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ALL THE COOL CHICKS SURF-IZZY TIHANYI,CO-FOUNDER AND OWNER OF SURF DIVA SURFING CAMP IN LOVELY SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA GIVES US THE LOWDOWN ON WHY GIRLS WHO SURF RULE THE WORLD!!-PODCAST
The roster includes Caroline Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Minnie Driver. No, not a new movie coming out silly. Awesome girls who surf. And along with those celeb faces, the sport is catching on with girls all over. People are beginning to see that girls who can ride the waves have a certain, shall we say, je ne cest quois. Because we are eternally lucky, we got the inside scoop straight from the mermaid's mouth. Izzy Tihanyi, who founded SURF DIVA surfing school, gave us a little insider info on the rise of the Surfer Babe.
Surf Diva Started as the 1st and only all girls surf school in the world. It all began in 1996, with 1 student who dragged 4 friends down. Despite naysayers commenting on how and all-girls program would never work, Izzy and her twin Coco pulled it off. The requests came pouring in, and now Surf Diva has 9 different programs around the world and 52 certified, talented, incredible instructors. The reaction has been phenomenal. Surf Diva just returned from Sacramento, where they were given the Small Business award from the State Assembly 75th district. Couple that with ditties in high-profile fashion mags like Vogue, In Style and Elle, and it's no wonder so many girls are becoming fascinated by the world of surfing.
Izzy says there truly is something different and unique about a girl who has the confidence to do board sports. Besides looking up to the girls in their towns who skate or surf, with the celebrity glam factor mixed in, girls have tons of good role models help inspire surfing-which definitely wasn't always true. The fact that instead of showing Cameron Diaz is now shown surfing rather than clubbing helps validate it, especially for the younger girls.
So why is surfing so in Vogue (literally) at the moment? (the link leads to Vogue's article, which features a quote from Izzy!)
Vogue Magazine literally declared surfing the new Yoga. Izzy believes surfing attracting more and more women with the millennium. Women turned inward, wanting to take care of themselves both physically and spiritually. With all our global concerns, the materialism of the 80's vanished. Women wanted a better existence for the here and now, to begin living for the moment. Also, women began to be so busy that they forget to take care of themselves. Surfing fulfills their needs-it helps both inner and outer beauty. Being by the beach, learning to respect the ocean, and having fun with a terrific exercise are all benefits.
Izzy also gave women a leg up with her school. Her desire for Surf Diva came about because there was a lack of good instruction for women. Before Surf Diva opened it's doors, women had to walk into a surf shop and chance finding a good instructor. Basically, chicks were relegated to getting lucky. Also, many women find there to be something comfortable about learning from a woman or learning with other women. Guys get competitive. Women tend to focus more on personal achievement- they are louder and enjoy the rush of seeing others succeed. A group of women in the water will cheer each other on, because it's less about competition. At Surf Diva it all comes down to the focus of learning, not trying to be the best in the class. This approach helps the actual event of learning to catch a wave. Competition can get you frustrated, and the minute frustration sets in, your performance declines. It's hard to succeed at any sport with tense muscles.
- Toned abs-when you paddle, you have to arch your back and hold your chest up, which engages your abs. Looking to lose the belly? Surfing is your answer. Besides the action of paddling, you lock your abs when you sit on the board-in order to maintain balance, you have to contract ab muscles.
- Posture-Surfers tend to have terrific posture because they have to maintain balance.
- Strong shoulders-From paddling to popping up, surfers depend on their shoulders to catch a wave.
- Toned arms-think of how much paddling you will be doing. Also, pushing yourself up to grab a wave makes those muscles engage.
- Toned back- Yet another benefit of paddling out and popping up.
- Great legs- A decent ride will leave your muscles burning. Standing and balancing help keep those leg muscles in super-tight shape.
- Surfing burns around 650 calories per hour-about the same as an elliptical machine. The difference? your not stuck indoors, and with surfing, it's easy to log several hours per session-each wave is a new experience, and your outdoors in the sun!
