Thank You 2014 WB Surf Camp Team!

We are lucky to have so many amazing instructors and counselors who bring our company together. As you may know, employment at WB Surf Camp is extremely competitive. All potential instructors must go through a three-part interview process, comprehensive background check, and 500 yard open ocean swim test before completing our extensive training and certification program. The spaces available to work for WB Surf Camp are limited and we hand pick only the best of the best. Each year we sift through hundreds of applicants from across the country to select our elite team that goes through over 2,200 combined hours of training to ensure a safe and quality learn to surf experience!

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Our team is built not only of amazing surf instructors, but of leaders and role models in today’s society.

Every year, we throw an “end of the season” luau. This is our favorite time to grub on some local food, play some competitive games, and swap stories of the summer. As these stories fill the air, you can’t help but reminisce on the great moments of working together at WB Surf Camp. Our diverse team does not just sit back and relax once summer is over, though. During what we refer to as the ‘off-season’, our team members itch for more; whether it is back packing across Europe, teaching snowboarding in the Rockies, or searching for waves in the South Pacific– they’re onto their next adventure…until next summer.

We have the most awesome team who are driven by similar goals and our own Mission’s Statement. They work extremely hard during to educate and instill a passion for greatness into every camper and client. We are so thankful for those that we cross paths with who share our values and continue to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Phil Jackson said it best, “The strength of the team is each individual. The strength of each member is the team.” Thank you to our 2014 Team for your amazing hard work and dedication. Cheers to another great summer!

 

WB Surf Camp Director – Will Ahlers

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We are so excited to formally introduce our new WB Surf Camp Director – Will Ahlers. Will first caught the surf bug during his 4 years as Assistant Director of an overnight sailing and marine science camp on the beautiful shores of Cape Cod, MA. He also taught middle school Oceanography at a private school in Boston and trained surfing athletes as a Surf Strength and Conditioning Coach in Rhode Island.

Will is an avid surfer, waterman, and is a true steward of the marine environment. Before he fell in love with surfing, he obtained his bachelors degree in physical education from Keene State College in New Hampshire and grew up enjoying big airs as a freestyle skier on the mountains of New England. Will joined WB Surf Camp last January, has loved every minute of his first season, and is beyond stoked to continue to live aloha and lead the WB Surf Camp team into its 14th year!

Keep reading to find out a little bit more about our surf stoked Director from New England…

1.    What drew you to a position at WB Surf Camp?

- WB Surf Camp’s strong and ambitious mission statement was the most enticing aspect about working as a leader in their company. I can’t think of anything more fulfilling than sharing my passion for surfing, marine education, stewardship, and changing the lives of others using the incredibly positive powers of the ocean as a mechanism. I knew I would get to work with the best people this world has to offer because WB Surf Camp holds the highest standards for its employees and as a company across the board.

2.    In what way has the ocean impacted your life?

- I am fortunate enough to say that the ocean has profoundly impacted my life in many different ways. I am a true believer in the oceans great power to heal us as human beings. The ocean continually sheds a new light on the respect and appreciation I have for my own life. It has also shown me more joy than I could ever have imagined possible. Surfing has an innate ability to make you completely appreciative of the present moment. Some of my happiest moments in life have not only been while I was surfing, but also when I have shared the stoke of someone’s first wave.

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3.    What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to?

- I have blessed to have visited some absolutely incredible places on this great earth. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Kenya. As a 20 year-old, I was chosen to be a part of a mission trip to Kenya with my local church group. The life perspective I learned from the selfless and grateful people of Kenya has been a cornerstone for my core values and faith.

4.    Who/what is your biggest inspiration?

- My biggest inspirations are my family and friends. Life is all about building relationships and constantly trying to improve yourself to be reach your highest potential. I have an incredibly supportive and loving family and group of friends that are great role models who constantly push me to do great things with my life.

5.    What are some of your interests outside of surfing?

- When I am not surfing, I love being physically active in any way that I can. Volleyball, SUP, baseball, basketball, soccer, skateboarding, yoga, and free diving are just a few of the many activities I love to indulge in when surfing is off the table. Given the choice though, surfing always takes precedence. I am also a certified personal trainer with a specialty in surf specific coaching.

6.    What is your favorite movie?

- Forest Gump – Talk about a feel good movie! The music, life lessons, and amazing nods to major historical events make it a must watch for me every time its on TV.

