I don’t speak too much Spanish, but I know what “Baja” should translate to.  “Adventure“.  Because it’s always an adventure when I venture south of the border down that skinny, jagged peninsula.  Or should I say that we get to really test Murphy’s Law (I know, Murphy is an Irish name, but c’mon, when does anything go wrong in Ireland in comparison to Baja?).

When things go wrong, that is where the adventure truly begins.  And boy was it fun. 

For weeks we had been tracking Hurricane Lorena running up the coast of Mainland Mexico.  Is it going to hit our camp?  Is it going to send extra swell and perfect conditions?  The anticipation was killing me as I woke up each day leading up to the trip and checked the new path five different forecasts were reporting.  In the end, Lorena wasn’t the problem.  Mario was (I always preferred Luigi in Super Mario Bros. – should have known).  Hurricane Mario, which was downgraded fairly quickly, swung out wide.  Sorry, not as much swell was forecasted now for the week, and to add insult to injury, lots of onshore winds.  And by the way, you can’t even get out to the camp because the Port where you need to travel by boat from is closed.  So, let’s hang in Loreto until it passes. 

Loreto is a cool little town, especially when you’re with cool people to wander around in it with.  We had a group of eight and the camp held twelve, so we were a little timid about who else was going to join us.  We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the others were even more fun and down to earth than we were!  And the ringleader had a handlebar mustache (good start already), was friendly as can be, and can play a mean game of Liar’s Dice.  We all quickly became good friends, but while in Loreto, we were still just getting to know each other. 

After a night stay in Loreto, we waited to hear when the Port was going to open.  I’d rather be sitting in front of onshore slop than in front of the flat Sea of Cortez and so would many in our group.  Handlebar Mustache Man took the lead on cornering our host.  I quickly followed in support when I heard what he was up to.  But our pleas fell on (somewhat) deaf ears.  Nothing our host could do about a closed Port and he really liked Loreto as a base to wait it out.  We went with it in the end.

We didn’t have to wait much longer until we heard news.  The Port is open and we are off!  Onshore slop, here we come – come hell or high water. 


Turning onto Mexican Highway 1 heading south, conversation was bumping with enthusiasm and joy. 

Until it wasn’t. 

What just happened?!?  We heard the trailer that was holding all of our boards and bags make a terrible sound.  Was that the back gate dragging on the highway?  Oh no!  Are all of our boards rolling out all over Hwy 1 like a yard sale for any Semi to use as speedbumps? 

Phew!!  No.  Trailer is still following us (with the back gate closed), but the trailer sure doesn’t look like it’s tracking straight.  We pull off on an area that had a shoulder (thankfully) to assess what was going on.  Our lead van was ahead of us, but they’ll notice we’re missing soon enough and call or swing back around. 

The tires were still on the trailer.  Okay.  Check.  The hitch was still attached to the trailer.  Okay.  Check.  But the hitch frame doesn’t look like it’s attached to the van!!  What the?!?  The frame isn’t attached on one side.  The bar is completely corroded through and dragging on the ground.  Not sure this one is going to make it. 

While Baja certainly has a high probability that your plan will quickly veer off into another direction no matter how many four leaf clovers and lucky horseshoes you bring with you, it’s also is one of the best places where the seemingly impossible becomes possible.  You just need to take a moment to think.  What did we need? How can we still proceed on?  Let’s make it happen. 

If only we could find a welder.  Soldadora?!  Yeah.  That’s it!  All we need is a welder!  Easy breezy!  Weld the frame back on the car and boom, we’re back in business!  Leaving the trailer with Carlos, we set off to find a welder.  Super simple solution, we thought.  

First place right up the road was closed.  Or just no one was around (siesta time).  That would have been too easy.  Second place was closed, but there was a gent sitting outside that said he could weld.  Looked like a Mexican Chris Malloy.  Except that he also looked like he was drunk, and had some sort of dementia.  Probably not a good choice.  Fourth place had the equipment, sober (we think) employees hanging out doing nothing, but couldn’t work for us because of some contract agreement they had with “corporate”.  But they sent us to someone they knew had the skills.  Hopefully he’s available. 