- As Izzy says, the ocean doesn't specify gender, age, height, weight or color. It floats you, no matter who you are. To pick up surfing, you just have to be able to swim.
- A frequent surfer at the La Jolla shores is a man who learned to surf at 44. Now in his 70's, he remarks that his life has been greatly improved since he learned.
- Izzy also tells of a mother and daughter on a recent Costa Rica trip. The daughter was 52 and the mother 71. Both women were stoked to be there, and participated in everything-from morning yoga to all the surf sessions, salsa dancing and massage the trip had to offer.
How do you prep for hitting the waves?
- Yoga-helps with your flexibility.
- Swimming-even just 20 minutes 3 times a week will increase your strength, especially in your arms
- All board sports-Skate, Snow and Wake help with balance and get you to think about how to use your edges.
- Horseback riding-It seems surprising, but it makes sense. Equestrians tend to pick it up fast because they are used to balancing on something off the ground, and not always being in control. Plus, they realize that falling in the water isn't very risky. Imagine falling off a horse-who could then step on you!
What do you need for your foray into the ocean?
Surf Board-Surf Divas has special ones geared towards women, with a better shape for a woman's body and a women's taste in mind with the design.
- Start with a soft board (Surf Diva's are foam with rubber fins)
- Eventually, there are 2 options-Shortboard and Longboard.
- Shortboard is the hardest to pick up.
- Longboard gives you more to work with
- Women are better off learning on an 8 to 9 foot board. A longer board is easier to control, and you will get more waves. The more waves you get, the quicker you pick it up!
- Board shorts- they need to fit snugly. Izzy recommends a pair with some stretch Lycra (it can even be just a panel). Also, make sure they are not baggy below the knee-this will distract you when you go to pop up.
- Rashguard-a Lycra t-shirt that you wear over your bikini top. This prevents you from losing your shirt, and it also stops you from getting board rash.
- Wetsuit-in Cali no wetsuits are needed in summer. On the East Coast, people often wear wet suits year round. Hawaii requires no wet suit in summer, and it's optional the rest of the year. Canada might need a wetsuit year round. Wetsuits range from 2-5 mil, although for Canada you need a 7 mil for winter. The key to a successful experience is having the perfect fit.
- A Good certified, permitted instructor should take you out. This way you won't get bashed around. They can help you with tide schedules, etiquette and all the other questions you will definitely have.
- Books-Surf Diva-A Girls Guide to Getting Good Waves (by Izzy and her twin sister, Coco) is a good intro to surfing. It covers the basics of surfing from a-z . Women tend to like to read and have dry land instruction. They ask tons of questions-"How do i not get in the way?", and this book will help the process.
Looking to bond with some other girls? Try one of Surf Diva's programs:
Surf Diva Boarding School- while you stay at UC Sand Diego, you have an experience with no concerns. Meals, lodging, equipment, and for adults yoga and massage are all included in the package. You can stay 5 or 7 days. People come from all over, which makes a great girly trip. Surf Diva also plans fun activities at night. There are camps for girls age 12-17, and for women 18 and up. The program runs all summer.
Welcome To The Jungle-spend a week in lush Costa Rica surfing, visiting the town, living in rustic place near the beach, doing yoga, salsa dancing, and enjoying massage sessions. The program runs from mid-November to June.
Weekend Clinics-these mini- camps run every Saturday and Sunday offering multiple classes.
Bachelorette parties-Looking for an alternative for the dive bar scene? Surf Diva does tons of weekend Bachelorette events. You and your girls can come, surf, shop, do your nails and get a massage, and then return the next morning for some more waves.
Guys on the side-due to popular demand Surf Diva now offers private lessons and corporate co-ed team building events, as well as a co-ed day camp for ages 5 to 17.
For all questions, contact Surf Diva at (858)454-8273 or www.surfdiva.com.
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Posted by: bianca | Aug 10, 2007 1:10:07 PM