Did you fall in love with surfing? Are you having trouble becoming the surfer that you want to be? There are 5 reasons that your surfing might be suffering.
1.) You Don’t Know How To Breathe
You have to breathe right to surf right, and it isn’t as easy as just taking new air in and pushing old air out. Breathing is about timing, control and endurance. You also need to develop the capacity to breathe more deeply, because lung capacity is valuable when you’re being held down under a wave.
Aerobic exercise, running, and biking are all handy ways to learn to control your breath and increase your lung capacity, but you can also increase your ability to hold a breath by just practicing. Use a timer and start with thirty seconds, and gradually work up 10 seconds at a time.
Also, work on developing an active thought process that allows you to focus on your breathing and stay calm, so that you can fall back into it and stay relaxed when you’re under a wave.
2.) You’re Out Of Shape
If you don’t develop good core body strength and balance, you aren’t going to be any good at surfing, period. You don’t need waves, or water, to develop your core body strength and improve your balance, but a gym might be helpful.
Doing push-ups and simulating pop-ups on the mat are a great way to keep (or get) yourself in shape when you aren’t actually surfing. If you use the swimming pool, you can rapidly build up your body strength and muscle tone for that next big surf.
Use balance balls and jump-rope to work on leg strength, balance, and coordination. If you live in an area that can let you get some good skateboarding done, consider taking it up as a hobby. Skateboarding when you aren’t surfing can dramatically increase your surfing skills, especially in areas of balance and coordination.
3.) You Have No Idea What You’re Doing Wrong
You learn from your mistakes, but when you’re out there on the waves you aren’t analyzing your moves; you’re surfing. When you fall, you often don’t really know why you fell, because you were caught up in the moment.
You can best learn what you are doing wrong by watching yourself do it. Getting yourself filmed while you surf is critical if you really want to improve your surfing. Granted, you may not exactly want to invite your friends over and pass around the popcorn when you watch those video clips, because you’re going to see all those wobbly crouches and sloppy turns that you’ve made. However, you will be able to identify what you’re doing wrong, and then consciously focus on changing it.
4.) You Need A Little Instruction
In the movies, someone who really wants to surf goes out there in the water with a board and just does it. It may take him or her months of trying, but eventually he or she seems to suddenly drop into sync with the surfboard, the waves, and the ocean, and just surf like he or she was born with a board under foot.
In reality, it isn’t that easy for most people, and unless you have a very liberal arrangement with your job, you probably don’t have unlimited time to go out and catch waves.
There’s nothing wrong with getting a little help, which is why surf workshops and camps are becoming so popular. When you engage in one, you get taught the fundamentals about the basic body movements you need to do when surfing.
A lot of times surfing coaches will also work with you to help you develop a work-out routine that you can do every day to enhance your surfing and make sure that you have the physical strength needed to be a better surfer.
It’s also common for surfing coaches to film their students, so you can have the added benefit of having a coach walk you through a failed surf, step by step, and show you what went wrong. A surf training workshop could be just what you need to improve your surfing.
5.) You Quit Having Fun
If you aren’t having fun, get out of the water. Unless you plan on surfing competitively, surfing should be about fun. If you spend all of your time in the water pressuring yourself to get everything right, you’ll stop loving it.
If you find yourself getting too self-critical, take some time and realize that surfing is a skill that evolves over time, and nobody gets it perfect all of the time. Don’t let yourself lose the joy that comes from just being out there, in the water and on the waves.
Consider each of these reasons as a factor for your surfing troubles. One of more of them might be the key to getting you up on that surfboard and riding the waves the way that you dream.