Corinne Evans: Founder of the Rad Mum Club talks all things motherhood and surfing
PUBLISHED: 10:08 26 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:20 26 June 2019
When Corinne Evans first hit the waves, women on boards were rare, how things have changed
Corinne Evans works within the surf industry; with a day job of assistant editor for SurfGirl Magazine, when she is out-of-office, she runs her own personal blog and collaborates with brands as a surfer and lifestyle blogger. Living for the outdoors, Corinne recognises that being by the sea is as necessary as breathing. On the flat days of the summer, she loves to stand up paddleboard and when the surf is good, she can be found riding the waves.
"It's something I need to do. I am at my happiest when I am out in the ocean surfing or on the beach walking in the sun. There is no other place I would choose to spend my time. I care about the oceans and the beaches like they were my own," says Corinne.
Born in the West Midlands, Corinne spent the first 11 years of her life living in the landlocked town of Wolverhampton, getting her beach fix during school holidays or the occasional impromptu camping weekend. "I have now lived in Newquay for nearly 20 years, and my memories and life experiences have predominately been here. I am forever thankful for the risks my parents took in moving to Cornwall."
Corinne is adamant that living by the coast allows her to prioritise what is essential and what's not, helping her mind to wander freely, and enabling her to explore her creative side.
"If I am looking for inspiration, motivation or the need to feel grounded, I head to the beach or drive off to watch the waves."
Corinne fell in love with the surfing lifestyle from the moment she moved to Cornwall, but didn't take to the waters until her late teens. "After a few years of surfing on and off, I remember it clicking and from that moment I knew it would be something I would always do, it isn't just a part of my life, it's my entire life!"
Since having her son, Albee, eight months ago, Corinne has come to learn that her passion for surfing cannot always come first, with motherhood impacting on every single aspect of her life, something she has had to adjust to. "I am no longer number one, everything changed when Albee was born, but it changed for the better. My life suddenly felt richer, with more purpose, both of which I didn't ever expect to experience."
Since having Albee, Corinne has been far more conscious about the work that she does, as well as the brands that she associates herself with. "I am more aware of how my life and work will impact my son's development. I still surf and work because I need to have a life away from motherhood and it has changed my life and my work in numerous ways. I think some brands thought I would give everything up, especially the modelling side, but this isn't the case. If anything I am more determined than ever to show my son that I can be successful."
I ask Corinne what one piece of advice, she would give to future mums-to-be, who are also lovers of the great outdoors; she insists that it's important to continue doing what you love.
"I would say now more than ever you're going to need those moments of calm, to escape and take time for yourself. It may take a little more organisation and the chances are you won't be able to surf every time the waves are good but when you do, you're going to feel a new love and appreciation for the sport. As for getting outside, it's terrific for children's development. I try to get out once a day at least. I need it as much as Albee, so try not a deprive yourself."
Within Corinne's new role as a mother, she is exploring how she can connect other adventure-mums, in particular with her start-up community group Rad Mum Club, open to all mothers and expecting mothers.
As a new mum, Corinne experienced days where she felt lonely and longed for people to connect with and chat to.
"I remember thinking to myself I cannot be the only mother to feel like this and from that, the Rad Mum Club was born! The community group offers a way to connect mums who love adventure, exercise, the ocean as well as those who are feeling a little lonely. It's a club that welcomes everyone and although still in the development stage, I have big plans and feel excited to see how this community will grow and develop over the coming months."
Corrine hopes to eventually set up clubs all over the UK, with monthly meet-ups, retreats, and a website with content to help mothers struggling within their new role. "The main thing I want to achieve, is to help mothers who are going through a hard time, by connecting them with other mothers who feel the same."
Corinne admits that surfing has taught her so many valuable lessons in life, and she is keen to pass these down to her son from an early age. "Surfing has taught me so many things, but I guess for me there are two that stand out - the first is to be patient, enjoy where you are and not to hurry the moment along. Secondly, it has taught me that life is about having fun; it's not about being the best, the most successful or the wealthiest."
Surfing has also helped shape Corinne as a person, giving her a better understanding of the environment around her, allowing her to connect with her surroundings on a deeper level.
"Surfers tend to be mindful of their actions both in and out of the water. The ocean teaches you to be alert, adaptable and to go with the flow, all of which I'd love for Albee to pick up on."
Corinne is also keen to pass on her values surrounding her love of the ocean to Albee, hopeful that he too, will fall in love with surfing, but is adamant that she won't force it upon him. "I want Albee to love and respect the ocean as I do. I will teach him about plastic pollution, ocean conservation and how his actions can affect the wellbeing of the sea and all that lives within it. I want him to become a surfer naturally, if that is what he wants to do and if that then turns into him wanting to make a career out of it, then both my husband and I will support him every step of the way. I don't have aspirations of him becoming anything other than happy and content with his life."
When it comes to favourite surf spots, Fistral Beach tops Corinne's list; situated on the north Cornish coast, a stone's throw from her home in Newquay, she also loves to take Albee along; it offers such a huge expanse of sand, perfect for kids to run around and play on.
"Fistral is my home break and the ideal spot to pop out for a breather, walking the stretch with a flask of coffee, Albee in tow," says Corinne. "If I could give one piece of advice to young women who are looking to take up surfing - mothers or not - it would be to enjoy it!
It's so easy to take things too seriously and end up getting frustrated, especially if you don't progress quickly enough. I'd say just enjoy the journey of learning to surf and the benefits you will reap. I am living proof that surfing helps to keep your mind as healthy as your body. Before a surf, I feel nervous, excited and eager to get in, afterwards I feel calm, content, refreshed and alive again."
Fitting in time to surf amid the daily demands of motherhood is no easy task, but Corinne and her husband ensure they split everything down the middle, taking it in turns to ride the waves. "It is very much one big juggle, and sometimes it doesn't work out, but more often than not it does."
Can she imagine living anywhere else in the UK? "Cornwall has everything I could ever need, enabling me to surf, write and connect."