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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Wave Ki Review

surf technique Apr 18, 2022

A few clients turned me on to Brad Gerlach’s Wave Ki.  They were finding that their surfing felt like it was improving after embarking on Brad's surfing guidance so I wanted to check it out to see what it was like. 

I must state that the following review is not influenced by any referral fee, affiliate payout, or similar.  This is my own opinion of Brad’s program based on my experience.  Brad and I have spoken on the phone about how important it is to spread the word of what we do with genuine passion.  This was after I had begun my journey in Wave Ki and was captivated by the results I was getting. 

I'm a little over a year in.  This is my honest opinion and experience with Wave Ki.

What is Wave Ki?

Wave Ki is a land-based practice similar to movement practice one might experience in martial arts.  Barry Green has talked about treating surfing as a practice – something to be consistently working on with...

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How to Surf Like a Pro in Two Simple Steps

I’m a paddling coach.  I don’t teach how to surf better on a wave.  But I have seen immense improvement in my own surfing progression whenever I follow these two simple steps.  When I lose these steps, usually when life gets in the way, it’s easy enough to follow these steps to get back on track. 

So here they are – How to Surf Like a Pro in Two Simple Steps -

STEP 1 Spend more time surfing

Taj Burrow was quoted saying “the only different between me and you is that I’ve surfed more than you”. 

Like Skateboarding, Snowboarding, Wakeboarding, heck riding a bike, Surfing is a “feel” sport.  Your brain needs to make a connection for each movement in a variety of combinations.  Surfing is much harder to make that connection because the canvas changes each time you ride a wave.  Your brain has to work even harder than sports like skateboarding where you can make the same movement on the same...

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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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How To Maximize Your Fun in the Barrel

surf technique Oct 31, 2020

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...

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From Bog To Barrel

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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This One Surf Coach Helped My Surfing Instantly

surf technique Aug 28, 2020

"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...

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How To Catch Waves Easily - Part 3 Kolohe Andino

Part 3 of 3 on how to catch waves easily: Kolohe Andino paddles into this wave with no stress or effort.  Kolohe’s wave is different than Mason and John John’s (from Part 1 and Part 2 of this training series), but we discuss how to adjust our strategy while using the same method to catch waves easily. 

Hope you enjoy and get something from this.  These concepts are taught in greater detail in the Level 2 Paddling Technique Course where we focus on Catching a Wave - Positioning, Timing, Sprint Technique, Pop Up, and more so that you can learn how to catch waves with ease. 

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How To Catch Waves Easily - Part 2 John John Florence

Here is part 2 on how to catch waves easily: John John Florence and his ease of taking off so casually.  Here, John John takes one stroke and uses a vastly different strategy to catch this wave, but we discuss why that is.  We compare Mason's wave from Part 1 in this training series to John John's, and then in Part 3, we compare both of these to Kolohe Andino's southern California wave.  

Hope you enjoy and get something from this.  These concepts are taught in greater detail in the Level 2 Paddling Technique Course where we focus on Catching a Wave - Positioning, Timing, Sprint Technique, Pop Up, and more so that you can learn how to catch waves with ease. 

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How To Catch Waves Easily - Part 1 Mason Ho

Ever wonder how the pros catch waves easily?  While there is a lot to talk about to truly understand all of what is going on when we takeoff on waves, in this three part series, I analyze the takeoff of Mason Ho, John John Florence, and Kolohe Andino and share some insight into the strategies they use in catching their very different waves.  

This is part 1: Mason Ho's mutant beast of a wave.  Here, Mason seems to paddle fairly hard to catch this wave, but we discuss why that is.  In Part 2, we compare Mason's wave to John John's and then in Part 3, we compare both of these to Kolohe Andino's southern California wave.  

 Hope you enjoy and get something from this.  These concepts are taught in greater detail in the Level 2 Paddling Technique Course where we focus on Catching a Wave - Positioning, Timing, Sprint Technique, Pop Up, and more.  

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