On our way to that fifth welder, the other side of the hitch frame broke.  Of course it did.  And we were one block away according to the map.  Our jimmied contraption to hold the other side of the frame on was still working so we just checked to make sure it could hold the whole entire hitch frame before finally rolling up to the fifth welder. 

He was working on some kind of window frame lying on a few sawhorses.  All that stood around him was a metal frame of a building, no walls.  Just a metal, rusting roof overhead, some tools and workbenches on the right side, and what looked like an 8×4 cement pit in the middle.

Without much fanfare, he motioned for us to back the van in over the cement pit.  What luck we thought!  We joked that he was just trying out his Halloween costume and he really wasn’t a welder. 

After a quick inspection (cigarette in hand near the gas tank), he went to work on the frame, and in as little as an hour he was done, reinforced the corroded frame with solid steel pieces.  Meanwhile, we passed the time watching in awe, eating at a Chinese restaurant (in Mexico keep in mind), and chatting with another amigo who apparently had another pit across the dirt lot.  He brought over chairs for us to sit in, and just hung out. 

The kindness and fortitude that was shown that first day was inspiring.  After saying our deepest thanks to Antonio (our welding hero), we all piled back in and on the road to the Port. 

The Baja desert is quite beautiful, especially in southern Baja where there were smooth arroyos running in between serrated cliff faces with reddish dirt and shale.  We drove up through the mountains, passing golf courses (really?  In a desert where water is scarce?), shacks, cacti, and roadside fruit stands.  On our left were the islands in the Sea of Cortez where the water showed a brilliant turquoise blue and green. 

The main heartbeat of the Port town we rolled into was fishing.  The locals here eat, breathe, and die fishing and the ocean.  We transferred our bags and boards into twenty four foot pangas on a trailer, jumped in, and trailered our way to the launch ramp.  There were fishing pangas on trailers coming and going on that main artery.  The sun was going down and a large handful of boats were heading out for some productive night fishing.  One trailer in particular didn’t let a flat tire stop them.  They just limped out onto a shallow sandbar, drove the Toyota 4Runner pulling it through the corroding salt water to back the panga in.  Off they went into the night.  No worries.  Such a stark contrast to my OCD maintenance on my Wakesurfing boat!  I don’t think they flush their boat, wash it down (and trailer) and wipe clean when they are finished for the day.  LOL!!


Being on the water felt great.  We were racing towards a large sandspit on the island we were going.  It was dusk, and the Bay was rough from the relentless wind.  But we were loving it. 

As we approached the sandspit, I looked around.  How the heck are we going to cross this?  Night had fallen and I didn’t see any channel or throughway.  But headlights on the beach showed up away from the main town.  The truck was pulling a trailer.  He backed the trailer into the water on a rock strewn beach.  It felt a little like we were a part of the drug cartel, doing something not so legal, far away from prying eyes.  But he was there to take us across the sandspit so that we save hours of boating around the headland.  Not a bad gig I thought. 

On land but still in the boat, slowly trailering through the sandspit to the other side at night was an odd experience.  Halfway there. 

We launched on the other side of the sandspit with the open ocean to our left.  Then we sat there floating in the dark, looking up at the night sky.  Clouds started to disperse which brought more and more stars into view.  Jupiter and Saturn loomed bright.  Apparently, there was only one trailer guy working that evening so we were waiting on the second boat to cross the sandspit.  Our captain, Carlos, definitely pulled rank and got us across the sandspit first. 

Reunited with the other boat, we proceeded to cross the Bay in pitch dark.  Bioluminescence lit up the spray coming off the boat.  Blasting through swell and windswell, we stumbled our way to another headland across the bay.  There looked to be a bonfire on the cliff and a few moving headlamps.  As we approached, we could hear the surf breaking to our left.  How close to the waves were we?  It sounded like at any minute we could be engulfed by a set. 

But Captain Carlos knew exactly what he was doing.  At just the right moment he would lay on the gas and ease off to navigate us into a small cove.  We were greeted by friendly smiles with headlamps attached to their heads. 

Once on land, we all took in our surroundings.  Cerveza senor?  Si!! 

