Meet the team: Jane Collins
In this new edition of ‘meet the team’ you’ll get to know our resident kiwi coach, Jane! Jane is part of the senior coaches team at Surf Getaways and if you’ve joined us in Lennox Head you’ll most likely know her well. With over 20 years coaching and surfing experience, her knowledge of the industry and teaching techniques is outstanding. She's also a skilled photographer, avid traveller and super fun human.
See what Jane had to say when we asked her about her life and relationship with surfing.
Where are you from?
I am originally from Christchurch, New Zealand. I’ve been living in Australia since 1996. I first moved to Western Australia, Dunsborough and Yallingup. I was lucky enough to spend almost a year on Rottnest Island, off the coast of Perth, my favourite place in the west. I moved to the East Coast in early 2000 and have spent time in Byron Bay, Newrybar and then the last 12 years in Lennox Head.
What do you do when you are not in the water?
What is this “not in the water'' thing you speak about? Ha ha! When I am not in it, I am photographing it! I also enjoy spending time in the garden. There’s something to be said about growing your own food.
How long have you been surfing?
I started surfing at 19, and I am now 50… You do the math.
Apart from the joy of surfing the waves, what else has surfing given you?
Oh boy, where to start!! Surfing has given me world travel chasing waves with friends and meeting all sorts of amazing inspiring people globally. Surfing is my meditation, my time out from the world, I love surfing with friends, but I also love sitting in the ocean alone with nature. Surfing got me through a very difficult 10 years of chronic pain following an accident in 2007. The only time in the next 10 years going forward that my brain did not register pain was when I was standing and riding a wave. These glimpses of relief from constant pain and the support I had during that time from my family and friends were the only things that kept me going during that tough period of my life. Surfing has provided me with a career I love, sharing my passion for the ocean and riding waves with other people. I could honestly say that the stoke of seeing someone else's firsts and achievements in the ocean is on par with the feeling I get from riding waves.
What do you like the most about introducing to other women the world of surfing?
Working with them to achieve their goals, whatever they may be. Empowering others by giving them the knowledge and confidence to self-learn. Teaching challenges my learning for how to teach better. I am always researching different methodologies, creating my own tutorials and sharing these with our Surf Getaways community. I also really enjoy creating a safe community space for women to get together, laugh, learn and have fun, something I missed out on in my early surfing days as it was mostly me and the boys. Not that there was anything wrong with that but there is something uniquely special about surfing with a bunch of ladies!
What would you say to a woman of any age considering trying surfing for the first time?
If this is something that you want to do, then do it! If you are hesitant, go to some classes, find your tribe, have fun and be kind to yourself! Remember that surfing is one of the hardest things you will try and learn, lower your expectations and celebrate the small wins!! Smile, laugh and smile some more!!
What is your favourite surf break and why?
You know what? I don’t have a favourite. I have favourite surf sessions at different breaks all over the world! I still remember the first time I linked a bottom and a top turn together, I remember the location, the conditions, and the wave. I remember my first proper barrel, I remember days when it felt like the ocean and I were one. A session where there were so many dolphins that I had to just stop surfing and play with them!!
Tell us a fun fact about you, something non-surfing related
I used to drive trucks for a living in New Zealand.
Tell us about an empowering female in your life and how they influenced your life?
My mum is one of the most amazing and inspirational women I know. She is in her late 70s now and is about to join me for our last Vanuatu tour for the year. I taught her to surf at age 65 and she still enjoys getting out there. We bought her her first soft board this year for her birthday! She was also a New Zealand champion diver in the 60s. She still swims 2 km every day. Without her support, love and kindness, I would not be where I am today. My mum is the best woman I know and I love her dearly.
What is the #1 surf tip you give women when they are starting out?
Seek out some lessons, it cuts learning time down sooo much!! Have fun, smile and learn to laugh at yourself! Knowledge is power, empower yourself and learn all you can about correct technique and the ocean.
Well, you heard Jane. Proper coaching and surf guidance will help you learn faster and better. So if you’re ready to start your surfing journey, join us today in our monthly Surf Clinics in your local area or take a full immersion in one of our luxury Surf Tours around the world.