7.    What is your favorite music?

- I love all types of music; classic rock, roots, reggae, alternative, old school rap…hands down though, I love live music and have a deep respect for anybody that can write and perform music in front of a crowd.

8.    What is your favorite food?

- Mexican – there is nothing better than a solid burrito after a good surf session. I love being healthy and constantly finding new ways to improve my diet, but I am a sucker for a big burrito or some fish tacos dowsed in hot sauce.

9.    Where do you see yourself in five years?

- I hope to have a family, a house by the beach, and to still be doing what I love and making a positive difference in peoples’ lives.

10. In your eyes, the 3 things you value most are:

 - Faith, Family, and Friends

 

Surf Tips – Improve Your Paddle Strength

Every surfer has had that feeling at one point; you’re paddling out into the lineup, your arms feel like jello and you think that if you have to paddle over/under one more wave, there won’t be any fuel left in the tank to actually catch any waves.  We’ve all been there…

Studies show that a typical surf session is made up of anywhere from 50 – 65% paddling. A big reason why a majority of beginners struggle is because they lack the endurance, strength, and overall conditioning required to catch a lot of waves.

The best way to increase your paddle strength is to get out in the water and paddle. There is no better replacement. However, not every surfer has the luxury of living by the beach or has the resources to allow them to go surfing whenever they want. That does not mean that you can’t prepare yourself for your upcoming trip or next surf session.

Here are a few that will boost your paddling strength/endurance that you can do at home or in the gym so that you can get more waves and have longer sessions.

1.    Bent Over Alternating Dumbbell Rows

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Like paddling, alternating arms allows you to work each side of your body separately, which helps bolster muscle imbalances and forces your core to work even harder. Bend at your hips and knees, and lower your torso to about a 45 degree angle. Your lower back should be naturally arched and your shoulder blades pulled back. Keeping your abs tight, bend your elbow and pull the weight straight back. Slowly lower your arm as you bend your other elbow and perform a row on the other side. That’s one rep. Continue alternating until you’ve completed 15 reps total. For best results, complete 4 sets of 15 reps in conjunction with the other exercises listed.

Click Here To Watch Video Demonstration

2.   Prone Band Paddle 

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Lye on a flat surface to mimic the feeling of being on a surfboard. Anchor a two-handled resistance band to something secure behind your feet. While lying on your “board,” pull the band so that both handles are at the side of your head facing forward. Begin alternating paddle strokes with both arms. Do so at a slow pace, with your head up, back arched and looking forward. For best results, complete as many reps until failure – rest for 15 seconds, then repeat. Do this sequence 4 -5 times in a row in conjunction with the other exercises listed.

Click Here To Watch Video Demonstration 

3.    Cable Pull-Downs

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Adjust a cable machine to an overhead position, slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Begin by holding both handles overhead – Keep your arms straight, legs bent, and back arched; pull the cable straight down through a full range of motion behind you with one arm, then replicate with the other arm. This movement simulates the “pulling through the water” portion of paddling and directly targets your posterior shoulder and back muscles. For best results, complete as many reps until exhaustion. Do 4 -5 sets in conjunction with the other exercises listed.

Modification: the same exercise can be performed using exercise bands. Simply anchor the bands to something about an arms length overhead and replicate the same movement.

4.    Battle Ropes – Alternating Waves

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More and more gyms are introducing battle ropes into the mix as a way to blast every muscle group in the entire body – which is perfect for surfing!

Alternating Waves: Hold each end of the rope like you would hold a microphone. Make sure that ropes are taught and anchored to something securely on the floor in front of you. In an up and down/alternating motion, make vertical waves with each arm. Start out by making big waves, then progress into making smaller and quicker waves. Make sure that you have a strong arched back and bent legs. For best results, perform until exhaustion. Do 4 -5 sets in conjunction with the other exercises listed.

Click Here To Watch Video Demonstration

There are hundreds of exercises to help improve not only your paddle strength, but your entire foundation of surf skills. Get into the habit of performing these particular exercises up to 3 days a week and you will be stoked with the results you will see out in the water. Each month we will be providing you with cool and innovative surf tips so keep on reading and always remember that the best surfers are the ones having the most fun!

Written By:

Will Ahlers – WB Surf Camp Director, N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainer, Surf Strength & Conditioning Coach, B.S. Physical Education