In 2019, 16 year old Lucy Spotts was struggling with her mental health and turned to the beach, the ocean and learning to surf to help aid with her anxiety and depression. Learning to surf became her medicine and four years later Lucy has gone from complete learner to a self-taught surfing boss.


Read on for Lucy’s story and her top tips for progressing when learning to surf. 

So there I was. 
A girl battling anxiety, depression, and a crippling fearful state of mind.
My mom knew the beach would help me so instead of turning to medication for help we moved across the country to New Smyrna Beach, Florida with just our two dogs and whatever we could fit in our old Chevy Tahoe. Spring 2019 I decided I wanted to learn to surf. I didn’t know it then but that learning process was soon to become my medicine.
I remember jotting down all my fears of surfing in my journal. I was afraid of sharks, deep water, riptides, colliding with my board, and everything else I could think of. I’ve never been an athletically inclined person. I’ve always loved being active outside but sports have never come easy to me. That wasn’t gonna stop me though because none of my fears or excuses compared to how much I wanted to learn to surf. All I knew was that the idea of riding a wave was really cool and that’s all I needed to know! Hope was addictive!
My mom knew of my desire for the waves and as if to say “Roger that” she came home with a brand new 9-foot long Wave Storm she scored at a garage sale like a little kiss from heaven.
At first, I was self-taught, using only the tips I’d gathered from YouTube. It was an embarrassing process initially. I was a 16 year-old girl in a checkered high wasted bikini and goggles getting tossed around in salty whitewater. My body was weak and my skin pale. I was abundantly blessed with a seasoned old surfer dude as my neighbour who noticed my budding love for surfing and he befriended me along with his encouraging buddies from work. I ended up taking a lesson which was also very helpful. 
I remember the first day I felt like I was really on my way vividly. I was grinning ear to ear. Couldn’t stop smiling for hours. Talk about a natural high!  
After that, I learned to catch and ride the face of the wave, then after months of that, I finally dropped down to a smaller board, then down to my first hard top board! My dreams gradually came true. 

The learning journey continues and does not stop. I’m not near as good as I want to be someday but I’m very grateful that I never gave up and proud of where I am today.

Here are a few tips I’ve gathered that I hope help you all get to your surfing goals!

Tip 1: Observe other surfers and allow yourself to get inspired.

I remember watching John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Caroline marks, Coco and Mason Ho YouTube, local surfers rip right before my eyes and just ITCHING to surf like them. Sometimes I wanted it so bad I thought I’d cry. I allow myself to feel that to this day. Be inspired, watch other surfers skill, flow, and techniques and imagine what that feels like because one day you’ll feel it in real life.

Tip 2: Be patient with yourself.

Surfing is hard! It takes practice, physical and mental strength, and it takes a whole lot of guts! In your surf journey you will feel like progress is at a stand still sometimes. Even may feel like you’re not getting anywhere. Then one day, after months of trying, something will click and you’ll get it! There’s no better feeling than when that happens.

Tip 3. Get a surf skate board and practice on that.

Shred the streets when there’s no waves. Grow your balance, enlighten your sense for weight distribution and creating your own speed and momentum. I even had a sturdy coffee table that was the perfect size for practicing pop ups!

Tip 4. Eat well, stay active and stretch.

Live a healthy lifestyle all the time. A healthy body and healthy mind help out in the water.

Tip 5: ***The most important one!*** Surf!

Surf as much as possible!! Move around your schedule, sacrifice events to go, wake up early to make time. Even when the waves aren’t great because nothing will improve your surfing like being in the water!

I hope my story inspires you not just to surf but persevere in life. Keep going back until it pays off. Sometimes after a good session I’ll come out of the water and feel how people feel when they’re in love. There’s just nothing like it. 
I’m a musician as well, “Seaside”, “Zen Bop”, “Mermaid”, and “Sit By The Ocean” are a few songs I’ve written since learning to surf and becoming a full time beach bum 🙂 Click here to listen.