West Palm Beach resident Mary Glazier started teaching surf lessons while between jobs last March. When she began posting time slots specifically for women, wannabe wave riders took note. She has now taught more than 400, with some traveling from as far as Orlando and Homestead to learn from her.
“I realized that the few women I surf with on a regular basis only knew how because a dad, brother, boyfriend, or husband had taught them,” Glazier explains. “Although I adore the men I’ve surfed with over the years, it frustrated me that most women’s bridge to this incredible hobby is through a man, and that this lifestyle is not as accessible to women.”
Glazier’s connection to the sport is a deep one. “I learned to surf when I was 12 after my brother, who was also a surfer, passed away,” she shares. “At the time I couldn’t process it all, but I knew I wanted to connect with him in some way, so I went out and taught myself on his board. I didn’t progress much in those beginning years; it was just a therapeutic and scenic experience that I was not good at.”
She learned from every wipeout, eventually getting good enough to teach others. A typical one-hour lesson for first-timers includes some ocean/swell education, a warm-up on the sand, then paddling out and “falling until you don’t.” She typically hosts her sessions in Palm Beach but follows the swell around the county, posting weekly time slots on her website and Instagram based on the wave forecast.