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The Path to L5

a man riding a wave on a surfboard in the water

“Are you sure you don’t want to coach at a higher level? You’re already paddling in Level 5 conditions. Why not teach in them?” My friend and frequent kayaking collaborator, Kelly Marie Henry, posed this question to me on one day during our expedition in Taiwan. It was one of many long days of paddling in which we already exhausted all tangents of our life stories and moved on to discussing the future.

Point Lobos. Photo: David Santiello

Point Lobos. Photo: David Santiello

“But there are already so many talented L5 coaches and a finite number of students wanting to paddle at that level. What would I have to contribute?” I asked in return.

“Just the nature of your being a young woman coaching at that level would inspire a new crop of students who are different from the folks already paddling at that level. And it’s good for the sport that we have diverse perspectives and teaching styles at all levels.”

Why not?


Laura Zulliger, Author & Lead Instructor for Cali Collective, loves all forms of paddling from sea to surf to whitewater to canoeing. We don’t know where the heck we’d be without this talented woman!

All words and images copyright California Women’s Watersport Collective 2019. All rights reserved.