We love celebrating inspiring water women and Sal from @salssurfschool is definitely that. Her community of female surfers from Umina Beach NSW have come together to write this beautiful article to show their appreciation for this incredible lady...
Travel north an hour and a half from Sydney and you’ll find a beautiful beachside suburb that is part holiday destination and part relaxed beach bum town. This magical place called Umina Beach is part of Broken Bay and is positioned at the river mouth of the Hawkesbury River. It’s nestled within the Brisbane Waters National Park which has around 12,000ha of spectacular rugged sandstone country where you’ll find Aboriginal engravings, bushwalking tracks, wildflowers and wildlife.
Nearby Mt. Ettalong offers spectacular panoramic views of Umina, Ettalong, Patonga, Pearl Beach and all the way south to Palm Beach. Right in the middle of this beautiful panorama, you can see Lion Island, a protected nature reserve included on the National Australia Heritage List that is home to the largest population of little penguins in the Sydney area. This wonderful place where Sal’s Surfer Girls call home also happens to be one of the best beaches to learn how to surf on the east coast of NSW.
In Umina, you can easily find our local legend Sal, who has lived here her entire life. Just head down to the Umina Beach SLSC and you’ll be sure to spot her red and white trailer, waiting for its next class of surfers. When she is not being a full time PE and Health teacher she’s usually running Sal’s Surf School.
“Sal is determined and focused. She is a little pocket rocket who uses everything in her massive toolbox to get the very best out of every situation; both personally and at work. She drives herself to be the best she can be, and that same force is used to get the best out of her students. She has all the skills to be a patient, trusting and encouraging coach.
It’s clear to everyone who’s been taught by Sal that her passion is to increase lifelong physical activity among locals and to assist everyone in developing a sense of belonging within the Umina Beach community. Her community-centred approach offers everyone the opportunity to learn and succeed in a fun, social and supportive environment.
“Sal is a local legend. She has built up a fun and supportive community of local female surfers and inspires everyone with her energy, dedication and love for the sport.”
Here on the Peninsula, we are very lucky to have a friendly surfing community, where often you get tips and tricks from the old boys out in the water who just want to see you improve. Sal’s Sunday ladies’ groups are social and welcoming and usually end with afternoon drinks at the Umina Beach Surf Club.
A couple of years ago, Sal’s dedication and encouragement went above what she had probably ever envisioned. What started as a group of beginners on foamies has now progressed to a solid crew of intermediate surfers where members now have multiple hard boards and dissect the surf forecast every morning looking for the ultimate wave. The local Malibu Club has had a surge in numbers over the last couple of years with the volume of women surfers almost out numbering the blokes.
“I’m so blessed to have a community of likeminded beautiful women to share this experience and personal growth with in my back yard. Sal is responsible for creating this amazing culture of supportive and encouraging women, who give you the courage to paddle out and confidence to find your line.”
So next time you’re finding yourself on this legendary Central Coast beach, why don’t you join us for a paddle and a surf? We guarantee you will fall in love with surfing and make some amazing new friends as well, whether you stand up during your first session or not. We have the feeling you’ll catch great waves on your first try just like we did. That’s the magic of Sal’s enduring encouragement.
”Never having surfed before I stood up by the end of my first lesson. After that, I booked for the whole term and then some. Both my daughter and I have since joined the local Mal Club and now pack our surfboards whenever we go on holidays. Sal and the team are very knowledgeable and encouraging. We’ve met a great bunch of fellow surfers. Sal’s a great ambassador for our community”.