to make sure I am not damaging any of the ecosystem or marine life (which would happen if I was unconscious of this global issue). This was an appropriate action I took in response to the issue, and I made the responsible (and ethical) decision to steer clear of the reefs.

LO7 Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions Students show awareness of the consequences of choices and actions in planning and carrying out CAS experiences. – I made good ethical decisions when I was surfing, and I took all the surfing ethics into account. I made sure to not steal anyone’s waves if they were also paddling for one, and I made sure that I did not drop in on anyone else surfing either. I made sure to steer clear of the reefs that I could possibly damage, and also the tourists swimming, to make sure I don’t injure anyone with the fins or run into them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *