Date: January 7-8 2017

Place: Tofino, BC


Session 1: Director’s Meeting

01/07/17 8:30-11:30am

Attendees: Dom Domic, Dave Suzuki, Peter Lawless, Dustin Heise, Barbara Carmichael, Mike Redpath, Beth Amiro, Dan Tarnow


  1. Governance and Management- discussion and decisions on Bylaw and Structure of Board of Directors.
  • Intro by Dustin. Quick bio. Working for Canada Snowboard since 2006. Director of Sport and athlete development. What does a gold medal profile look like? 3 pillar approach- board of directors is the foundation of what we want to accomplish. Need good government and policy in place. Quality Leadership. Sport Development Initiative. How to develop high-performance. Dustin’s role is to facilitate
  • Dom intro. 1987 beginnings, no association, lots of neon. Began with a contest in 1988. SANS formed at the same time, in 1987 and CSA formed in NS in 1988. 1992 Dom joined the Canadian team and went to France, same year started the BCSA. 1994 Fernando Aguerre was voted in as president of ISA and has been ever since, mission to get surfing into the Olympics. 2011 tried to get into the PanAm games – needed 22 nations to participate. Olympic committee is supporting CSA before we are in.
  • State of affairs: Official communiation 20 men, 20 women are allowed in. Trying to push for 24/24. No word on format. 2 opposing agendas- top athletes but widest spectrum of athletes around the world. ISA official recognized governing body of surfing. Soccer model is at the top of the list- quota per continent. (Europe, Africa, Aus, Asia, Pacifica…) May not work out in Canada’s favour since then we would be competing with USA and Mexico. PanAm, we would be competing with CR and Brazil. Other options have been put forward as well. No 2nd and 3rd tier countries are part of the discussion. No format, no qualifications and we are 2 years out. Hopefully will be ratified from ISA Conference/World Championships in France in May. If it is 1 athlete per nation  we could get in. Need to build some plans and strategies to see how we can advocate for what is best for Canada. Our strategy is to get our best people, top team, as high a ranking as possible.
  • 3 key things in place to have funding from Canadian Olympic Committee- 1. Post AGM- share who board is, 2. insurances and liability in place, team selection- no directors are at risk by the time this happens. 3. List of coaches and leaders as well as athletes.
  • Governance: No need to re-invent the wheel. Based on Skateboard model. Review and editing of Governing bylaws. Provincial Organization is a first point of contact to the CSA. Membership dollars except the well-funded BC, Alberta, Quebec and NS, membership dollars are the lifeblood of provincial organizations.
  • Membership
    • fees cover insurance for athletes and coaches and functioning of the membership system for Provincial Sport Organizations.
    • BCSA members become default members of the CSA through membership. Athletes can purchase additional sport accident insurance.
    • What does membership do? Members can Vote on the rules of governance. Elect the board, change the policy on a provincial level. Granted rights to CSA but doesn’t get to vote for CSA.
    • May even make sense to have industry membership with some caution for conflicts of interest.
    • Who is eligible to be a voting member? (Dom) We don’t want parents, big industry people with an agenda… (Peter) Not sure we want to exclude them since they are invested, want to make sure they don’t have control. Something below membership- supporters. They have the right to elect 6 members of their bunch and these members get to vote for directors. Conflict policy governs how we manage this.
    • 3 levels of membership- Provincial/Territorial (5 directors represent) General members (4 directors) Industry (2 directors). Be really careful that membership at industry level can’t overwhelm. Can always change rights associated with membership. Proper governance will prevent problems with “conflicts of interest”.
    • All directors have to serve the interest of the board and the risk is that an industry member would skew the voting members of the board. Concern with the optics of that occurring to the rest of the surf community. Want to have motivated people on the board. How do we get the benefits of industry members who want to contribute without sacrificing neutrality, optics, and control?
    • Offer other provinces template to create their own PTSA, 1 per province that takes all “branches” of surf under 1 umbrella. We want participation for mass- sponsorship, membership dollars, support.
    • Cultures of Surf and SUP are different but all see themselves as surfers.
    • Peter offers strategy to “park” membership and move on then revisit for relevancy.
    • Participants, organizations, then industry. Need to reach consensus on groupings.


