The Journey Towards Having More FUN Surfing

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


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.  


Learn to Paddle on a Surfboard - Part 2 of 6 Catching a Wave on a Shortboard

Catching a Wave has slightly different paddling techniques than when you're paddling out to the lineup.  This videos breaks down those differences...


Two Different Surfing Paddling Techniques?

A lot of people ask me what type of stroke they should use when paddling on a surfboard.

I tell them there are two, not one, that we all use.  I suppose I should say, there are two that we all should use.

And the two surfing paddling stroke patterns we should use should also be used in certain scenarios.  This video outlines those two stroke patterns and when they should be used when you're out surfing...



Learn to Paddle on a Surfboard - Part 1 of 6 Paddling on a Shortboard

Shortboards, longboards, and paddleboards are the three types of craft I’ve outlined and the two scenarios we have tried to define are paddling out (or cruising speed), and catching a wave (sprint speed), and for a paddleboard, prone versus knee paddling.

I’m going to feature each one of these scenarios in 6 different videos and at the end, I’ll provide a link so you can download this summary.

You can use this as a reference. Keep in mind this should only be used as a guide – general guidelines. In the Surfing Paddling Academy class (, we focus on learning not only what the technique is and how you can do it also, but why it works, why it gets results. Again, if we know why something works, then we can adapt to any given scenario. Different boards, different surf spots, different conditions. We’ll have it covered.



My Favorite XSWIM Workout - It Hurts So Good

surfing fitness Mar 11, 2015

Someone asked me the other day what my favorite workout in the program is.  I really enjoy the XFIT advanced workouts, but I had to answer with one of the first workouts I created just because of a swim set that I love so much.

I named the swim set "All You Can Eat 50s" and you can find it in the Test workouts (#2 of 5).  We start with a solid warm up of swimming with core work in between swim sets (crunches, scissors, heel ups, bicycle crunches, and elbow plank).  Then we get into a combined Endurance and Agility section - the All You Can Eat 50s set.  Here's how it works so you can try it on your own (be sure to warm up / warm down and do not add any additional rest once you have started the set):

1. 1x50 free, SPRINT, timed, rest = 1/2 of your timed lap (e.g. if swim time was 0:40, then rest is 0:20).  The time + your rest becomes your interval for the next 4x50s (e.g. interval = 0:60)


Surfing Paddling Technique FAQ - what do I do with my hands?

The hands and arms are our main source of propulsion.  In this quick video, I answer a few questions regarding what to do with your hands.  Near the end of the video, I explain one of the fundamental mistakes I've seen taught and how to correct it.  


Mark Occhilupo Comments on Swimming Surfing Connection

I couldn't resist posting this. Surfing Legend Mark Occhilupo (Occy) makes a comment in his telecast regarding how he thinks the best swimmers make the best paddlers. Thanks Occ.



Side by Side Paddling Analysis - Kelly Slater and Taylor Clark

Can you see what I see?

Here is a look at side-by-side views of eleven time World Champion Kelly Slater and up and coming WQS surfer Taylor Clark.

What does Kelly do in his paddling technique that Taylor needs to improve?  Find out if you make the same mistakes and how to fix it.



Where's My Jet Ski Assist - Part 2 - Top 3 Duck Dive Techniques

duck dive surfing fitness Jun 13, 2013

The Epic Conclusion to How We Can Enjoy a Large Beach Break Day without Jet Skis

In the following video, I break down the second key to enjoying a beach break session and provide you with some techniques you can use to improve your experiences out in the water.

See you in the water,




Where's my Jet Ski Assist? Part 1

surfing fitness May 22, 2013

Are pro surfers just lazy?  Of course not.

The reason they use Jet Ski Assist in the Billabong Rio Pro contest is for the benefit of the audience.  It was boring watching them struggle in the old days.

But we are not pro surfers, and we do not have Jet Ski Assist.  So how do we get to enjoy large beach break days?

In the following video, I break down one of two keys to enjoying a beach break session and provide you with a workout that you can try on your own to improve your surfing fitness.

See you in the water,




Learn to Catch Any Wave

How Nat Young catches an impossible wave in the closing minute of Round 5 in the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach contest - the three techniques he uses to catch the wave that eventually led him into the Finals

In the video below I analyze a wave Nat Young caught in the dying minute of Round 5 against Josh Kerr that propelled him into the next round and subsequently led him into his first World Tour Finals appearance.  I cover three key techniques Nat uses, how they relate to swimming, and how you can use them to improve your paddling.

Below the video I have posted swim sets and drills for you to practice a few of these techniques.  Enjoy.

I welcome comments and questions. Please share with your friends if you find it helpful.

See you in the water...


A warm up and warm down are required for each of these sets:

1. SWIM SET - purpose: to feel the difference between head up and head down freestyle

8x50, 0:20 rest, alternate half laps between head down and...

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