I’ve been a member of Pen-y-bont for around 8 years now, and was a member of Aberystwyth SLSC for around 10 years before moving down here.
I work with a few other committee members to make sure that everyone has the correct qualifications every year so that we can all compete and patrol.
I’ve been lucky enough to have 6 Welsh caps and have travelled to both France and Spain with the team, as well as various beaches in Britain. My favourite events are board and ski on the water, and flags and 1k on the beach. I’ve had some good results in 1k races in Wales and GB over the years and have always loved racing on craft whenever there’s any type of surf. The bigger the better!
Question from Cara: “How do I get better on a board?”
Thank you for your question about how to get better on a board, Cara.
My top tip for getting better on a board is to make sure that you spend time in the water in all conditions. If your parents are able to take you down, try to go down on sunny days, windy days, rainy days and flat days. You’ll be able to develop your skills in every type of condition then. Also, when you’re beginning to learn how to paddle a full-size racing board, it can seem difficult to paddle on your knees. The best trick for getting used to paddling on your knees is to paddle for 10 strokes on your knees then drop back down on your belly for a bit. Then try 20 on your knees and drop back down, then 30 on your knees. Give yourself a bit of rest then get back on your knees for 10 and repeat the cycle. You’ll gain confidence very quickly.
For catching waves, the most important thing is to make sure that you’re paddling hard as the wave approaches. When you feel the wave start to pick you up make sure that you grab on to the back strap and move right back on your board so that you’ve got full control of the board. The best way to learn is to play in all types of waves, runners and chop. I hope this helps.