Hello Jacksonville Beach! – Some big life changes…

Erik Antonson
Erik Antonson
May 10, 2017

My whole world is different since my last post.

On April 4th, after 6 months of my wife having strange symptoms, many trips to the states and specialists, I took her for a brain MRI in San Jose. All the doctors we’d seen said that wasn’t necessary, but a feeling I couldn’t shake made me say, “why not, it’s only 4 hours, we’ll be back at midnight, and I’ll be coaching in the morning.”

That MRI showed a large tumor.  We flew back to the states with the clothes on our backs 14 hours later, and 24 hours after that she had her first of three surgeries. These past 5 weeks have been the most difficult and most beautiful of our lives. Sarah is doing great, and the outpouring of love and support from family and friends has been amazing.

She is pushing me to write about the experience, and I might do that in the future, but I’m not sure how to do that yet.  We’ve learned a lifetime of lessons, I know they would be more beneficial than anything I’ve shared about surfing, but it’s still too fresh.

Our need to be close to exceptional neuro care and desire to be close to family has forced a move back to the states.  We decided on Jacksonville Beach and just bought a beautiful little house right next to a new skatepark.  Damo is frothing on it.

I wasn’t sure if I’d continue to coach paddle surfing, but it turns out my love of coaching is almost as deep as my love of surfing.  I’ve found myself training family in the gym, helping a good friend navigate a career change with perspective on quality life and family, and now, in Jax working on stroke technique with new friends in the neighborhood.  I guess coaching has become a part of me in these past few years.

And actually, after surfing here for a few days, small surf is much better for fundamental learning.  Growth edge can only be pushed in one direction, and these small conditions are perfect for stroke, footwork, and opening turn game – and that’s where 80% of my coaching has been focused.

I’m not sure of the format yet, but I’ll probably take on a few clients in the area.  I’ve had some offers over the past year to coach in amazing locations and I’ll be thinking about that when the dust settles for our family, so maybe Fall/Winter trips.  If you’re interested, reach out.

Much love from Florida!  Erik



  • sharon von schilgen

    So happy to hear of your new life and sarah’s progress. the best to you and your family. sharon von schilgen

  • Joe Edwards

    Erik. Thoughts prayers and positive vibes being sent your way for you and your family!!🙏✌️💥🙏💯💯. Never easy. When things settle would love to book a trip from New York to get lessons and support the progression project!!!
    Much love!!!

  • Aleksey Myagkov

    Hey Eric, I have been following progression project for a while. I read and re-read your articles and podcasts, they have helped me a great deal. I just want to say good luck and speedy recovery to your wife and for you to stay strong!

  • Dennis Short

    Hi Eric, Wishing the best for you and your wife. Big fan of the Progression Project – you’ve been a big help in my development. Sending good vibes.

  • Christian

    I echo Aleksey’s comments. My development in paddle surfing would not be the same without your detailed breakdown and passion for the specifics of the sport.

    Very best to you and your family.


  • Norm hann

    Thank for sharing Brother! Much love to the family and I look forward to connecting soon! Norm

  • All the best, Erhards from Fuerteventura!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: