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Surfing While Plus Size | Is It Possible? | Plus Size Travel

January 14, 2019

Surfing While Plus Size | Is It Possible? | Plus Size Travel

January 14, 2019

Last week I was invited on a press trip to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. We were going to experience the Island during the glorious winter sun, taking part in some incredible adventures along the way. 

I was invited on the trip quite last minute, so when it came to looking over the itinerary I only had a few minutes to look over it before I was packing my suitcase and heading to the airport. I saw that we were going to be taking part in some water sports including paddle boarding and surfing, but I was feeling brave and excited to try something new so said yes.

When we arrived the weather was a little colder than we had originally planned, and because of the tide it meant we were only able to do surfing – something I tried YEARS ago, but never actually made it onto the board when I was in the water. 

On the morning of our surf lesson, I was feeling very very nervous as when I tried it last time I weighed roughly six stone less and I had a lot more core strength than I do now – not to mention my fear of sea water. I wasn’t going to let that stop me though, and made my way to the beach with the rest of the group.

Getting Changed

When we got there we were handed our wetsuits and as everyone got theirs I was nervously thinking oh my god, they’re tiny!

How the hell was I going to fit into that?! 

Luckily they handed me a bigger one, but when I was tried to fit into it I really really struggled. There was a crowd of people standing at a nearby by van looking over as I could barely get the suit over my leg. I could sense people watching me and I felt so so awkward, so I took it off and told the instructors that it didn’t fit.

The instructor told me to wait a minute and came back with a plastic bag to put my foot into – this helped them to slide the suit over my feet and up to my knees. I was MORTIFIED having everyone there see that I very obviously couldn’t fit and I was having to have help from TWO instructors so I told them to stop and asked if I could just use my swimming costume and thankfully they said yes. I don’t know what I’d have done if they said no as I was so embarrassed just squeezing my leg in, imagine how I’d have felt trying to squeeze the rest of myself into something that is designed to be skin tight. 

Once I’d given them the wetsuit back they gave me a blue wetsuit style t-shirt to wear so they could tell I was with their group. We made our way down to the beach where the instructor carried my board down, as he said it may have been too heavy. I probably would have managed fine, but it was a nice gesture.

Warm Ups and Training 

Everyone was already standing at the beach ready at this point, so I joined the group to do some warm-up exercises. If I’m being quite honest, I’m not the fittest of people so even the warm-up had me a little out of breath. We did get to play a fun game where we chased other around playing tag though! 

After we’d warmed up and done so stretches, the surf instructors gave us some really helpful info about how the current works and how waves are formed. I answered every question wrong, which doesn’t surprise me as I’m so scared of being in the sea.

We then had a little lesson on how to use our board whilst we were waiting on the sand. I was asked to switch places with one of the other girls so I could use a bigger, stronger board. This didn’t bother me so much and honestly, made me feel much safer. We learnt how to get onto our boards (which involved A LOT of giggling) and how to position ourselves and paddle. I felt as though this would be irrelevant as I wasn’t expecting to be able to get myself on the board at all.

When they started talking about standing on the board they showed everyone the regular technique, then explained to me a way to get up that involved getting on my knees, rather than having to stand up completely. I felt like they were really understanding but I said that I don’t think I’d get to that point, so I was going to sit out this part. It was great fun to watch everyone else jumping up into their boards whilst on the sand, but I did feel a little as though anyone that was on the beach would look over and presume I wasn’t doing it because I was lazy. It’s so frustrating to think like that and worry what everyone else thinks, but everyone else on the beach was so athletic and I definitely stuck out. 

Going In The Water

After our lesson, we made our way into the water, but I held back for a little bit to get myself together. Not only am I scared of being in the sea, but I was nervous about surfing and so I felt like I needed a couple of minutes before grabbing my board and going in.

When I first went in I just wanted to get used to the power of the waves on my board. I walked around (it was waist level) and pushed my board towards the waves to get used to it. Some of them were quite powerful so I was already feeling as though I wouldn’t be able to get on my board at all, especially as they were coming thick and fast. At this point, the instructor noticed me and came over.

He tried to convince me to go on board but I said I was too scared, so he walked me over to a bit of sea where the waves weren’t crashing as much. When we go to this point he asked me to jump on the board and after I couple of attempts, I was able to get on okay. I forgot how much easier it is to jump and climb things when your weight is being carried by the water, so being able to get on within a few attempts made me feel a little bit more at ease. I was facing the waves at this point so they were crashing in my face, which scared me as that’s what I didn’t like about snorkelling so close to shore back in Bali. Once the instructor turned the board around it was a little bit easier and I just felt like I was bobbing around. 

