The Dreamers #78 - With Illawarra Surf Academy
Many of us dream about being able to ride a wave, and for professional surfer Nic Squiers, he's all about making that dream a reality at Illawarra Surf Academy. As our latest Dreamer, this rad dad takes us behind the scenes on what it takes to make it as a surfer.
WELCOME TO THE DREAMERS.
It's me Nic, Chantal and our kids Mannix, Marley and Billy.
We live in Fairy Meadow. My favourite spot to hang out is East Corrimal. Great waves, parks and cafes.
Illawarra Surf Academy was established in 2013, so it's our 10th year in operation. The business was first created on the back of my own surfing journey. As a teenager, I knew I wanted to be a ‘Pro’ surfer. The only thing was, I wasn’t in any way a kid that had the talent of other kids of my age. My family wasn’t a surfing family and knew nothing about the sport. I was told on a regular basis I wasn’t good enough by my peers.
At 23 years old, I decided to go all in. I moved to the Gold Coast and knuckled down to chase a career in competitive surfing. I hung up the competitive boots in 2020 and finished 32nd on the WSL Qualifying Series rankings.
My vision when I started Illawarra Surf Academy, was to be that voice to local kids that says, regardless of where you are now, if you want to chase this dream, I’m here to back you! With enough hard work and resilience you can do this.
Within a year, I’d established ISA, a learn to surf and surf coaching business for everyone from the aspiring elite surfer chasing the competitive dream, adult intermediate surfer looking to improve their surfing experience, to the beginner surfer looking to stand up on their first wave. We also provide surf education lessons and learn to surf programs for a bunch of local and interstate primary, high schools and colleges.
Definitely Pipeline in Hawaii. I was lucky enough to compete in the Volcom Pipe Pro on two occasions. I lucked into one of the best waves of my life in a heat at Backdoor, scoring an 8-point ride. One of the highlights of my surfing career.
Rad Mama Primary Ringer Tee
Old Mate Organic Cotton Kids Tee - Olive
Rad Kid Brights Stripe Hemp Tee
What's it like juggling a business with family life?
It’s always a struggle balancing life. When you run a small business there’s always something that can be done. I definitely find myself with life out of balance, but I try and recognise it early, and spend time where it needs to be spent. It definitely helps when you love what you do for work though!
Advice for people looking to get into surfing?
Go easy on yourself! Surfing is a very hard sport to master. Standing on the board is the easy part. Understanding the waves and the ocean is the hard part. Also, don't use a small fibreglass board too early on your journey. It will create bad habits as they're very unstable.
Any favourite Banabae pieces?
Definitely the Rad Dad tee.
Shop Rad Dad Range:
Rad Dad Classic Tee Organic Cotton - Natural
Rad Dad Organic Cotton Knit Beanie - Camel
Rad Dad Brights Stripe Hemp Tee
Rad Dad Walnut Hoodie