The Journey Towards Having More FUN Surfing

Surfing means different things to different people, but should always remain at its core

Fun

Lack of progression and fatigue leads to frustration which then leads to an unpleasant lineup.  Nobody wants that.  The first step in thwarting this downward spiral is to improve your entire surfing experience, from the pre-surf ritual, paddling out, deciding on a spot to surf, making adjustments, choosing the wave for you, riding with flow, kicking out, sharing with others, and finally exiting the water to talk story with others afterwards.  At its root, to have more fun means to improve.  It doesn't matter where you start in this journey of progression, from novice to pro, you can always improve and enjoy the experience of surfing just a little ... bit ... more.  

 

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32 Miles...And a Lot of Grit

photo: Sabine Dukes

One of our very own Surfing Paddling community members paddled the Catalina Classic (again) this month.  And boy, was this year a tough one.  That crossing is a difficult paddle even in the best of conditions, but this year’s race was particularly challenging. 

Here is Brian’s story of perseverance and sheer grit from his own first-person account:

This August I had the great privilege to compete in my 3rd Catalina Classic 32 Mile Paddle Board Race (https://catalinaclassicpaddleboardrace.com/). This race has a long and storied history, dating back to Tom Blake and two others paddling from Palos Verdes to Catalina Island in 1932. The current form of the race started in 1955, lead by Bob Hogan, and would start on the isthmus (Two Harbors) on Catalina and end on the south side of the Manhattan Beach Pier. This year, 2021, saw the 44th edition of the race in this format.

After the race, I wrote up about 5 pages on this year's...

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Plan B - A Surf Story

boat surfing surf trip Sep 27, 2021

Sometimes, the best plan is a backup plan.

As surfers we learn to be adaptable. Tide changes, we adapt. Peak shifts, we notice. The goal is always the same - find that wave riding feeling.

This past month a few friends and I had planned a trip and those plans went to hell in a handbasket. So, we had to pivot, and it turned out to be one hell of a ride.

Mike, Andy, Kevin, Travis and myself had planned out a three day boat surfing trip at a location renowned for good water all day. The campsite was booked, the boat prepped, itinerary set. But then the Caldor fire in the Tahoe National Forest smoked us out.


The air quality forecast was unhealthy for the days we had planned to go. What to do then? Chance it, and hope the forecast was bunk? The wind forecast is notoriously inaccurate when there are wildfires.

With two from our group inbound via car and plane, we had to make a decision. Lucky for us, that dead wind that forecasted the poor air quality was perfect for a local surf...

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Pain in the Elbow? Is Paddling Technique Causing It...or Not?

I’ve heard a common complaint from surfers that has something to do with elbow pain.  Many ask if there is a certain paddling technique that aggravates a discomfort they might feel in the elbow. 

There are a few incorrect paddling movements that might be the cause of the pain.  And there are a few activities that have nothing to do with paddling which are more often a primary cause of the pain in the elbow.

This video investigates elbow pain when paddling. Where could it come from? And how to prevent/recover from it.

Enjoy!

 

Want to help another surfer?  Become a Paddling SUPPORTER for only $3/month!  Your contribution helps keep these resources free for those that can't afford the more personal and customized training.  When more surfers are using better paddling technique, there is less fatigue, and therefore less frustration in the lineup.  Win-win for everyone!  

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Steady Head Reduces Drag and Adds Power

How well do you rotate along your long axis, from your head to your feet, when paddling?  It's such a subtle technique, but as you'll see in this video, critical to reducing drag, increasing propulsion, and reducing potential injury when paddling. 

Hope you enjoy!  Let me know if you have any questions!  

 

Want to help another surfer?  Become a Paddling SUPPORTER for only $3/month!  Your contribution helps keep these resources free for those that can't afford the more personal and customized training.  When more surfers are using better paddling technique, there is less fatigue, and therefore less frustration in the lineup.  Win-win for everyone!  

