Pandemic diary 60: Surfing meditation gets bitchin' real

If I were furloughed, I could say the Point Break line: 'The government's gonna pay me to learn to surf?'

So the other day I talked all about how lovely surfing meditations were for escaping lockdown life, but that I couldn't actually catch a wave during the visualisation.

Well, dear reader, the windmills of my mind have been turning on this blustery spring day and I figured that perhaps my imagination needed a little help.

So out came the wobble board.

Have you even tried to close your eyes and do a guided meditation on a balance board? No, I'm pretty sure you haven't. Or possibly anyone else for that matter. In fact, this is may be a world first.

So there I was, trying to keep the edges from hitting the lawn and trying to crouch low without falling over and wiping out – how I wished the sea were there to fall into – while having my eyes shut and trying to imagine some nice drop ins.

On one hand, it worked so much better than just sitting still and imagining. I got a pretty good sense of a ride, with the wind gusting around me and the balance constantly changing, and some surf video running through my neurons. Pete just needs to spray water at me and maybe add a paddling pool to land in, and it's there.

On the other, there was a lot going on in my mind. And there was no pop up but I've never been able to pop up even on land so…

Anyway I thought you'd want amusing Saturday* night photographic evidence. so here you are (scroll down), courtesy of my personal surf photographer.

*It's Friday. Lockdown days skipping around.

Today I am thankful for Pete's tech skills as he made me this little bit of slideshow media for me. I added a bit of Melt Banana – and (beach blanket) bingo! [link for if it doesn't load]

PS. After I went surfing, I tried sailing – it was a lot easier.

Hire/commission me: fiona [at]

Pandemic diary 58: Ticking off the bucket list of my mind

Surfing in 2018 – the finale of my month as an Insta Fashionista

Most people I know I am slightly obsessed with surfing. There was Insta Fashionista month in 2018 (above and below)…

Photo by: You Know Who You Are.

Then I celebrated my 50th+1 birthday with a Point Break party, complete with surf simulator, which was totally awesome duuude.

Long workable rides in the MDF on Wobble Board World Championship.

Then last Christmas I got The Surf Girl Guide to Surf Fitness from my Secret Santa (eldest niece, together with a Footloose 'Dance Your Ass Off' t-shirt. What?).

And last week I did my first surf visualisation/meditation from p103 of the book.

In short, this involves shutting your eyes, relaxing, de-tensing muscles, on a beautiful day with no agenda. Then imagining sitting on your surf board, out in the green water beyond the break, the colours of the sea and sky luminous, the waves crashing in the distance, the water lapping on your wetsuit shortie, Keanu Reeves smiling like he's hot for teacher, Swayze encouraging you to be at one with the wave, Pappas on the shore with a meatball two-sandwich picnic. (Point Break does provide a few handy visuals.)

It's surprisingly doable when the sun is out in the back garden, in a pandemic situation, and you're desperate.

But then comes the moment you have to catch the wave. And it still nearly always rolls by underneath me. Even in my imagination I can't pop up on the board. FFS! I should be a pro-surfer with the amount of surf movies I've watched. But my mind can't conjure it up!

Only a couple of times have I managed to surf down a wave, and once there was a barrel that I rode all the way to the beach. One time I even got stranded out there as the swell grew to epic Teahupo'o proportions and I couldn't work out how to get in. Who knew that surfing was so hard even in your dreams?

The weirdest thing is that I feel great afterwards, like I've actually been to the seaside and out on my board. If you are good at body scans and meditations, I highly recommend doing your sport of choice in your mind.

Going to 'Wales' in April felt like a holiday. Going surfing in my garden felt real enough. It makes me wonder: what else can I do in the safety of the bucket list of my mind? #livetogetradical #robbanks #fundendlesssummer #skydive #yougonnajumporjerkoff #100%pureadrenaline


This reminds me, when I was making plans at new year for 2020, I thought about going to watch an actual surfing championship event in France or Portugal. I got as far as making a few notes and costing out a trip to the Quiksilver Pro in Hossegor in France in October. It's not Hawaii but it's a start. Maybe next year. Anyone wanna come/share costs?


In other surfing news, this week I watched Heavy Water which is about Nathan Fletcher and his family background of surf royalty and innovation. It culminates with him attempting his dream of jumping out of a helicopter onto a big wave. I mean, there's crazy and there's crazy. Here's the trailer. It's currently on Amazon Prime if this is also your thing.


Today I am thankful to Bodyboard Holidays who gave me and Pete a Brexit referendum weekend to obliterate all the upset back in 2016 by paddling out into the green waves of North Cornwall and (occasionally) powering into shore on a wave (original write-up here). Tl;dr: unfit middle-aged Brummie woman with lifelong surfing obsession fulfils dream by not standing up on board and catching waves lying down.

Goodnight dudes.

fiona cullinan bodyboarding
Caught my first tube today… Sir!

Hire/commission me: fiona [at]