  • Dom: Rabbit Bartholomew- “You have to keep a distinction between the sport and the industry…” We are surfers for the sport, whereas industry has different objectives. Need to manage this.
  • Groupings: Member Associations, General Membership (coaches, officials, associates), Competitive Membership (Domestic, International), Industry.
  • Associations, Industry- Is the athlete group different than general member? Yes. Athletes have distinct and different interests.
  • Bylaws are concrete and shouldn’t be easy to change. Policy is operational and should be easier t change. i.e., some of the “Bylaws” will restrict other organizations such as SUP fitting into the governance model.
  • Dues not set by Board- should be approved by membership. Members need to be able to vet certain policies.
  • Could bring in policies from a similar organization- rip off and get a lot of the big ones. Policies are foundational for acquiring core funding.
  • Remove “May not Resign” and adjust discipline clause to include former members.
  • Quorum for a meeting is 2/3- ok. But for an AGM, it’s whoever shows up. No minimum. Revisit.
  • Skills and Characteristics- an example of Policy. Should be basic for by-laws- legal age voting, not bankrupt. Should have legal, governance, marketing, financial skills within a board. Technical leadership. Least valuable knowledge on the board is surfing knowledge. Nose in, fingers out. 4.4 should be gone.
  • Remove nominating committee- board gets to appoint committees. 4.8 gone.
  • Peter recommends to never permitting nominations from the floor. 14 days prior do a call for nominations, fill out forms, post on the website, for all members to see.
  • What is policy and what is operational. Mission and Vision is the why, bylaws are supportive of vision, policies are another level of “how” that should be easier to change.
  • 4 year cycles for AGM. Major elections are odd-years, post-summer Olympics. Terms are 4 years. 3 consecutive terms max.
  • “Board may make P&P” as related to bylaws- this is important.
  • Should not have an executive committee- we are small so we don’t need smaller.
  • FY should be same as Sport Canada. (April 1- Mar 31)
  • Need timeline for when and what events are going to happen- i.e. once completed bylaws need to be passed in an official meeting. Need transitional directors provision in bylaws.



Session 2: High Performance

01/07/17 11:00-3:00pm

Attendees: Dom Domic, Dave Suzuki, Peter Lawless, Dustin Heise, Barbara Carmichael, Mike Redpath, Beth Amiro, Dan Tarnow, Cath Bruhwiler, Shane Richards, Mike Jacobson, Brendan Muehlenberg, Pete Devries, John Platenius


