Hello, water enthusiasts! My name is Emelia, and I am a surf instructor here at Jax Surf & Paddle. I’ll be updating this blog with surf-related material, product updates, and surfing advice. But first, let me share a bit about myself!
I’ve been an instructor at JSP for about two years, but my love for the ocean goes back as far as I can remember. I was a lifeguard, an avid beachgoer, and eventually decided to teach myself how to surf (because, hey, why not?). I moved to Jacksonville to finish my bachelor’s degree at UNF, lured to the location because of its proximity to the ocean.
I bought myself a beater board from a thrift store and began the arduous task of self-learning the ways of the waves. It wasn’t pretty, and I most definitely looked like a kook. (Kook: /noun/ a person who confidently attempts a feat in which they know nothing about and encounters incredibly embarrassing situations.) Now that I’m an instructor, I laugh thinking about my learning process. Most of the time, people learn more in a 90-minute lesson than I did in six months by myself!
There are plenty of reasons to adore my job, and it goes far beyond being in the ocean. Since day one, I’ve worked for a phenomenal boss and business, alongside the most enthusiastic coworkers. There’s never a bad day on the water (coffee cures exhaustion, and thunderstorms always pass).
In the summer, I spend most of my hours at our youth summer camp, which means I teach a bunch of fun little groms how to shred the gnar and getting a killer tan. I’m also a private instructor, which gives me one-on-one time with people of all ages and backgrounds. The best part of my job is working with people who are at the same starting point I once was, and knowing exactly how to coach them forward.
Every time someone catches a wave for the first time, I flashback to when I caught my own first wave. Talk about stoke for days! And while I spend a huge amount of time teaching others, I spend an even bigger portion of that time learning from them. South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, Alaska – I meet and share moments with people from all over the world. There’s only one thing better than paddling out into the Great Blue, and that’s paddling out with someone else.
In the light of keeping it short and sweet, it’s been great introducing myself to you, and I hope I’ll have a chance to meet all of you out in the lineup one of these days. In the meantime, stay tuned to this blog for fun and enlightening articles every week!