Surfing is a hard sport to master. No matter who you ask, from the well seasoned pro to the surf school novice, pretty much everyone’s trying to improve his or her technique out in the water. So here’s a simple list of 5 things you can do daily -either on flat spells or in between sessions- to better your surfing. I didn’t include everything, so if you don’t see your type of surf training on the list leave us a comment at the bottom and let us know what you do to sharpen your skills.
1) Skate – Skateboarding is one of the easiest ways to improve your surfing. That’s because much like surfing, skateboarding is based on the same fundamentals: balance and motion. Skating regularly will strengthen your legs, smooth out your style and more importantly get you up off the couch and outdoors. Luckily for us all there are heaps of surf skates out there that can turn any slopy driveway into a standing wave. So if onshores are howling and the forecast looks bleak, grab a skate and hit the sidewalk.
Check out our Line of skates that can help you hone your surfing skills here:
2) Watch Surfing – Like any other sport you can learn a lot by watching professional athletes do what they do best. Before you go for a surf pop in your favorite surf DVD or pull a sick segment up online and observe. Don’t be afraid to pause, rewind and repeat. Careful study of the pros will help you nail your technique and ultimately improve your muscle memory.
Browse our large selection of Surf DVDs. We’ve got all types from Classic to Progressive and Artistic to Informative:
Remember, if you can’t name a surfer other than Mr. Slater then chances are you’re still groveling in ankle slappers and riding your board straight to the shore.
Aside from video segments, you can also learn a lot from watching other surfers out in the lineup. Often times local rippers can surf your home break better than anyone else and they will know about the subtle nuances that they can’t always teach you in surf school. Careful observation of a crusty local can let you know you where to paddle out, where to sit and ultimately how to tear your break apart. Just don’t expect him to shake your hands as his dominance over the wave will often times give him an unfriendly demeanor towards those who have not yet paid their dues.
3) Swim – 90% of surfing is paddling and even though paddling doesn’t score you points on the ‘CT, any good surfer must also be an excellent paddler as well. One of the easiest ways to improve paddling is to swim. This simple exercise will strengthen your arms, make you more confident in the water, and increase your overall stamina during sessions. If done regularly, you will find yourself not only paddling circles around your fellow surfers, but you’ll also be catching more waves than a frothing brazilian – no offense Adriano.
4) Bodysurf – Believe it or not, bodysurfing is another activity that will greatly improve your surfing. Nothing better prepares you for a nasty wipeout or unexpected leash snapping quite like a nice body womp. You will find that a nose full of water now and again will get you charging harder and going bigger when the opportunity arises. So next time when the black ball goes up, don’t be afraid to put down that board, grab a pair of fins, and try a different kind of plaining down the face of the wave.
When bodysurfing it’s good to have a hand in front of you and fins on your feet
5) Surf – This one seems like a no brainer, but in reality nothing gets you ready for surfing quite like surfing. Practice makes perfect and if you really want to better your abilities you’re going to need to put in your time. It doesn’t matter if you’re surfing 2ft onshore wind slop or double overhead closeouts, every wave counts when you’re trying to improve. If your local break is to fickle, go on an extended vacay or try you luck relocating to an area with better surf because the only way you’re going to master the sport of kings is by logging some serious time in the water.
- Cross Train – The easiest way to stay in great surfing shape is to not fall out of shape.
Stretching and Staying limber - How do you expect to improve your turns if you can’t touch your toes? Even if you’re haired on become a full on Yoga-guy (or gal), simple stretches before a session can help your surfing.
Skim – Surf’s good, but the tide’s too high and it’s pounding on the shore? Try your luck at skimboarding.
Eat Well – You wouldn’t put bottom of the barrel unleaded fuel in a Ferrari, so why would you do the same to your body? Put down the Maccers and grab something healthy.