It’s never too late to start surfing explains Emma from Noserider Surf Club.

I grew up landlocked in the middle of the U.S. buying SunBum sunscreen to use as lotion so that I smelled like a surfer – 28 years later, I started Noserider Surf Club for that little girl. The look on people’s faces when I tell them this is priceless – everyone just assumes I grew up in southern California.

When I was younger, the drive to move to follow my dreams made me feel so isolated – but now that I’m older, I’m meeting more and more women who started surfing later in life. I think there’s something to be said about wanting something so badly, that you’ll change your entire life to make it happen.

A Business Driven by Community
Learning to surf as an adult is totally doable – and I encourage anyone interested to do it (it’s never too late to start)! But it does come with its own challenges. Living in Bali, my biggest challenge was feeling comfortable and confident in a surf suit so that I could focus on actually catching the wave.

I had a cropped rash guard in mind that I really wanted, but couldn’t find it anywhere. Especially at the end of Covid when so many stores were still closed in Bali, it was hard to find quality, sustainable surf suits – so I decided to make one.

I started sourcing material, driving around Denpasar on my bike visiting different fabric shops and tailors. Eventually I found something I loved and drew up the design! I listed all the different features that I wanted – ¾ length sleeves to prevent drag in the water, a rounded neckline high enough to keep water out but low enough to not feel restricted, a tight elastic band that would sit just below the rib cage, and a double lined front for extra protection and security. The tailor took my measurements, and a week later I came to pick up the design. It was love at first surf and this is still the design for the Noserider Cropped Rash Guard that I sell today.

The journey from “making a rash guard for me” and “I own a business” was a bit of a whirlwind. More and more girls asked me to make them the cropped rash guard and I realized this was missing from the market. So I launched Noserider Surf Club at a surf retreat a month later. Surrounded by a new group of girls that are still good friends of mine to this day. We tested the suits, created content, designed the website, and launched the very first collection.

This was the start of what would become my surf community — a sense of belonging that I’d always dreamed of. Two years later, the community is still at the heart of Noserider and drives every decision I make.

Time in the Water: How to Set a Surf Goal that Encourages You
Recently, I told someone that I always feel like a beginner surfer. We laughed because most of us feel this way, but that’s because surfing is a journey. You’re always learning, falling, succeeding, falling again, and paddling back out. The day you stop “learning how to surf” is the day you stop surfing.

I bravely booked a trip to the Mentawais and decided it was time to get serious about my surfing, so I made a goal to “put my surfboard in the water 4 times a week for 4 months.” Because surfing is such a mental challenge for me, I knew I had to create a goal that pushed me but was ultimately focused on enjoying the process and making sure I paddled out regularly.

It worked. By making the goal achievable by simply putting the board in the water, it took the pressure off of surfing and myself. Without the daunting goal and big expectations, surfing became fun again. And I got way better. By surfing in less than ideal conditions, I became so much more comfortable in the ocean with my board. By increasing time in the water, I slowly started to understand the waves. I still have a long way to go here, but it was a great start.
How to Stay in Paddle Shape When Waves are Flat
My body used to crave cardio – I trained for half and full marathons to keep my endurance up, and even taught spin and HITT classes. At this time, I was working long hours and was a full-time graduate student. I was addicted to the grind and was absolutely loving it!

In the last few years, my body has changed. I’ve traded long runs for long surf sessions and HITT classes for Pilates/yoga. When the surf is good, this is my go-to routine. At the end of the day, movement and fresh air is key. 

I do still love spin classes for low impact (high fun) cardio, and this is the perfect addition when the waves are flat or if I’m traveling. It’s one of my favourite things to do when I go to a new city – I love checking out the local spin and Pilates studios. Spin keeps my cardio endurance up and Pilates keeps me toned and strong. Nothing can take the place of an actual surf, but at least I’m not at square one when I hop back in the water after taking time off.

Girls Trips & Surf Trips
Now, onto something that’s been on my mind lately: more gurfer trips this year.  Seriously. From chatting with girls at my surf meet-ups over the last few months, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that the only way we’re going to improve our surf skills is if we surf more together.

Imposter syndrome and surf social anxiety is holding way too many of us back – no wonder we see girl surf groups popping up left and right. You also can’t scroll Instagram without being targeted for surf retreats (not complaining at all) and I can’t help but notice they’re all geared towards women.

Join a local surf group or start your own gurfer group chat to get you surfing more. It’s amazing how much of a difference a friendly face and a gentle “this is your wave” nod can do for your surfs.

My biggest takeaway from last year is this – the secret to surfing better? Surf more Surf in the good, the bad, and the ugly. Surf new spots and old spots. Surf with new friends and old friends. But most importantly, surf.

Check out Emma from Noserider Surf Club