Struggling with your surfing? On the hunt for some quick fixes and tips to improve your surfing?
No worries, I’ve got your back!
Having spent a good 5 years surf coaching across the globe (including the UK, New Zealand, Morocco and Ecuador) there are certainly a few easy things I can recommend as tips to improve your surfing that apply to most people – learners and experienced surfers alike.
So if you’re wanting to improve your surfing put these into practice on your next session…
5 Simple But Effective Tips To Improve Your Surfing
1. 3 Extra Paddles
In all my years of surf coaching this is definitely the one thing I’ve reiterated in the waves more than anything else. I get it, when you get started as soon as you feel the wave push you you want to pop up and get riding.
But honestly if you take the time to smash in at least 3 extra, big paddles before popping up I guarantee you’ll catch heaps more waves.
2. Nail That Pop
This might seem like a really basic piece of advice, but honestly nailing the basics of your pop is really going to help further down the line. Trust me, my pop sucked for years and it really hindered my progression.
So whether you’re learning to surf or already experienced in the water, strip it back to the beginning and make sure you have the placement and flow of your pop properly dialled.
You’ll see a huge improvement in bottom turns, speed and control.
3. Look Up!
One of the fundamentals of surfing is where you look, you’ll go.
So if you’re busy looking at the nose of your board or your feet the chances are you’re going to fall off! After all your head actually weighs quite a bit, so keeping it over your centre of gravity will make a massive difference.
Same goes for turning, look where you want to head along the wave but also don’t focus on where the board is towards the end of the turn – you’ll want to be looking at the next section to keep things flowing.
You’ll soon find that as your head turns, your shoulders will follow, which transfers down to your hips and this al makes up the full flow of turning your board.
So keep it smooth and focus on where you want to be.
4. Pick The Right Board
You’re looking to buy your first board and you know where you want to be with your surfing. You’ve seen Kelly Slater shredding on that super tiny, wafer thin thruster setup and you’ve researched what board shape Filipe is using to bust those epic airs – so you start perusing the board racks.
Bit of tough love here. You’re not Slater, you’re not Medina, chances are you probably won’t ever get that close (dont let that put you off trying though!) so why would you rush to buy a board like theirs?
I’d love to drive like Lewis Hamilton but you don’t see me buying an F1 car!
When it comes to most surfers (especially learning to surf) bigger is better with boards and picking the perfect beginner surfboard is key to progression.
Don’t be ashamed to rock that 8 foot mini Mal, or that 9 foot log.
Heck I surfed nothing but longboards for nearly 10 years and loved every minute of it!
Experiment with renting a few different sizes, chatting to the guys in the shop (although take them with a slight pinch of salt) and get a board that’s going to help you catch heaps of waves, as that’s how you’re going to be progressing. Yes down the line you might want to drop down a size, loose a little bit of volume or change the fin setup – but trust me you’ll know when it’s your board holding you back over your ability.
So choose wisely and you’ll notice a massive difference.
5. Get In The Water As Much As You Can
It might sound obvious, but the more time you spend in the water the better you’ll get – so don’t limit yourself!
Even if the waves are a mushy, onshore mess, get in there and give it a go – the more waves you catch the more you’ll practice everything and the better you’ll get.
Learning the ways of the ocean, how waves behave and how to read everything takes time, so the more time you spend in the water surfing or watching the surf the faster you’ll progress.
Give yourself a focus for the session too – whether that’s nailing that bottom turn, going backside or simply getting your front foot places properly – it’ll help move your surfing to the next level.
Have you put these to the test?
Which tips to improve your surfing worked best?