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Pummeled at Coronado's North Beach

Don't be in your head. When you are in your head, and you think, you are already late.

Monique Phillips surfs Shipwrecks, Coronado
Monique Phillips surfs Shipwrecks, Coronado

Local?

I moved here two years ago from Big Bear.

What brought you to San Diego?

I was a snow sports coach and skiing and snowboarding instructor for about 22 years. Because of Covid and [shutdowns], we were redirected here. Luckily for us, there was a house for rent in Coronado just four blocks away from here and the homeowners were cool about renting to my big family. We have four kids and three dogs.

Did you learn how to surf when you moved here?

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I had surfed a couple of times before moving here with a friend on one of those Costco 8-foot Wavestorms. She would push me into the waves. Immediately, I just thought, “This is fun! When you wipe out, you are not falling on ice or concrete.” I thought, “I could do this every day!” This last winter was my first real introduction to surfing. I started paddling out to the line-up. I would actually try to paddle for the face of the wave, verses riding the white water.

Do you have a favorite surf moment?

My first dose of surfing Coronado was at North Beach. My husband was like, “Everybody surfs North Beach!” So, I was out there on my 8’ foamie like a kook! The lifeguards were ready. It was 4th of July and it was huge. It was pumping. It’s a beach break so it just pummels you into the sand. But I am out there, and I got three ginormous lefts and managed to paddle, drop in, and ride them until they just completely devoured me. The third one, I got caught in a rip, and had to power through to get across and back in. The lifeguards just lost it. They were like, “That was so awesome!” My husband was like, “Babe, I thought this was going to be like Point Break, dude! I didn’t think you were coming back!” The fact that I didn’t die, and it was just pure adrenaline, it was like a reverse aging moment! When I am out there, I feel like I am 12 again. Not so much the day after though.

Have you improved a lot since that first big day at North Beach?

Yes! I have come a long way. In fact, all the locals, they have all contributed to my progress. They all give you good feedback and make sure you are okay. They make sure you are safe. The lifeguards are on it down here!

What has been the hardest skill for you to master?

To not be in your head. When you are in your head, and you think, you are already late. And, when you’re late, you have to use strength. When you have to use strength, you tire, and when you tire, you die. For real, out there, if you are not in the right place at the right time and a wave pushes you down longer than you can hold your breath, that is really scary.

Have you had any close calls in the water?

Not near death, but definitely to the point where I rethink if this [hobby] is worth it.

Do you think you will stay here in San Diego?

The weather is perfect. There are plenty of beaches to find waves within an hour. I don’t know what life has in store for us. This is temporary. We don’t have a plan after this, but we do have another rental once our lease is up. Another local surfer guy that I met, told me that when our lease is up, he has a house for us off Alameda.

What do you love the most about surfing?

I am hooked on surfing! Surfing has changed my life. I think it is probably one of the best coping mechanisms for people who have survived abuse or trauma. It is indescribable! The connection and how close it brings you to all the living things on the planet, it’s a vibration that is so elevated. If you have anxiety, depression, ADD, whatever, I highly recommend this dose of vitamin sea.

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Monique Phillips surfs Shipwrecks, Coronado
Monique Phillips surfs Shipwrecks, Coronado

Local?

I moved here two years ago from Big Bear.

What brought you to San Diego?

I was a snow sports coach and skiing and snowboarding instructor for about 22 years. Because of Covid and [shutdowns], we were redirected here. Luckily for us, there was a house for rent in Coronado just four blocks away from here and the homeowners were cool about renting to my big family. We have four kids and three dogs.

Did you learn how to surf when you moved here?

Sponsored
Sponsored

I had surfed a couple of times before moving here with a friend on one of those Costco 8-foot Wavestorms. She would push me into the waves. Immediately, I just thought, “This is fun! When you wipe out, you are not falling on ice or concrete.” I thought, “I could do this every day!” This last winter was my first real introduction to surfing. I started paddling out to the line-up. I would actually try to paddle for the face of the wave, verses riding the white water.

Do you have a favorite surf moment?

My first dose of surfing Coronado was at North Beach. My husband was like, “Everybody surfs North Beach!” So, I was out there on my 8’ foamie like a kook! The lifeguards were ready. It was 4th of July and it was huge. It was pumping. It’s a beach break so it just pummels you into the sand. But I am out there, and I got three ginormous lefts and managed to paddle, drop in, and ride them until they just completely devoured me. The third one, I got caught in a rip, and had to power through to get across and back in. The lifeguards just lost it. They were like, “That was so awesome!” My husband was like, “Babe, I thought this was going to be like Point Break, dude! I didn’t think you were coming back!” The fact that I didn’t die, and it was just pure adrenaline, it was like a reverse aging moment! When I am out there, I feel like I am 12 again. Not so much the day after though.

Have you improved a lot since that first big day at North Beach?

Yes! I have come a long way. In fact, all the locals, they have all contributed to my progress. They all give you good feedback and make sure you are okay. They make sure you are safe. The lifeguards are on it down here!

What has been the hardest skill for you to master?

To not be in your head. When you are in your head, and you think, you are already late. And, when you’re late, you have to use strength. When you have to use strength, you tire, and when you tire, you die. For real, out there, if you are not in the right place at the right time and a wave pushes you down longer than you can hold your breath, that is really scary.

Have you had any close calls in the water?

Not near death, but definitely to the point where I rethink if this [hobby] is worth it.

Do you think you will stay here in San Diego?

The weather is perfect. There are plenty of beaches to find waves within an hour. I don’t know what life has in store for us. This is temporary. We don’t have a plan after this, but we do have another rental once our lease is up. Another local surfer guy that I met, told me that when our lease is up, he has a house for us off Alameda.

What do you love the most about surfing?

I am hooked on surfing! Surfing has changed my life. I think it is probably one of the best coping mechanisms for people who have survived abuse or trauma. It is indescribable! The connection and how close it brings you to all the living things on the planet, it’s a vibration that is so elevated. If you have anxiety, depression, ADD, whatever, I highly recommend this dose of vitamin sea.

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