Let us introduce you to our newest Gumbies Ambassador, Surf coach Ami. We spoke to Ami about the benefits of Surfing, how you can get involved, and also why she is a big Gumbies fan.
Ami, your office is the beach pretty much all year round, does that mean you wear your Gumbies flip flops every day ;)
YES! As a surf coach I spend a lot of time at the beach and near the water. Having a good pair of flip flops is CRUCIAL. It gets hot here in Florida and you've got to protect your feet on the hot sand and parking lots.
Tell us a bit about you?
So I grew up in the Central Florida area and started surfing when I was 15 years old. I started competing right away and had a successful amature career. I still enter pro surf events occasionally, especially when I am coaching at the events. I graduated from UCF in 2012 and I was a Physical Education Teacher for the last 6 years. After last year I decided to take a break from teaching and pursue my Surf Coaching career full time and just recently started up the Central Florida Women Surfing Club.
How long have you been a surf coach?
I have been teaching surf lessons and coaching for over 16 years now!
What would you say to someone wanting to try for the first time?
Surfing is such a wonderful sport because you are able to make it whatever you want it to be. Do you want to charge big waves on a shortboard? Do you want to take out a single fin longboard on some small glassy waves? Maybe you want to be competitive or just surf for fun. Either way, when you're getting started get some help (lessons/coaching) and do whatever you can to make friends in the community. Surfing is more fun with friends!
Surfing is obviously good exercise but what else does it give you?
Aside from being great exercise, surfing is a great way to relax and mentally recharge. It also has given me so many different experiences from traveling to different countries, to making new friends, to swimming around with dolphins. It really is hard to put in words how amazing surfing can be.
How easy is it to get involved?
If you are wanting to get into surfing or get more involved in the community I would suggest reaching out to a local surf school or organization. There are all kinds of events in the surfing community and you don't have to be a pro to get involved!
Other than surfing do you have any other side hustles ?
So after teaching for the last 6 years (and working at an Elementary School the 6 years before that) I wanted to stay involved and I have been coaching a local schools volleyball team. I also work at a local gym a few days a week as well as run several Social Media pages for local businesses. That being said, the majority of my time is spent surfing and coaching.