Part 1: What Is Really Happening in the Water?

Aussie Olympian & 7-Time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore at Rottnest 2021, ©

“No one wants to watch surfing in the Olympics, because no one really surfs.”

This my dad told me on a recent call, when I was bragging about how his granddaughter was ripping, what surfing teaches you, and how excited I was that surfing was finally an Olympic sport.

I could hear the scoff in his “that is final” voice, the one I know ends conversations. …

What’s at Stake: The Olympics!

Olympian Sally Fitzgibbons, Australia, photo Ben Reed, World Surfing Games, El Salvador, 2021

2020 was supposed to be the debut of surfing in the Olympics, and we all know what happened to that! It appears that Japan is going forward with this year’s Olympics, with or without spectators, so the game is afoot!

Since this is surfing’s Olympic debut, and the framework did not yet exist to qualify athletes, the powers that be had to get creative in their mission to identify the best surfers in the world. The road to Tokyo was more like a treasure hunt than a direct route, involving four different pathways, including the…

What’s At Stake: Maneuvers and Scoring

First a short primer on types of boards:

Board Selection: I have focused on short-boarding for this article, as only short boarding will be featured in the Olympics, but there are two basic styles of competitive surfing: longboard and shortboard. (Other forms are growing, including bodyboarding, paddle-boarding, and kitesurfing.)

Competitive surfing focuses on shortboards and longboards. The fish is more recreational, with a loose, fun feeling. What they call a “mini malibu” is also a “fun board,” usually 7–8' long and great to learn on.

An official longboard is at least 9 feet long, and has a different shape (more rounded at the nose) than a shortboard. Modern shortboards are typically around or under 6 feet, are pointed at the tip, and are often shorter than the surfer themselves. The…

What’s at Stake: The Surfer

Aussie Sally Fitzgibbons after an epic performance and win at Rottnest 2021,

The World Surf League announcers do an awesome job guiding you through the nuances of scoring, difficulty level, and details about how the surfer is surfing the wave on your screen. But it may help to back it up just a little bit and learn about surfing on a more fundamental level, to better understand the surfer’s challenges.

Stance: Surfers are either “regular/ natural” or “goofy foot”, which means they stand with their right foot back (regular/natural), or left foot back.

Some suggest that surfing “Goofy” was coined after a Mickey Mouse cartoon where Goofy…

Part 4: What’s At Stake: The Wave Itself


Now we journey into the details of the most torrid of love affairs, one with the most immediate consequences, and the most complicated relationship of a surfer’s life- the wave.

Unlike any other playing field, the constant in surfing is change. No wave is ever the same. Even in the most consistent breaks (surf areas), every wave poses a new challenge. It would kind of be like snowboarding, if the half-pipe kept shifting size and direction, if the mountain slid, rose, fell, and churned. If the snowboarder had to paddle to catch…

Part 3: What’s at Stake: Navigating the Power of the Ocean — The Paddle Out

Photo: Sarah Lee,, Surfer, @annaehrgott

I really really really want the World Surf League to send recreational surfers out into the lineup before every contest so people can see what it takes to even get out through the pounding whitewater, the powerful currents, the driving lips of world-class waves. I don’t mean beginners — I mean surfers that are regularly athletic people who have put in time in the water. You would see a few lucky people, having a good day, fully in the flow. You would also see people…

What’s at Stake: Navigating the Power of the Ocean -The Wipeout

Keala Kennelly in 2019’s “Wipeout of the Year” at Peah’i, Maui. Watch it here on!

To have any sense of what is at stake in surfing, of the absolute pounding a surfer takes each and every time they practice their sport, it might be best to start with the wipeout. Unlike other board sports where dramatic falls are the anomaly, not the norm, the surfer experiences wipeouts in every session. It is true they are not falling on concrete or hard-packed ice or snow with the obvious dangers these surfaces pose, but the punishment of a wipeout is much more intense than it looks.

The Great Lies That Betray Us All

I grew up in a house divided: Republican vs. Democrat.

My father is a self-made man. Abandoned by his father, and the eldest of his brothers, he became the man of the household at 15, worked summers and after school to buy the family car, put food on the table, and pay the electric bill. His mother worked full time and managed to provide a modest home, but there were no extras, just barely the necessities. He and his brothers made their own toys, shared clothes, put themselves through college, and became successful in every sense of the word. Instead of dwelling on pain and difficulties, my father’s stories highlight…

It’s Like 8K for the Soul

I had a few questions for the Heart Center today because I have been encountering a lot us going through these feelings. If you relate, it may be worth the longish read for you. It was wonderful receiving it!. xoxo

“Why is it raining narcissists?”

“What is happening that we love humanity, but don’t like people?”

“What is going on with just the unkindness and manipulation and all of it?”

“Why is it just hard to get along with people right now, and why are we feeling isolated?”

A channeled message from the Heart…

How Will You Prepare?

A channeled message from the Heart Center of the Heart Center of the Universe

Good morning, beloveds

Today we’d like to talk to you about

What to do about 2020?

We love the numbers thing

And it’s so hilarious to date them from some random time

But there is a massive agreement about this number

And when this way of looking at the world began

And so it it’s relevant

Not so much because the number is portending anything

But because there is an investment

A collective investment in this unveiling

And people are expecting very different things from this…

Sheila Gallien

Writer, Channel, Mother, Soul Surfer, Conscious Creativity Coach, Marketing Director, Be Who You Are No Matter What You Do, You Are the Bomb!

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