The rest of the week was a blur of surfing, coaching, laughter, and fun.  Surf conditions lined up each day with good winds and waves every day.  But it wasn’t the surf that was the main attraction on this trip.  Don’t get me wrong, the surf was super fun.  And I mean FUN.  But what really made the trip were the people

With me came six amazing human beings that I am honored to call not only my clients, but my friends.  We conducted a variety of coaching sessions throughout the week.  I was thoroughly proud and impressed with their progress since when I first started working with them to the start of Day 1, and then again impressed and proud of their progress from Day 1 to the end of the trip.  Everyone struck some kind of adversity (one literally struck in the mouth!) but persevered and improved immensely. 

The Fountain of Youth (Tom) having fun

Cary – hamming it up

I recall a specific moment when I was sitting in the water during an in-water coaching session watching the group at the top of the point as a set rolled in.  Each one of them took off in the perfect spot, with plenty of time to get to their feet, smiled and laughed as they weaved and navigated the wave, riding closer to the pocket with more control than ever before.  My heart filled with joy as I watched this.  Absolute heaven. 

Also joining us on the trip was my older brother.  We had never been on an official surf trip together in our lives so this was also such a blessing for me.  Several sessions with just the two of us took place as we attempted doubles and figures eights on the same wave (one half figure eight was achieved).  During a big lull on one particular session we saw a sea turtle come up for air, the sun hit the water from behind the clouds and then two waves came through – one for each of us.  Definitely some higher powers reaching down and saying “hi” to us. 

Cary – high line
Doubles with my brother

Finally, our four new friends from Oregon, Santa Cruz, and Sacramento.  Three sixty-five year old friends who have known each other since middle school and the adult daughter of one of them.  What truly inspired me was their depth of character and overall attitude.  Getting to know each one in turn was another highlight of the trip and I was blown away with their values, humor, and zest for life.  Age is just a number.

As we departed our oasis in the desert, it’s safe to say that we will all miss it, and will certainly miss each other as we get back into our daily lives.  But that’s the thing about adventure.  It never really ends.  Just another chapter. 

Until that next chapter, I’ll see you in the water. 


John – smooth cutback
The Illusionist (Rob P) finding trim
James and Christine party wave
Janice – stylish bottom turn
Malibu born cutback – Tom
Naturally Gifted Steve dropping in
Handlebar Mustache Man Jan all smiles
Sheriff Jenni catching another one
John – generating speed
Phillipe in the slot
Christine – stoked on the glide
Cary with a deep grab rail bottom turn
James finding the speed line
Relaxed style – Janice
Father Daughter moment – Chief and Sheriff
Phillipe making magic on the roof
Christine paddling in beautifully
James on the inside. Chip on the outside.
Tom finding snacks at the bottom
Casual Steve
John setting up
Jenni feeling the flow
Jan on rail
Janice dropping in
Cary eyeing it up
Chip off the bottom
Phillipe taking off smooth
Great trim line Christine
James dropping in
Phillipe check turn
John – low and compact
Cary – mastering the twist
Nice line James
Chip finishing strong


Coach Rob. Until next time…
“I caught the best wave of my life and I have no doubt it was because of your paddling coaching.” – Garry H
Our lodging host and surf guide, Earl, at “proper” Bawa (photo by Johnny)

The crystal blue water rose closer and closer to the sky in front of me.  The sun’s light seemed to get darker with each moment.  “In 2, hold 2, out 2, 3, 4, 5…” I focused on my breathe and making sure to conserve energy.  This was going to be a romping.  Stay calm.  Don’t fight it.  The wave detonated in front of me, sending whitewater twice the height of the wave I saw moments before.  After traveling thousands of miles along the roaring forties and raging fifties, then up into the Indian Ocean, the wave unleashed all of its energy at me and boy, did I feel it.  We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. 

Garry, setting up (photo by Earl)
And Thomas setting up (among the coconut trees)

Every time I run a Mastery Surf Trip Experience I get nervous.  I get nervous not because I don’t think the participants can handle the surf, nor because I think it’s not going to go well.  I get nervous because I don’t know when throughout the week each participant is going to have their breakthrough moment.  It happens on different days for different people.  Sometimes, the first day is that big “ah-ha” moment.  Sometimes it’s the last.  And sometimes a new one happens each day.  This trip did not disappoint.

