Surfing is an incredibly enticing sport. Those of us that don’t live in coastal areas spend their freetime watching competitions and dreaming of someday pursuing surfing, while those that do live in coastal areas may find themselves lost in the splendor of surfing. Whether you’re the former or the latter, a new program has been set up to suit your individual needs as an aspiring grom.
In the past, many of us blindly jumped in the water, hoping to replicate surf locals shredding every wave. (And if we’re being honest, there were definitely no drop-ins and barrels made on the first day.) No longer will beginner surfers have to fear the surfing world; because it can be quite intimidating to those not familiar with it. Instead, a surfing program has been developed to aid those unfamiliar with the power of the ocean: Independent Surfer.
They’re redefining what learning to surf means; moreover, providing a way to learn how to surf anywhere, at any time.
The Origin of Webbing the Surf
We oftentimes hear of people surfing the web, but through Independent Surfer, you’ll find yourself utilizing the web to surf. Founded in 2020, Independent Surfer started as a kickback for surfing in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Independent Surfer is carefully crafted courses that allow you to learn how to surf at your own pace, and at your own time. It was founded by Jordy and Kimberly, surfers who have been shredding waves since 2007 and 2016. We asked the pair what inspired them to make Independent Surfer a reality, they responded by saying that the creation of the Independent Surfer was multifaceted.
“It is hard to pinpoint one specific reason but rather a series of events that led to its creation,” Kimberly shared, “[As a result of the pandemic] Jordy was left without work when his surf camp was shut down due to the lack of tourism in Indonesia. We knew we wanted to create an online presence, but we weren’t sure of exactly what it was going to be.”
Jordy, who had began surf instructing in 2013, and had been an avid surfer since 2007, made waves in the surf industry while completing a year diploma in sports management and a year in coaching science. In 2018, he joined Surf Camp Lombok in Indonesia and later became a head instructor and part-owner of the camp, turning him into a surfing connoisseur.
Kimberly and Jordy realized how valuable Jordy’s teachings at the surf camp were and reflected that not everyone has the opportunity to travel to a surf camp to learn these skills, “Traveling was also off the table because of the pandemic, so we wanted to offer everyone an opportunity to continue their journey of learning to surf while stuck at home. Ironically we didn’t finish the first Independent Surfer course until the pandemic was over. So to answer your question, we started out of practicality but are driven by the passion for teaching surfing.”
The Independent Surfer team is made up of the co-founders, Kimberly and Jordy. Everything presented on their ocean-palleted website has been designed and created in-house by the team, including web design, filming, editing, sound design, social media, and more; the cause for why it took the pair so long to create. Kimberly is responsible for web design and copy, and Jordy is responsible for course creation and coaching. They both share the responsibility for emails, social media management, and editing.
Kimberly shared further with us what that time-consuming process looked like, and to be frank, it made us value their program even more.
“To be honest, creating the Independent Surfer was and still is incredibly difficult and time-consuming.” Kimberly attested, “We do everything in-house and we had to learn how to do everything, like creating a website, editing, filming, graphic design, social media, SEO, sound design, you name it, we did it. If we had to change anything we would outsource it all, but that comes with its own cost. After all is said and done, we are grateful to have had the opportunity to learn all of those skills.”
Independence is Confidence
If there’s one consistency found within the foundation of Independent Surfer, it’s that it preaches the importance of confidence in being independent. Kimberly and Jordy’s mission is to help individuals learn to surf through their online surf course, surf coaching, and surf lessons. They know that learning to surf can be a struggle and the loads of information as well as misinformation out there, so they strive to bring you the most up-to-date and detailed online surf course so that you can progress as quickly as possible.
What does that look like, you may ask? Well, Kimberly shares that they’ve adopted an analytical approach. “Although surfing is a very abstract sport, with ample room for interpretation, it is akin to gymnastics in the sense that as a surfer, you still need to execute the movements in a very specific way.” Kimberly informed us, “We believe that the surfing technique compounds itself. As an example, if you struggle with the basics like the pop-up or paddling, then you will never reach an advanced level because there is no foundation for growth.”
Rather than seeing the whole and moving to the parts as most aspiring surfers choose to do, Independent Surfer builds a foundation and works to a whole. Kimberly points out the problem with many individual approaches, “Most people who surf have a very broad knowledge of surfing, which is great. However, they often lack in-depth knowledge of finer details. Generally, this gap in knowledge is related to foundational movements and an understanding of ocean dynamics. It is our job to fill in the blanks by being as detailed and analytical about the fundamentals as possible so that people understand what they are doing wrong and have the tools to fix their mistakes. Ultimately, helping them gain independence.”
Kimberly and Jordy believe that learning to surf independently is not necessarily the most important thing, but instead being able to gain that independence with confidence out in the line-up. Throughout their time, living at a surf camp, they met plenty of people who kept relying on coming back to the surf camp to progress with their surfing, relying on instructors to push them into waves.
Kimberly shared, “The idea for us is that it would be much more rewarding for people to be able to learn in such a way that they could rely on themselves. It’s not necessarily about learning independently but rather about having confidence and independence out in the lineup by having all the knowledge and experience in a short space of time.”
To Kimberly and Jordy, surfing is the pursuit of self-development. The pair shares, “Even though we have been surfing for a long time, we still feel that there is room for progress and we want that to spill over into our everyday lives. It is also a way for us to escape the fast pace of everyday life, it keeps us present.
We want surfing to mean whatever they want it to mean to them. If it’s just about having fun, then that’s what we want them to feel. If it’s to escape reality and be present, then that’s great too. If they want to progress and get better, good for them. We just want to make it easier for people to get to where they want to go.”
And my have they made surfing easier.
Turning Ripples into Waves
Each surfing novice Jordy and Kimberly receive is left feeling confident in their skills. Their ripples of uncertainty are turned into waves of prowess.
Firsthand experiences show just how much of a success Independent Surfer is for the everyday aspiring surfer. They shared with us recent, notable feedback, “We recently got feedback about our online course’s accessibility. A recent customer pointed out that he was stoked to have access to all this detailed information without having to break the bank and go to a surf school or surf camp. We tried to include everything there is to know about surfing as a beginner surfer; in surfing more is definitely more. Our course has multiple sections which include surf history, surf psychology, the physical aspects of surfing, a breakdown of surf equipment, how to handle your equipment both in and out of the water, paddling theory, pop-up theory, and an introduction to ocean dynamics and reading and catching waves.”
Their platform is already capable of reaching every household in the world, but we couldn’t help but ask what their plans were for expanding. The pair’s response was optimistic, “We hope to expand our audience to intermediate and advanced surfers in the future. At the moment we are working on refining our beginner course and creating an intermediate course. In the future, we also plan to create an advanced course, a course for groms, and an instructor's course. There is also a podcast in the pipeline that will touch on surf therapy and how surfing helps people overcome hardships.”
Jordy and Kimberly leave us with a piece of advise we should all live by, “Surfing is only as hard as you make it. You would be surprised how powerful your mind is. The surfing industry has a weird prejudice against people who are learning and we want to say that you shouldn’t let that affect you.”
Check out their page and begin your surfing journey today!