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Paddling Mythbusting - Enter Thumb First...Or Not?

Ever been told that you should enter the water with your thumb first to cut drag?  Did you ever wonder if that was okay?

In this paddling technique Mythbusting episode, we break down whether or not there's an advantage to entering thumb first or not. We discuss impacts to shoulder injuries and efficiency of movement of one paddling technique over another.

Hope you enjoy.

If you did, and you think this might help a friend of yours, please feel free to share it.

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Not Another Surf Ranch Clip

I hate to say this, but unless you experience the Kelly Slater Surf Ranch yourself, it’s hard to imagine the spectrum of emotions, thoughts and feelings that drive you to share your experience with everyone you meet. I’ve coached there five times now, and have had the opportunity to surf it twice, and can attest that there is something special about the experience.

The night before you get to surf the wave for the first time, your heart pounds faster than a drum roll. You then attempt to calm it through a variety of breathing and meditation techniques. The effect is negligible before you begin again to imagine yourself blowing the wave, or not making the barrel, or not being able to catch it, and your heart rate goes up again. And this is all the night before you arrive.

Upon arrival, with little to no deep sleep, the roller coaster begins again with your heart rate as you try your hardest to understand where you’re supposed to sit in the basin, how to decipher...

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How to Judge Your Surfing Skill Level

An interesting question was asked recently.  How do I judge skill level for surfers.  It was mostly interesting because I don’t think I’m qualified to judge anyone’s surfing ability.  And the more I thought about it, I judge my own surfing a little differently than one might think.  Check out this video on how I judge my own surfing skill level, and also to learn a sneaky side-effect of looking at your skill level from this perspective (you actually progress your surfing faster this way). 

 For information on the Level 1 and Level 2 paddling courses, to help you gain confidence in the above video's philosophy, feel free to contact me to have a chat about how to get started.  

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Paddling Mythbusting – Enter Wide, or Not?

The other day I was asked by a client about something he had heard from another surfer.  He said the surfer told him to enter wide and then pull into the centerline of the body, then push back, kind of like a "Y" motion.  He wanted to know what I thought.  

In this surfing paddling mythbusting, we investigate whether or not entering the hands wide is a good thing; or whether it's a myth.  

Hope you enjoy.  Please feel free to reach out with questions.  I'm only an email or phone call away.  

Take a Level 1 or Level 2 Paddling Technique Course in person, one-on-one.  

OR

Check out the Level 1 Online Course or Virtual Coaching

OR

Come have some fun riding for minutes at a time on your board with our Boat Surfing program - The Keys Surf Club.  

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Adding More Power to Your Paddling

Adding more power to your paddling doesn’t involve pushing harder most of the time.  It’s simply using the tools at your disposal. 

In this quick video, we investigate one of the often overlooked tools you have ready and able to use in order to gain more power in your paddling.  

If you've ever felt like you should move faster when you paddle, or felt like waves pass you right by, then this video is a must watch.  

Let me know if you have any questions!  I'm here to help and am stoked to have a chat.  

If you haven't taken the Level 1 Paddling Technique Course, I highly recommend it.  Learn more here (online and in-person training).  

Cheers!

Rob

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Golden Water Time Rule

surf trip surfing Feb 16, 2021

My friends and I developed a Golden Water Time Rule when we first started surfing.  It wasn’t formally discussed, or written down, but this simple golden rule of ours kept us happy and would guarantee we would get in the water each and every time we went to the beach

I grew up about 35 minutes away from the closest beach, an hour away from the closest beginner break, and when I started surfing, I was too young to drive.  At one point, I created a foamboard presentation (that’s what we used before computers) attempting to convince my mother why it was in her best interest to drive me and my friends to the beach.  “You’d get a lot of reading time in, without interruption.” “Sun and relaxing!” (That one was a bit of a stretch in Northern California as the coastline is notoriously cold and overcast).  “We’ll even pay for gas.” (another stretch – I’m not entirely sure we had enough money to...

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