Up the reef at Asu
Sunset entertainment

The Mastery Surf Trip to Indonesia wrapped up on a remote island off of Nias.  Asu Island, a gem of a location, has one of the best coaching setups to push clients beyond their comfort zone to breakthrough moments.  A breakthrough moment could be a new paddling technique that hadn’t quite clicked yet but now does, it could be paddling into the biggest wave of their lives, it could be a newly learned breathing technique, a new way to practice the pop up, or practice the underwater armstroke.  For some, it could be combining all of the lessons to paddle into a wave they would not have paddled into before.  The best feeling for me is to see the moment happen.  The look on their face.  Their energy afterwards.  It’s hard to describe but definitely rivals being a kid again at Christmas. 

Sunshine trying out a twin fin
Justin sneaking in (photo by Earl)

The week started out with moderate sized waves at Bawa, Mini-Bawa (not so “mini”) and Asu.  As the week progressed, the waves played out like a crescendo in a song, growing until the last day.  I continue to return to Asu year after year because of Earl and the rest of the Asu Camp staff.  Earl, aka the human barometer, would wake up every day, look up at the sky, scratch his belly and then give us the low down on where and when the best surf of the day was going to hit.  He was barraged with questions throughout the day and answered them in turn with absolute professionalism and entertainment. 

Jimmy dropping in
Garry cutback at Asu, near the Nuclear zone

Between Earl, his wife Samantha, their son Noah, Folo and his family and the rest of Club Asu, we felt well taken care of, and as if we had just joined a family we didn’t even know we had.  You know it was a great trip when you see the genuine smiles on everyone’s faces light up your day.  

During our coaching sessions, Earl and I traded off in-water and on-land photographer/coach flawlessly and with no effort at all. And it paid off with each participant in the program hitting several breakthrough moments during the week.

Rob and Earl, collaborating (photo by Sunshine)
Earl, showing us how it’s done (photo by Johnny)

Our youngest and least experienced surfer, Justin, had only been surfing 4 years.  This was a trip designed to push his comfort zone as well as provide new opportunities for him to increase his surf knowledge.  I was floored with how much he was able to accomplish.  From getting cleaned up by one of the biggest waves he’s ever had to duck dive to getting his first legitimate in and out barrel, Justin had breakthrough after breakthrough.  He was a human sponge.  I would tell him one thing and the next moment, he’s already applied and mastered it.  Stroke count reduced, speed increased, and percentage of made waves increased threefold.  Then he moved onto more advanced techniques while riding – bottom turn timing, grabbing rail backside, pumping, cutbacks, wiping out correctly and barrel riding.  It was quite the performance and one that I hope stays in his memory forever.

Justin at Bawa
Justin on an Asu screamer

On the opposite end of the experience spectrum, Sunshine had been a U.S. Amateur Team surfer as well as on the Collegiate Championship team.  In other words, she rips.  And her paddling had improved an incredible amount since I began working with her two years ago.  This trip was an opportunity to push her comfort zone a bit higher and work on the sprint paddle into the wave.  Funny how we might view her experience and assume she’s comfortable in bigger waves.  Just goes to show that big waves are intimidating, no matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced team surfer.  It’s all relative.  What one surfer calls “big” will inevitably be different than another surfer’s definition of “big”.  Sunshine’s definition of “big” had certainly been revised after this trip.  I would add that a wave that seems intimidating to a surfer shouldn’t be defined solely on size.  An intimidating wave could be considered to another surfer as not necessarily big, but elements of that wave could be quite challenging and downright scary.  Such as shallow reef, the way it bends in or rears up on the reef, or even the pure power of the long period energy coming in.  Intimidating is intimidating.  And scary is scary.  It’s all in how you, yourself, define it.  And at the end of the day all that matters is whether you are growing and learning.  And Sunshine did that in spades, dropping into some bombs that reeled down the reef. 

