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.
Ever wonder why some waves break fast and hollow, and some waves break slow and mushy? By understanding how waves break, we can improve our decision making on where to catch them and how to ride them.
Hope you enjoy! Please feel free to reach out with questions and comments.
Learn more about Positioning, Timing, Sprint Technique, Pop Up and Getting Out in the Level 2 course. Prior to taking Level 2, be sure to complete the Level 1 Paddling Technique course on Paddling Efficiency, Speed, and Injury Prevention. The Level 1 course lays a strong foundation and is a pre-requisite to effective Sprint Paddling.
I'm just an email or phone call away to have a chat about surfing. Don't be a stranger.
Getting barreled is an intimidating act. Just the fact that you're in a barreling wave situation can be daunting, given that this happens in shallow water with hefty swell and power. Tucking into that raw energy takes a bit of getting used to.
Most people say, "you just need to pull in a lot to get used to it." Good advice. But here are three more tips to help you enjoy the barrel - to actually have fun in the barrel. These techniques are meant to help you take your mind off of the technicality required, or the fear of the minutia.
The best part of it is that these techniques you can practice on a regular, non-barreling wave so that when you get in a wave that begins to barrel, your body will already know what to do.
So go ahead and watch to see just how simple this can be:
As always, I'm only an email or phone call away if you have any questions. I'd love to hear how it goes for you.
See you in the...
The science behind repetitive practice is sound. We all understand this. But few of us implement it effectively.
It’s not just that practice makes perfect. It’s really more that perfect practice makes perfect.
A wonderful case study supporting this is my client, and (I’m honored to now say) friend, Tim. Tim was dedicated to improving his surfing at the end of last year. The progress he felt after his first boat session last August was enough for him to go “all in” by getting the Sunset 8-session Pass for the following season (2020). His plan was to commit to learning small technical changes that paid huge dividends in the ocean. And it worked. Big time.
This is Tim’s story, from his own mouth (picture timeline of his progression below):
“Man, where to start? First off, boat surfing every few weeks over the summer during COVID was a lifesaver. 50-minute drive...
Do you ever feel like when you paddle hard, you don’t really go as far as you thought you would, or anywhere at all?
A lot of surfers who take my paddling technique course say that they were taught by their good surfing buddy to paddle hard. So let’s investigate this. Does paddling harder lead to moving faster?
In this video we investigate whether this myth is true, how to avoid wasted energy use, how to apply more force, and what it is we actually feel in the water when we take a stroke.
Hope you enjoy!
If you have any questions, I'm just an email away.
Interested in the Level 1 or Level 2 Paddling Technique Courses? Learn more here.
In the meantime, I'll see you in the water!
I have heard it before. In order to catch the wave, you have to paddle as fast (or faster) than the wave is moving. But is this true? Or another paddling myth?
Find out how fast waves are moving, how fast surfers paddle, and whether or not you have to paddle as fast as the wave is moving in order to catch it.
Just wanted to say, I really enjoy hearing from you. If you ever feel the motivation to drop me a line, please do so. That can be if you have any questions about the paddling technique programs, or the surfing fitness programs, or even the surf technique programs. Or even just to talk surfing.
When I first started the Surfing Paddling Academy, I remember having a particular phone call with a surfer who had emailed me a question. The answer to the question had a little more than an email could contain. So I told him to call me. I said it would only take fifteen...
"One such surf technique lesson I’d learned from Clayton made such a profound impact on my surfing, I not only felt it behind the boat, but immediately upon continuing that practice in the ocean. I had struggled with this for ages. Sometimes I would have flashes of brilliance, but I wouldn’t know why. As I explained this frustration with him, I could see he was ready with an answer. And the answer that came out surprised me like no other. "
In July and August of 2018, I traveled with my family to Australia. The idea was to conduct my Level 1 Paddling Workshops to the many surfers on my email list that hadn’t had a chance to visit me in Northern California. It was a lofty endeavor. Eight total workshops, two different locations, almost four weeks with two kids under 10.
It took months of preparation contacting various venues to see if they had the set up I needed to conduct the Workshops, looking at...
Paddling Mythbusting – Reach as Far as you can or Not?
Another paddling mythbuster is a common mistake I see in surfers of all levels.
Should a surfer reach as far forward as possible in each stroke, then enter and pull through? Or should they enter their hand and arm somewhere else?
The short answer is that reaching the hand and arm as far forward as possible is not helpful. Over-reaching causes several problems including hurting the shoulder, making it harder to catch the wave, and adding significant drag in both shortboard paddling and longboard paddling.
Watch the video to learn more:
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I'm only an email or phone call away.
For interest in the Level 1 Paddling Technique Course, go to the Surfing Paddling Technique services homepage here to learn more.
The side image of the set I saw pulling up to Asu for the first time in July 2010 still lives in my dreams. Six to eight foot solid walls of crystal blue water wrapping and peeling from the top of the reef in front of me.
Earl pulled us right up to the channel. I watched as Earl, Samantha and JP jumped off and paddled to the takeoff zone. Pulling out my camera, I decided it may be prudent to watch a few roll in before extracting my board.
A lull in the action. Seven or so surfers were already in the lineup. "Crowded" by Asu standards. JP, Samantha and Earl added to that but it gave me good insight into which waves to paddle for and where to sit. But I couldn't quite see where to lineup from my vantage point to the side.
A set reared it's head on the horizon beyond. It began reeling down the reef, fast as a freight train, then slowed when it neared Earl. He was positioned about fifty meters...
By Gretchen Reynolds
When we start to lift weights, our muscles do not strengthen and change at first, but our nervous systems do, according to a fascinating new study in animals of the cellular effects of resistance training. The study, which involved monkeys performing the equivalent of multiple one-armed pullups, suggests that strength training is more physiologically intricate than most of us might have imagined and that our conception of what constitutes strength might be too narrow.
Those of us who join a gym — or, because of the current pandemic restrictions and concerns, take up body-weight training at home — may feel some initial disappointment when our muscles do not rapidly bulge with added bulk. In fact, certain people, including some women and most preadolescent children, add little obvious muscle mass, no matter how long they lift.
But almost everyone who starts weight training soon becomes able to generate more muscular force, meaning...
I am asked quite frequently whether the hand should move shallow, underneath the board, or deep, well below the board when paddling. Which one is more efficient? Which one provides more power? Which is more effective?
In this video, we investigate whether the myth of paddling with the hand close the board and shallow is more effective than going deep. Hope you enjoy it!
Feel free to contact me with question - I'm only an email or phone call away.
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