  1. Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Plan
  • Sport Canada Core Funded groups have this. Governance in place, starting to get athlete depth pool- all a part of CSA being a part of this. At the end of the day we are doing this for the athlete.
  • Skills matrix- physical- shape and conditioning. Psychological. Technical- skill. Tactical- strategy and decision making, competition, environment, social. Build that out so that we can track and understand where that athlete is based on the gold medal profile.
  • Stage 1: Active start; 2: learn to ride. 3: What is the right volume of training to competition? Train to Train (4) Provincial and regional level- development opportunity, coaching development. 5: Train to Compete- right competition volume. 6: Learn to win. National team and good technically but not on an international level. 7. Train to win athletes are the best of the best. Gold Medal Profile. 8. Active for life. Want to attract a large base of participants to our sport.
  • In order to build this Skills Matrix we need to
  • Dom points out that surfing competition right now is tactical. Will change when we have a wave pool. At this point its going to be a natural environment so the focus will be on tactical. This is the biggest difference between snowboarding and surfing right now.
  • What do you need to know in the gym that will help your performance in surf? This is knowledge that will give Canadian athletes the competitive advantage.
  • Mike: What are Canada’s roadblocks when it comes to implementation? Dustin: Big country, lack of capacity, diluted technical leadership, resources. Core funding is one piece. Biggest gap is alignment- all have to get funding from different places which means different ways of being accountable to different organizations. Striving for the same strategic plan to close this gab. Surf Canada will not go down provincial road for funding. BCSA will need to work with Via Sport (Provincial funding agency) funding body as a start for provincial governance.
  • Weekend outcome:
    • Platform for success and shared vision on 2020- assumptions we can work under. (Natural environment- QS event there annually, punchy break-, how many will qualify, 1 male 1 female, wide spectrum BUT top athletes.
    • Mission and Vision
    • Clear set of Roles and Responsibilities and key next steps
    • Governance completed
    • Business: Plan to have financial resources in place.
    • For corporate investments we need a tour, domestic plan, instructor and coach plan pathway.
  • Is our Purpose to send surfer with greatest chance of success for the particular event? What is our purpose? If the goal is to win, we would take every dollar and put it into our 1 or 2 most likely athletes. OR we use the Olympics to drive other opportunities for other surfers who want to make a living as professional surfers; corporate funding, foundation for future surfers in future Olympics.
  • France 2024 Wave pool, LA Trestles.
  • How did snowboarding get to the Olympics? LTAD Strategy based on gold medal profile. Money needed for that- build out skills matrix and make it stage specific. What is the financial requirement for each stage? Then we know how many competitive athletes we have at each stage and where they need to move to. Implement training plans. Coach driven daily training environment, international hosting strategy. Need to get good at this plan.


Skills matrix:

Stage 2: Getting kids involved. Parents have to be involved and get kids in the water initially.



Day 2

01/08/17 9:00-12:00pm

Attendees: Dom Domic, Dave Suzuki, Peter Lawless, Dustin Heise, Barbara Carmichael, Mike Redpath, Beth Amiro, Dan Tarnow, Cath Bruhwiler, Shane Richards, Mike Jacobson, Brendan Muehlenberg, Pete Devries, John Platenius