Sunshine, on a slightly “bigger” wave than she’s used to
Burning off some of the speed she created

We also discovered how hard it is to convert paddling movements to long term memory.  On camera in flat water, her paddling stroke is an example to follow.  However, when paddling into uncomfortable waves, old habits die hard.  This is an important lesson to learn.  The more comfortable you are paddling into a wave, the easier it is to apply the techniques you have just learned.  Keep anxiety low and you’re able to apply lessons much more effectively.  This was shown on camera when she would paddle into waves that didn’t seem so intimidating, displaying a perfectly relaxed sprint paddle technique, often times with only one stroke that seemed like nothing to her. 

The best comment I heard from Sunshine, “Man, those waves are huge out there now”, when we were watching from the hut on land.  “Sunshine, the waves you were paddling into this morning were bigger and faster than what you’re looking at right now.  Here are the photos to prove it…”  Focus, practice, trust, and commitment to growth.  That’s all it takes and you can trick your mind without even knowing it.

After losing the center fin to the reef, Sunshine decided to twin fin it
Putting on the brakes

An amazing thing about Asu is that you will at some point surf by yourself.  On some days, you’re actually hoping someone else will paddle out so that the perfect waves you don’t catch get ridden also.  Garry had several sessions like this, sitting on his surfboard in the middle of the day for hours with no one else in the lineup.  While I shot from land or worked with others in the camp, he had his soul-searching sessions completely undisturbed.  When you have these sessions, you begin to think, maybe I should go in.  Then you kick out of another 200 meter wave ready to paddle back to the keyhole but see another set looming on the horizon up the point.  You can’t leave something like that and sleep well at night, so you paddle back out and catch one more.  Then one more.  Then one more…  I’ll go in when someone paddles out, you tell yourself.  But the conveyor belt continues – wave, look around shocked, paddle back out, wave, look around shocked, paddle back out – and so it continues.  These are the sessions you think aren’t real.  And much of your memory is blurred.  But the feeling is lasting.

Garry, ready for the ride of his life
All alone with no one to play with

Garry was another astute scholar.  He had taken the online course and had applied many of the lessons well, but like others who had done the same, had quickly realized the value in working together in person.  Our focus was on energy conservation initially and that paid off in those four to five hour power sessions.  A few drills were spent on speed and power generation and again, he immediately applied it, paddling into some of the biggest waves of his life.  During the evening photo and video reviews at dinner, we were able to show paddling issues we still want to work on.  The next day, those issues were gone.  Incredible student with the right kind of learning mentality. 

Coach Rob got a few fun ones (photo by Earl)
In-water coaching (photo by Earl)

Last year I led a group of surfers to Costa Rica and ran a similar program, covering Levels 1 and 2 while applying the lessons to Pavones’ long, carvable waves.  Thomas was on that trip and decided to circle the globe to join us on this trip to Indonesia.  Instead of long, carvable lefts, he wanted long barreling lefts.  Similar to last year, Thomas inspired me like no other.  He is 65 years old and is an absolute tube hound, tracking down the barrel whenever possible and tucking in.  A very casual and graceful style, Thomas is a surfer who has a lot of muscle memory coding in his brain.  But that also goes for his paddling as well.  At the beginning of the trip, I was a bit disappointed to see the old habits had returned to his paddling form (no double arm paddles!!).  But only after a few days reminders, he was paddling smoother and smoother into each successive wave, applying that casual style to his paddling as well as his riding.  We had more time to focus on the Level 2 content on Positioning that we addressed near the end of the trip last time and this practice made a profound difference in the waves he made versus the ones he didn’t.  Typically, when Thomas dropped in, he was getting tubed, plain and simple.  65 and tubed.  Like I said, inspirational.  His demeanor was pretty level as well.  I was jumping out of my skin watching him get barreled.  Me – “Thomas!!!  TUUUUUUUUBED!!  YEWWWW!!”  Thomas – “Yeah.  That was fun,” as mellow as you can say it.  But I know he was stoked.  You could see it in his eyes. 

Thomas and his super stylish bottom turn (photo by Earl)
TH, “Tube Hound” Thomas, getting out of the hot sun for a bit

Surfing is not the only thing that defines “Tube Hound” Thomas.  Like many of my clients, they all have interesting and inspiring lives outside of surfing.  Watching him apply his medical background on Asu’s emergency action plan was fascinating.  He shared with the locals emergency medical procedures and medical supplies that could help improve their lives.  Remember that we all have special talents that have been gifted to us.  Those talents are meant to be shared.  True happiness comes from serving others.  Thomas is indeed a happy guy, even if he doesn’t jump out of his skin to show it.