Riding A Wave

The next thing the instructor wanted me to do was to ride one of the waves, so when the next ‘big’ wave came our way he pushed my board into it and I followed a few of them through until they broke. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did, but in those split few seconds, I was having so much fun. I felt as though I had done something I’d never be able to do at my size, and although I didn’t stand up, I was proud of myself for getting in the water despite my fears. 

After I’d ridden the one wave whilst lying down the instructor wanted me to go further out to ride something bigger. I was unsure, but he made me feel safe so I said okay. I got on the board and he pushed me back so I wasn’t hitting the big waves face on. Before we managed to get to the calm part of the sea I ended up slipping off on a big wave and was too scared to get back on as I was struggling to get my breath back after swallowing a mouthful of water. We pushed the board against the waves to help ‘ride’ them whilst not on it, but the waves were a bit too much for me – especially as at one point they were too big we had to go under them, rather than over. 

I decided to call it a day and so the instructor took my board and I walked down to where it was a little quieter and chilled out there before going to enjoy the sun for a little bit.

In all honesty, I don’t think it’s a great sport for plus size people as it requires a lot of core strength to be able to push yourself up into a standing position, but I’d definitely recommend trying it and using it as a bit of a boogie board instead. Also, if you’re unsure about a wetsuit ask if you can change in a changing room or if you can wear your own swimming costume.

Have you ever surfed before? I’d love to hear your experiences! 
Kirsty Leanne
Xoxo

  • Roma Small January 30, 2019 at 8:42 am

    Thanks for writing this! I had a similar wetsuit anxiety in Florida, glad to know I’m not alone!

  • I'M KIRSTY LEANNE

    My mission is simple. I want to help change the way travel looks, showing both brands and society that plus size people really do travel too. In a community where plus size travellers are made to feel unwelcome, I want to inspire and advise people like me on how they can make the most out of their own incredible travel experiences.Join me as I share my own personal experiences, my best tips and tricks and all of the challenges I face along the way. It won’t always be an easy ride, but it sure as hell will be a fun one.