  1. Group Break-out sessions to continue work from Day 1.


  1. Jeremy Sheppard calls in.
  • Intros and Bio by Jeremy. High-performance development pathway expert working mostly in surfing. Was a gymnastics coach, has done studies in surfing science. Half time with Canada Snowboard and half time Canadian Sport Institute director.
  • Concepts of high-performance. [graphic] Groms (4-5 year olds getting introduced with some lessons) >Clubs (junior events, intro to competition)>State Training>National Training>High Performance Scholarship Program.
  • Competition too much too soon is like you’re testing them instead of training and working on new things and creating. Focus is not on making them the best 16-year-old, it’s on making them the best 26-year-old. Seeing changes now to this model where there is less focus on competition, with great results.
  • ISA world juniors- never pressured top kids to go to that event, not a priority event anymore due to some leadership issues and a devaluing of the event. Canada needs the exposure because our talent pool is so small so the more international exposure the better.
  • Belief effect is critical. Our opportunity to do that is ISAs.
  • Building the platform and transitioning the talent into the top tier.
  • Master/performance model. Servant/Preparation framework.
  • What is the sport asking of surfers at the elite level?
    • Understanding what the sport is doing.
    • Worthwhile change- what makes a difference.
    • Bottom 10 fighting for your career, Top 10 making finals and millions.
    • For the bottom trying to find the things that will increase points (i.e. barrels and airs)
    • Kids learning how to do airs before bottom turns and carve variations. BUT athletes need to learn to ride all-round. Aquatic gymnastics- trampoline and skateboard training as well.
    • Kids need to have all the different air variations
    • Medina has scored higher on airs because of air variations. Surfers need to be honest about the talent they have which is important of seeing where they need to go, what skills they need to have, pushing them to understand that being the best kid at Lando’s but that long term it takes more than this to get to the podium.
    • Y Training Plan; Corrective and medical exercises, conditioning, mobility (stretching yoga, gymnastics) complimentary training (Trampoline, Wake, skate, snowboard). Changed and adapted on a daily basis based on need. Tests and profiling to determine need.
    • Anticipate and Prepare- growth mindset. Importance of reflection- Journal writing or debriefing sessions. This is step 1 in humility which is really important in a growth mindset.
    • Looking at progression projections- what are the forces the athletes have to go through and absorb to achieve these projections? What equipment changes have to happen to make it safe? What happens to risk? How do we prepare for this? Looking for people who can calculate risk, are kind of nuts, who are creative with style. Free radicals who are going to find a point of difference in their grabs. Looking at creative process.
    • Have to think about where we are going with the sport; mental, physical, technical, equipment demands that we will have.
    • Preparation framework:
      • Key physical factors: Dynamic leg strength. Higher the dynamic strength the higher the score/rank. Stronger turns.
      • Ability to arrest force and absorb force in landings.
      • Stabilization tasks, fundamental strength, explosive tasks.
      • Upper body strength and paddling ability. Speed and endurance in paddling.
      • Sprint paddle developed as a KPI. Endurance as much as you need, whereas sprint paddle you want to be able to get faster and into waves sooner in order to have more time. Gives more options when there is more time.
      • Technique in paddling as well.
    • Injury
      • Seeing an increase in ankle and knee injury with the increase in amount of airs.
      • Aerialists have a higher incidence of injury
      • Professional surfers have 3x the range of motion in ankles as regular people. Training/physical preparation increases stabilizing in landing and minimizes injury.
      • Technical limitations are because of physical barriers, need to think globally about what the physical limitations of the athlete are and how they are affecting performance.
      • Mobility, Technique, Strength and Power.
      • Eye dominance/spotting. If you’re goofy, chances are your dominant eye is your right. Opposite for regular surfer. You can improve acuity of your eyes so that you can spin just as well in the other direction.
      • Anthropometry- boards corresponding better to body dimensions.
      • Measuring real time velocity with sprint speeds in the pool, paddling time sprint speeds. Need a certain level of endurance to underpin performance.
      • Lower body strength and power measurements to help design program for that athlete.
      • Skin fold measurements to measure fat, extra fat can increase injury especially when landing airs, extra weight adds pressure to joints.


  • What can we do to improve high-performance in Canada?
    • Work together as a group to reduce chaos and complexity, (Stacy Matrix), embrace working together towards certainty and agreement. Have to respect what the athletes are doing, what the kids are doing, not have little divisions. Embrace diversity and come together on certainty and agreement.
    • We are in a better position than people might think in terms of current mature talent. Building a legacy and increasing juniors is important, but we have talent now and can use this to draw the talent up and create a platform for the kids who are coming up.
    • 30 is not old in surfing. J
    • People can surf at a high level into their 30s with good training.
    • Our Canadian Pros don’t just surf well for Canadians- they surf well for surfers on the international level.
    • Before, Average 14-year-old in had 300 heats under their belt. We are seeing less of this and more high performance training which is leading to better results and winning titles.
    • Growing the board riders clubs is critical. Having 14 year olds compete against the pros brings us together and is a touch point where the surf community can grow and foundational in heat surfing and progression.
    • Travel and competition is important to get kids into different waves. Need to become worldly in terms of their ability to surf different waves.
  • What weight is put on team in an individual sport like surfing?
    • Country pride, really important. Team aspect- most enjoyable surfers to work with were former team sport players. Ones who were talented early and didn’t play team sports weren’t as mentally tough and don’t understand benefit of training with other people, don’t understand that by working with other people they can grow as a person. Being a good training partner is super important. The best guys to work with, purpose is not just to win medals- purpose is to inspire. Upgrade the lives of Canadians. Method is to help athletes achieve success at an international level. Purpose is to improve the lives of Canadians. “No Assholes” policy. Broadening circle of influence for kids is going to be key in growing the culture and developing surfers.