Thomas, so casual on take off
Any which way, super relaxed style

“So like, Rob, if I come out to see you, like, what do you do?  Like, let me be real.  Are you legit?”  This was my first experience with Jimmy after picking up a call that originated from Hawaii last year.  Immediately, I knew I was going to like this guy.  There was something about the way in which he spoke and the topics we got into that was intriguing.  He was definitely on another level when it came to his intelligence level (his CPU as he jokingly called it).  But he could be real all at the same time.  By day four, all of the beers had been consumed.  “Jimmy!  Did you drink all the beers?!?”  He didn’t drink ALL of them, but didn’t give away what he was doing.  After we had all gone to bed, he would stay up with the local staff and buy them drinks.  He played dice games and chatted in broken English and Indonesian with those that helped make our experience there on island the best it could be.  Club Asu is what he called it.  And then the next morning, he’d be the first one out in the water to grab some bombs at the crack of dawn.  Like I said, he’s an intriguing guy. 

Jimmy taking off deep (and making it around)
Jimmy tucked in at Bawa (photo by Johnny)

Jimmy’s been surfing for a while, and when he came to my house for a session a little over a year ago, it was apparent.  His muscle memory was very strong, but not in a good way.  I was half expecting all of his old habits to be revisited on this trip.  But surprisingly, they weren’t present.  It was fantastic!  Since that session, he would call me here and there to ask a question.  Then, he would just practice, practice, practice.  He was a great example of someone who put in the work and it paid off.  His regular paddling looks smooth and effortless.  And his sprint paddle was strong and effective.  All the while, he was still working on a shoulder injury he sustained a while back.  We worked on balancing out his power stroke on both sides of his body, pop up mechanics, and the underwater armstroke.  Earl and I worked with him on taking off on steeper, faster moving waves which paid off day by day after each night’s photo review.  By the last day, he took on “proper” Bawa (Earl’s description).  Heaving, double overhead walls of water, unloading without anything getting in their way.  They marched up the Indian Ocean and Jimmy was ready for them.  Paddling with power, popping up and dropping down, down, down, then setting his rail and pulling up.  The grin on his face was priceless.

Bawalanche and Jimmy (photo by Johnny)

This is why I love these experiences.  There is this spark of joy everyone gets after they know they’ve grown a bit more than the day before.  It spreads like wildfire.  It’s infectious.  And I thrive on that.  You know what I’m talking about?  Feels good, doesn’t it? 

See you in the water…

If you’re interested in visiting Earl and the rest of Club Asu on your own, visit

For upcoming Surfing Paddling Academy Surf Trips, Level 1 and Level 2 Mastery Weekends, Workshops, Private Coaching Days, Online Training, Wakesurfing Weekends and Surf Meet Ups, please visit for updates to the schedule.

Off the top Earl
Couples that surf together…Samantha showing Earl how to edge
Justin high speed line (photo by Earl)
Sunset cutback Jimmy
Thomas getting another tube
Coach Rob burning off some speed (photo by Earl)
Justin searching for another tube (after his first in and out)
Thomas dropping in, morning glass

A huge thank you to Earl, Samantha, Folo, and the rest of the Club Asu crew.  You are all so awesome and we are super grateful for your hospitality and care.  Terima Kasih!!

Surf Simply Podcast Surfing Paddling Technique

One of the most fun things I get to do is work with surfers on improving their surfing paddling technique, which in turn helps with their energy efficiency, power, and overall surfing experience.  

In this surf simply podcast, I had the opportunity to share a few nuggets of information on paddling technique as well as nerd out on the technical side of paddling a surfboard.  

Listen in by clicking here

Hope you enjoy and learn something new…




New XSWIM Surfing Workout – Leg Day!

new surfing workout leg day

Sometimes, you just have to mix it up with your surfing workout.  This day was our second time out trying to dial in the right wake.  While we were working on that, we took a few cracks at it.  

