Juli Redmerski and Don Hastings. “I like learning from a friend."
  • Juli Redmerski and Don Hastings. “I like learning from a friend."
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  • Names: Juli Redmerski and Don Hastings
  • Ages: 57 and 55
  • From: Mission Bay and El Cajon
  • Location: Tourmaline Surf Park

It was a sunny day when I caught up with Juli Redmerski and Don Hastings after their morning surf session. Redmerski has been surfing for two years; she is taught by Hastings. “I like learning from a friend. I learned everything from him and I’m still learning.”

“We’ve surfed up in Del Mar, the Shores, Ocean Beach,” says Redmerski. But they both prefer Pacific Beach. “It’s her favorite for the stupidest reason— it has great parking,” Hastings grins, “I would say Tourmaline is one of my favorites, too, because of these morning surf sessions.”

Redmerski recounts tough surf days, “One time I couldn’t get out of the water because there was so much kelp around my leash and it was high tide. It was like a huge weight on the back of my board. I’ve almost run into people before. I like it when it’s not super crowded because I’m still learning not to get into anybody's way.”

When asked, they give tips for beginners. Hastings recommends, “I would watch YouTube videos and learn some things before you get in the water. Get with an expert, like a day coach, at least once.” Redmerski adds, “Practice. Try to pop up and stuff at your house until you get it. And don’t get too frustrated if you don’t have a good day. I used to think, ‘Oh God, am I ever going to be able to do this?,’ but just keep practicing and go all the time.”

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