Learning to surf is heaps rewarding – but it’s also a big learning curve. Sure you can get to your feet pretty quickly – but mastering the techniques and style is something that takes a lot of practice. There are however some fundamental tips that are often overlooked but will help push your surfing along a lot quicker if you get them down ASAP before bad habits creep in! So here’s our 5 top tips to improve your surfing…
1) Look Where You’re Going!
It’s a surfing basic that where you look you end up! Keeping you head up and towards the beach throughout your pop will make sure you head that way, but if you look down at your feet it’ll quickly change your centre of gravity of send you tumbling into the water! The same goes for turning too – you can put all the effort into driving your turns and cut backs, but if you don’t look where you want to end up it’ll never quite go to plan.
2) Paddle Deep, Hard And Smooth
Without good paddle power your surfing won’t go anywhere. You won’t get out back you won’t catch many waves and ultimately you won’t have much fun. The key here is training, always paddle back out – even in small waves – and maybe even start some swim training. The key to a good paddle is a long, smooth stroke the commands power rather than a chaotic, shallow scramble! Even more important is keep paddling – when you think you’ve caught a wave force yourself to take about 3 extra paddles. This extra commitment will more often than not be the difference between a solid take off and a disappointing fade off!
3) Master The Pop
‘Popping’ to your feet is one of surfings most basic but under talked about skill. But without good technique this will spell disaster when you try to push your surfing to the next level – especially when it comes to bigger, faster waves. A good pop is all about control – getting your feet firmly placed quickly and consistently. Again the best way to achieve this is to simply catch more waves and practice! Even when you’re not in the water you can pop on land so the next time you hit the water you’ll have more strength and everything becomes more intuitive.
4) Watch and Learn
The old saying is ‘watch and learn’ and it couldn’t be more true in surfing – in many different aspects of the sport. Watching waves will give you a better understanding of the ocean, watching other surfers will give you a better idea of technique and even watching the line up whilst suiting up will give you a better insight into the conditions and the pecking order. Always be aware of whats going on and don’t undervalue letting a few waves slide through unridden so you can see what’s happening – it’ll set you up properly for when you do catch one.
5) Get Some Lessons
With most sports the best way to cut the learning curve quickly is to get some expert tuition and surfing is no exception. A few days of surf coaching will significantly improve your style and technique as you’ll have constant feedback – instructors point out the common mistakes you may miss in your surfing and also help you progress at a speed which suits your skill level. Whether you go for a quick morning lessons or an all out surf adventure it’ll be a great investment in your hobby and help you get more fun out of the waves.
Any tips you’d recommend for improving style and technique?