By the end, my legs were toast!  Funny how a few dozen bottom turns and off the tops will wear you out.  

When we talk about building long term strength and muscle memory, it’s all about repeating a motion (correctly) over an extended period of time until our brain skips a step.  When learning something new, the brain takes two steps to get the body to react.  Over time, through perfect repetition, it reduces that to one step.  

This is most likely a human adaptation for survival – the brain is realizing that the things we do repetitively might be important so it tries to speed it up.  

Unfortunately, with surfing, we get few chances to repeat a motion.  That’s why workouts like this, skateboarding, snowboarding, and other similar environments provide us with this chance to repeat a motion over and over again.  Are wavepools the future of surfing?  Maybe not all of surfing, but definitely for technique and practice.  

Last point I want to make – most people quit their workout routines shortly after starting.  Why?  It gets hard!  

Enjoy to the burn.  Meaning, enjoy the struggle, take satisfaction in how much working out sometimes sucks.  You’ll have to take this mindset from time to time this to get through it.  Then, when you’re done, you’ll feel great about the fact that you completed it.  Use this as motivation for next time.

In summary:

  • Repetition helps us with long term motor learning – but be sure to use good technique – the brain doesn’t care about the quality.
  • Bring some fun into your workouts – play games, challenge yourself/friends
  • Mix it up – do something different – skateboard, snowboard, wakeboard, bodysurf, etc.
  • To motivate you to go – think about how good you felt at the end of your last surfing workout.
  • To motivate you during the workout – “embrace the suck” This is a Green Beret motto.  Success doesn’t come easy.  Most of the journey sucks.  Know this and embrace it.
  • To motivate you when you think you’re done – Navy Seal 40% rule.  When you think you can’t go any further, you’ve only used 40% of what you have in the tank!  That’s right.  It’s all mental from then on.  Take a minute rest and do a little more.  Then rest and do more.  Then rest and do more.  Keep going until you’ve blown your mind!  Your body can always keep going.  Your mind is what stops you.  Don’t let it!

Have FUN!!




surf mastery podcast

Surf Mastery Podcast

If you haven’t listened to the Surf Mastery Podcast, you are missing out on a wealth of information.  

I had the honor of speaking with Michael Frampton, the creator of the Surf Mastery Podcast, and couldn’t have had a better time sharing a few of the topics I discuss in my Surfing Paddling Academy Camps, Workshops, and Online course.  

In this podcast, you’ll learn about some fundamental, yet often overlooked, paddling techniques that will extend your surf session duration, increase your wave count, and decrease the probability of shoulder injury through incorrect mechanics.  

Listen to or download  the podcast here.

As always, if you have any questions about the services I offer, or any of the content shown here, please feel free to contact me. 

Kind regards,



surfing paddling technique knee paddling

How to Paddle on a Surfboard – Part 6 of 6 Knee Paddling on a Paddleboard

In this last section in the series on how to paddle, we investigate the techniques used when knee paddling on a paddleboard.  While this is rarely used in the surfing world, by understanding how the mechanics work and why, we gain further insight into the mechanics of the previous situations we’ve already covered.  


prone paddling on a paddleboard

How to Paddle on a Surfboard – Part 5 of 6 Paddling Prone on a Paddleboard

On to the last type of craft we’re covering in this series on paddling.  Prone paddleboards.  

Prone paddleboards obviously have the highest design advantage, so it is even more critical we use that advantage when we paddle.  There are some subtle techniques used that differ from the other crafts we’ve covered so take a look…



surfing duck diving

Duck Diving – John John Style

John John is one creative dude.  This is one of the most innovative techniques and workouts I’ve ever seen.  After trying it a few times, it’s really a lot of fun.  

Go ahead, try it out!  







surfing paddling technique on longboard

How to Paddle on a Surfboard – Part 4 of 6 Catching a Wave on a Longboard

How to paddle on a longboard when catching a wave is also slightly different than when casually paddling around.  Like I said in the other Longboard post, there are distinct advantages that Longboards have naturally.  But one can hinder those advantages when paddling casually as well as when catching waves.  This video will outline the general guideline for paddling technique when catching a wave or sprinting.  

Hope you enjoy!