    Together, we can change the way that travel looks today

    WHAT TO EXPECT

    Instagram

    • AD | Gifted 💫 Happy Saturday! I’m going to be spending my weekend doing some housework, making my garden look pretty and trying to find ways to convince my boyfriend to take some new outfit shots for me. If there is one thing he hates, it’s being behind the camera even though he’s actually really good at it. For those of you that manage this on a regular basis, please please share your tips (I already offered a meal out, so that’s out of the question) 😂🤞🏻
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❤️ Jumpsuit gifted by @dorothyperkins
📸 @unwrittenchloee #plussizefashion #plussizeootd #plussize #psblogger #psbloggers #plussizeblogger #plussizeblog
    • AD | Discounted 💫 I am FINALLY getting around to writing some of my Trek America content and I’m getting super emotional reliving all of the amazing things that we did! As much as I love my home comforts, my dream would be to spend a couple of months getting Greyhound buses between as many States as I possibly can! With 9 already ticked off my list, I still have some exploring to do.... 🗺🇺🇸❤️
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So, who is coming with me? 😏🙌🏻
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❤️ My @trekamerica Trip was Discounted in return for content #trekamerica #trekmoment #itrekhere #visittheusa #nashville #nashvillemurals #nashvillemural #thegulch #thegulchnashville #nashvilletn #nashvilletennessee #visitnashville #nashville_tn #nashvillegram #instanashville #nashvillelove #plussizetraveltoo #plussizetravel #travelinclusivity #fatgirlstraveling #fatgirlstravelling
    • AD | Gifted 💫 It’s been a long time since I posted a carousel post on Instagram but I felt like the Kennedy Space Center definitely deserved it. I mean, just look at all of those incredible rockets 🚀
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Do you ever have those places where you’ve wanted to visit for as long as you can remember and then they exceed your expectations, even though you didn’t think it was possible? That was the KSC for me. It’s been just over a month since I visited and I still can’t stop thinking about how incredible the different exhibitions were. From learning about incredible American astronauts and driving around launch pads to seeing immersive replicas of both failed and successful launches, it really was an experience I’ll remember. I 100% left feeling like I could achieve anything ✨🛰
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❤️ My tickets to The Kennedy Space Center were gifted to me by @kennedyspacecenter #ksc #kennedyspacecenter #thekennedyspacecenter #kennedyspacecenter🚀 #kennedyspacecentervisitorcomplex
    • AD | Gifted 💫 For years I have been looking lustfully at all of the cute play suits in stores thinking that I’d never be able to wear one. Not only would they not suit me but oh my gosh, can you imagine the chub rub?! I’d written them off and decided that I’d stick to jumpsuits instead 🤷🏼‍♀️
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I don’t know why, but when I found out I was going to Garorock Festival I decided that if I was going to wear a playsuit, now would be the perfect opportunity. It was going to be 41 degrees and if anything, I could pass it off as festival fashion if it didn’t look right. I ordered two, one from @missguided and one from Boohoo 🙌🏻
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As you can see it DOES suit me (I think) and the chub rub? NON-EXISTENT. I’m definitely a playsuit convert and now wondering what other clothes I have written off without even giving them a chance! Co-ords? Dungarees? Bodycon Dresses? What should I try next?! 😏👇🏻
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❤️ Playsuit gifted by @missguided
❤️ Bag gifted by @boohoo
❤️ I was invited to Garorock as a plus one, so I was under no obligation to post #Garorock #festival #festivalfashion #plussizefestival #psoot #psbloggers #psblogger #psblog
    • AD | Gifted 🌈 Do you ever find a dress that as soon as you put it on, it’s all you want to wear for the rest of the summer?! 🙊
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This candy coloured sundress from @yoursclothinguk is definitely THE dress of the summer for me, especially as it’s the coolest linen material ever. It’s been so so comfortable on days where it’s hit 30 degrees (or 41, like it did in France) ☀️☀️🙌🏻🙌🏻
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P.s. please ignore the sun burn, apparently factor 50 every half an hour was STILL not enough for my ginger skin 😭🤦🏼‍♀️ #yoursclothing #yoursclothinguk #psbloggers #plussizebloggers #plussizeblog #plussizeootd #stylehasnosize #plussizefashion
    • AD | Gifted 💫 I’m definitely still recovering from the weekend but it was so so worth it as I go to go to my first ever festival. The four-day Garorock festival in Marmande consisted of lots of beer and Aperol, an endless supply of glitter, incredible music and non-stop dancing. ☀️🎶
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Highlights include reliving my childhood by seeing @sum41, dancing to @djsnake on day 3, discovering the amazing @christineandthequeens, listening to @twodoorcinemaclub and realising I know way more songs than I thought and the INCREDIBLE headline that was @macklemore. I’ve still got no voice because I sang and screamed so much 😂🙊
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As far as festivals go, Garorock was a great first choice. It was INCREDIBLY clean (look at the lack of rubbish in my photo) and it was all pretty contained and easy to get to. Not only that, but the crowd were amazing. I’m a little worried I may have been spoilt and I’ll have a bit of a shock at my next festival, but there’s only one way to find out, right? 😂🙌🏻
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📸: @absolutelylucy
❤️ I was a plus one on this trip, so under no obligation to post
❤️ Dress and bag gifted by @boohoo @boohooplus #festival #festivaloutfit #festivalinspo #plussizefestival #festivalfashion #spacebuns #garorock #garorock2019 #playsuit #romper
    • I’ve had a little bit of an Instagram break the last five days as I’ve been living my best life in France at my FIRST EVER festival! 🙌🏻🎉
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Although I would have loved to get the full festival experience by camping, the heat was hitting the 40’s most days. Luckily we had our very own Gite to stay in, fully equipped with a pool and all the wine I could drink. Clearly, I took full advantage of that🥂🍾
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The festival wasn’t my only first this weekend, as this is also the first time I’ve ever worn a bikini! Despite the fact I come across as confident on Instagram, I still get self-conscious when I’m putting myself out there. I was DEFINITELY not feeling it at first, but after a bit of encouragement from @danniellelily and @absolutelylucy I felt so much better. I feel as though I’d built wearing a bikini up to be this massively scary thing for me when really, it’s not *so* bad. Here’s to way more bikinis in my life 🙌🏻
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📸 @absolutelylucy ❤️ I was invited as a plus one on this trip, therefore had no obligation to post
❤️ Bikini bought from @prettylittlething who I have worked with in the past #bikini #plussizebikini #bikiniseason #bikinilovers #plussizebikinis
    • AD | Gifted ❤️ Did you know when it comes to the collaborations that I do, I pitch 90% of the work I have? Whether it’s pitching a product to feature, a press trip to go on or a paid post for my blog - I’m a huge fan of going out and finding my own opportunities. Whilst I know a lot of people are scared of the thought of pitching, it’s one of the main reasons l was able to leave my job and go full-time. It’s also taken me to places like Croatia, Belgium, Lanzarote and France. I’ve worked with INCREDIBLE brands, and I want everyone else to be able to do the same too 🙌🏻
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If you saw my stories a couple of weeks ago, you will have seen that I launched the #bepitchperfect eBook - the ultimate guide to pitching products, payments and press trip. The guide goes into detail about all of the preparation you need to do before a pitch, ways to overcome your fears, a five-step strategy that works for me almost every time and how to stay on top of all the people you’re pitching. I also tell you how to personalise each pitch depending on what you’re pitching. It really is that detailed! 🙊💫
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At just £10, it’s honestly an absolute bargain for those looking to take their blog to the next level. It’s been launched less than a month so far and I’ve already had people message to tell me some of the amazing collaborations they’ve secured thanks to my guide! 🎉
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I’m so sorry that this post may have come across a little salesy, but as you can tell I’m incredibly passionate about pitching and how it can help your blog grow. If you’re interested in purchasing the eBook, there’s a link to buy in my profile bio. If you think you know someone who may be interested, please feel free to tag them below! 🥰🥰
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❤️ Jacket gifted from @fashionworlduk
❤️ Skirt gifted from @primark
❤️ Lace body gifted from @missguided
❤️ T-Shirt bought from @levis #plussize #plussizeootd #plussizefashion #psbloggers #plussizebloggers
    • AD | Discounted 💫 As soon as I booked my Trek America I started planning all of the places I wanted to visit in each location, including the #whatliftsyou mural in the Gulch, Nashville. Nashville has TONNES of murals dotted around the city, but this particular one designed by @kelseymontagueart is very very popular. In short, Kelsey has designed all of the #whatliftsyou murals to encourage people to talk about what inspires them. Of course, I couldn’t miss out on an opportunity to do the same...
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✨ Traveling to new places and experiencing incredible new adventures inspires me to create new content, as well as to face my fears.
✨ My friends and family inspire me on a daily basis - whether it’s to do the best I can or to appreciate what I have. Seeing them do incredible things makes me want to do incredible things too.
✨ My boyfriend inspires me to achieve everything I’ve ever wanted to, as he’s always cheering me on and telling me I can do anything if I work hard enough.
✨ YOU! Each and everyone one of you inspire me to do the best I can when it comes to Plus Size Travel Too and travel marketing.
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What inspires you? 👇🏻
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❤️ My trip with @trekamerica was Discounted in return for content
❤️ Dress is bought from @boohoo however I have worked with them previously #whatliftsyounashville #whatliftsyoumural #nashvilletennessee #nashvillemurals #nashville_tn #visitnashville #visittennessee  #nashvillegulch

