I’m so inspired by mature surfers who simply love playing in the water, just like kids do. They don’t feel any pressure to achieve any goals or prove anything to anyone. They have this “been there, done that” attitude and all they want to do is enjoy their time in the water. That’s why this woman, Susan Terry, is amazing. She is a 70 year old spitfire who still spends hours at a time in the surf and intends to keep going! I caught up with her to find out more about how she does it!
Susan, you’re amazing. Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into surfing…
I’m a Southern Calif native, 7 generations, wife of childhood sweetheart, RT. Mom of 1 son, Dave & grandma to my 3 squids ( grandkids 18, 14, & 11 ).
Late 1950’s my aunt took me to the movie “GIDGET” starring Sandra Dee. I was hooked! I was fortunate to have the coolest parents who didn’t blink an eye upon hearing I had to have a surfboard & I had to have it now!
Tell me about the first time you surfed!
1st day surfing was at the Ventura Pier south side and I can remember everything. Dragged a couple of girlfriends along, tied up my waist length hair in a bun & went for it. Old school training consisted of the “trial & error” playbook. I surfed every day of my senior year and there were no wetsuits or leashes back then!
How do you keep yourself in the best physical shape to stay out for lengths of time in the water?
My husband can stay out for hours and hours… his incredible ability to go without food or water is amazing! His fitness journey including road racing his bicycle & teaching Johnny G Spinning helped. My 30+ yrs with a fitness career continues today with continuous daily training even though I’m retired. I power walk everyday 4-5 miles and Spin after that for 30-60 mins depending on my journey. I use my exercise ball for core work & stretching. I do separate drills for balance. I get up very early too!
Wow, inspiring! I’m in my 30’s and I don’t even do that! What do you do to improve your surfing?
I’ve never been about “improving” my surf life. I don’t look at it like that. I’m a soul surfer who feels one with the ocean every time I’m in the water. My 1st thought everyday upon waking up is “what’s the tide today?”. I just love it!
What’s your advice for someone who’s thinking about starting to surf later in life?
My advice to anyone wanting to learn is GO FOR IT. You can do it! Respect the surfers in the line up and for gods sake, “LOOK BOTH WAYS” before you even start to paddle! Oh, and HAVE FUN!
What do you ride?
I ride an epoxy longboard 9’6” with pads on the deck. I’m looking for a 10’0” to use in the summer. I learned on a 9’8” and had a custom 10’2” Dewey Weber also. Wish I still had my old glass boards! I knee paddle and glass boards are too uncomfortable now for my knees. I have never worn a leash either.
Never worn a leash?! You are hardcore. What is your home break?
My home break is Mondos in Ventura, California. I prefer any Point Break. I’m a small wave SURFGIRL but I love a fast break. I’ll ride on the outside if not too big. When big, I ride inside peelers.
Well ladies and gentlemen, I hope that you are inspired to get out, and get your friends out no matter where you are in life. Another takeaway, as long as you take care of yourself, you can stay out on the water for a long time to come!