Surfing, a sport that encompasses the thrill of riding ocean waves, has captivated countless individuals around the world. One such person is Evelyn O'Doherty, a surf expert and the Editor-in-Chief at Session Magazine. In an insightful conversation with Kellie O'Toole, Founder and CEO of Beginner, Evelyn shares her experiences as a female surfer and sheds light on the challenges and joys that come with the sport. This blog post will delve into Evelyn's inspiring journey through surfing, highlighting her passion for the ocean, her perseverance as a beginner, and the importance of fostering a supportive community for female surfers.
Evelyn's love for surfing developed later in life when she was 33 years old. As a teacher and a self-proclaimed beach enthusiast, Evelyn was drawn to the challenge and the sense of connection that surfing offered. Inspired by her now-husband, who took her on a first date surfing, she discovered the allure of this exhilarating water sport. The experience of riding waves and feeling at one with the ocean awakened a deep passion within her.
Like many beginners, Evelyn faced hurdles when starting her surfing journey. While she was hooked from that first day out, Evelyn started just like any other beginner does: learning from others. Evelyn moved to Montauk to pursue her new passion, and spent each morning checking the surf outside her cottage on Ditch Plains Road. She recalled for us how she spent her summer encircling a surf camp providing instruction, hoping to pick up tidbits from the instructors. During their camp breaks, the instructors were kind enough to paddle out and share their guidance, along with the stoke for the waves ahead. Evelyn recounted this time and summer as a really special experience, and one which solidified her sense of belonging within the community of surfers.
I love when the waves are good, sure, but I often just paddle out even if the waves are complete garbage because I just like being out there, you know? I like staring at the horizon, and I like looking at the shape of the waves and the sparkle of the light on the water. The glory of surfing is great, but it's really for me, it's a communication with nature.
Evelyn and Kellie discuss the significance of community, particularly for female surfers. While some male surfers may throw themselves into the ocean without hesitation, the community-oriented nature of female surfers creates a supportive environment that embraces camaraderie and collaboration. Both women discussed the merits of a platform which encourages female surfers to connect, share experiences, and find surf buddies who can join them on their surfing journeys. By building a sense of community, beginner surfers can feel more confident and empowered as they navigate the waves.
Evelyn's journey exemplifies the growth and progression that come with dedication and practice. From circling surf camps as a beginner, absorbing tidbits of knowledge, to evolving into a confident surfer, Evelyn's determination and love for the sport propelled her forward. She stresses the importance of embracing the beginner's mindset and celebrating the fact that even the world's best surfers were once beginners themselves. This perspective allows newcomers to appreciate the learning process and enjoy every stage of their surfing journey.
As a female surfer and influential figure in the surfing community, Evelyn understands the unique challenges faced by women in the sport. She encourages women not to let societal expectations or stereotypes deter them from pursuing their passion. By creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, women can feel more comfortable, supported, and motivated to push their boundaries and excel in the world of surfing. Evelyn's story serves as an inspiration for aspiring female surfers and demonstrates the limitless possibilities that await those who dare to chase their dreams.
Evelyn O'Doherty's journey through surfing showcases the transformative power of the ocean and the positive impact it can have on one's life. From her beginnings as a beginner surfer to her current role as a surf expert and editor, Evelyn's experiences shed light on the challenges and triumphs faced by female surfers. Her dedication to building a supportive community and empowering other women in the sport is commendable and a mission that we share here at Beginner!