Surfing: TIPS & TRICKS for beginners/intermediates
So now that you already know how to paddle, stand up on a board and stay on the wave for at least 5 seconds, we want to teach you a few tips and tricks that might help your life when you are in the water :)
CATCHING A WAVE: try to paddle hard and stand up the sooner you can. The right place to stand up is the top of the wave, not the bottom! If you wait to long you will loose a great part of the wave & remember it is the upper part of the wave where you generate more speed, so the sooner you stand up the faster you will go!
NEVER LOOK DOWN: It is super important you look in the direction of where you want to go. This will help you since your body will be forced to adapt to a turning position as well. In addition, by looking down you will loose stability & as a consequence be more likely to fall.
ARMS ON EACH SIDE OF YOUR BODY: Make sure you arms are both on your side helping your balance, it is very easy (and a common mistake) that one of you arms stays behind. The more control you have of your body, the better balance you will have in your board.
ENJOYING THE RIDE OF THE WAVE: When you start being more confident going left & right, you would want to go that extra level and try new things. Going up and down in a wave, enjoying the ride and becoming aware of how to generate speed are the next steps you should slowly start exploring.
NEVER GIVE UP: Sometimes we think that the wave has come to an end before it actually does. Our advice? Enjoy the wave until the end and not give up soon, you will be surprised of how waves can ¨reform¨ and become longer than expected. You are already there, you have done the most difficult part, now fully enjoy the ride!
PADDLING OUT: Be aware of your breathing & don´t hold it in order to paddle faster, this will only make you feel more tired. If the set is breaking while you are trying to get to the outside WAIT! Doesn´t make any sense to go against the set if you can´t duck dive or over pass the biggest waves. It is better to wait, relax, recharge energy than fight against them & become super tired. The moment you see a pause in between sets paddle fast with all your energy,you will then have time to recover in the outside, NEVER rest where the waves are breaking (the most dangerous zone).
FREQUENCY: Try to surf as much as you can. As in any other sport, the more you practice the better you will do it. Don´t surf once per month, if you have the possibility and live near the coast go surfing every time you have the opportunity.
ALWAYS MOVE: If it has been a while and you are not catching any wave, try to change spot. The tides might have changed or the conditions might be different from when you entered. Sometimes it is super useful and recommended to get out of the water, see where the waves are breaking and then paddle out again.
SPOT SURFERS: The moment you arrive to the beach try to see other surfers, watch them while you are in the water and identify which ones are surfing better so you can take them as references. Sitting close to them might help you catching more waves since experienced surfers have a ¨better eye¨ to see the waves and conditions.
GO SURFING WITH OTHER PEOPLE: When you go surfing with someone who surfs a little bit better than you, you will have that extra motivation to push you beyond your limits & go that next step. It is important the level difference is not too big, otherwise you will see it as unreachable and get easily demotivated with your surf.
VIDEOS & PHOTOS: Having records of yourself surfing is extremely important and useful. Pictures & videos will help you identify classic mistakes that you probably haven't noticed while surfing (posture, legs, arms, head, etc). Video coaching then help you improve significantly by correcting those things you need to do better.
STRETCHING: The last but not the least is to ALWAYS stretch before and after surf to avoid injuries or other pains. While surfing we use muscles that we don't use in a our daily routine or other sports, so having muscle pain is super common. A little bit of stretching will help you prevent future pains.