Clare is the founder of Real Adventures, and is as passionate about surfing as she is for all the other activities she is a master at! Find out a little bit more about how Clare got into surfing, and why she loves it and sharing it with others so much.
1. How did you first get into surfing?
I started surfing when I moved to Ireland in September 2003.
2. Do you remember how it felt at the beginning when you were learning to surf?
I remember how difficult it was to sit on the board in the water. I had no one to teach me, so I was trying to figure it out myself. A colleague gave me a 6ft short board, which was nice of him, but they’re definitely not a great board to start learning to surf on.
3. What kept you coming back and motivated to practice?
I love all outdoor sports and there were a few of us who were just starting to learn at the same time, so it was a great way to spend time with friends in a beautiful setting.
4. What does surfing offer you in your life now?
Surfing offers me the chance to get away from what’s happening in the day to day. If I’m having a stressful day, or dealing with stuff at home or at work – as soon as I paddle out it all just goes out of my mind The same can be said for most outdoor activities (and I practice a lot of yoga at the moment while we’re not able to surf). It’s also a great activity to keep fit and healthy, and it is loads of fun. However, it requires huge commitment and determination.
5.What is the best thing that surfing has given you?
The chance to see amazing parts of the world and have fun with friends.
6.What would you say to beginners or those wanting to take up surfing?
Be patient and enjoy the early stages, it is quite a hard sport to get good at but if you stay with it, the rewards are amazing. When you do start to progress, make sure you learn the proper surfing etiquette as this is a really important part of surfing. You can also check out our blog for beginner surfers.
7.What have you learned from teaching others to surf?
When I’m teaching others, it helps me to recognize my own skills and what I need to work on. I’ve also learnt to try and not get so frustrated if things aren’t going my way because just being out on a board can be as fun as catching loads of wave – so I always try to focus on this when I am teaching others.
8.What is something that people think about surfing, that may not be accurate or true?
One inaccurate belief is that you have to be standing up on the board to have fun. There are many different ways to surf; body surf, body board, or knee boarding are just some examples. It takes a while to learn the technique to stand up on a surf board – so just enjoy the experience of riding a wave whether it’s on your belly, bum or head!
9.What is your favorite wave in Ireland, and favorite around the world?
My favorite wave in Ireland is Rileys – although I am never going to surf it because it is way beyond my level, both mentally and physically, but it is so beautiful to watch and see the chargers from Ireland and abroad taking it on.
My favorite wave from around the world is a wave I surfed in Tenerife. It was a heavy barrelling beach break and the lifeguard approached me to see if I was able for it. That put me off at first, but then I decided to paddle out and I got the best wave of my life. That felt really good!
10. If you could sum surfing up in three words – what would they be?
Challenging, exciting, beautiful