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.
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...
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).
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.
Come have some fun riding for minutes at a time on your board with our Boat Surfing program - The Keys Surf Club.
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).
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...
Paddling shoulder injuries can be caused from several poor techniques. But one of the first causes takes place in one of the most unsuspecting places during the stroke.
Have a watch and find out where, make sure you aren't doing this, and how to fix it if you are...
Paddling out to the surf can be challenging sometimes. It's part paddling technique, and part strategy. In this video, I provide one of my secrets to getting out that I cover in the Level 2 paddling course.
It's all about studying the shoreline.
Have a watch and let me know if it helps!
Please reach out with questions, comments, frustrations, success. I'd love to hear from you.
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...
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