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    • It's festival season! What festivals are you heading to this year? 🙌🏻📸 @kirstyleanneuk •
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Changing the way Travel looks today ❤️✈️
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Changing the way Travel looks ❤️✈️
    • Hi! It’s me! We’ve had quite a few new followers over here so I thought I’d tell you a little bit about me, the creator of the @plussizetraveltoo movement! 🙊🙌🏻
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My name is Kirsty Leanne (@kirstyleanneuk) and I’m a plus size travel blogger from the UK! I have loved travelling for as long as I can remember and have been blogging about travel for just over two years (and specifically plus size travel for officially 6 months). I like cats, peanut butter and programmes about serial killers. 
As I started to become more confident with posting photos of myself of my social media channels, it became more and more obvious that I didn’t have a place in the travel industry. Nobody wanted to feature a fat girl on their platforms or in their press trips. As time went on and it started to get to me more and more, the idea for Plus Size Travel Too started. Not only is this a community for plus size travellers to get advice from people just like them, but it’s a way to show brands that plus size people do actually travel too. In the long run, I want PSTT to help brands see that they should be showing plus size travellers in their marketing materials, as well as advising them on how they can make adjustments that can make travel a lot more comfortable for plus size people. 
I want to inspire plus size travellers, just like me, to travel and have the best adventures they can. Often people let the fact they’re plus size they can’t travel and hopefully, Plus Size Travel Too will help show people that that’s just not true. 
I can’t do it alone, so I am thankful for each and every one of you helping me along the way ❤️💫
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