So you have fallen in love with surfing, and have been on the pursuit to improve for a year? Thats great!
By now you have probably realised that to get good at surfing, you need to be both persistent and patient. If you have made it through the first year however, it seems like you are on the right track.
Here are 7 tips for those of you who now have a full year of experience in the surf.
1. Start surfing with people better than you, spend as much time as possible with these people.
Now I might hear you say, "I'm just learning, I'm constantly around people better than me." Yes this is quite possibly true, but what I mean by this statement is make friends with surfers that are just a couple of steps ahead of you.
Let the experience of these people help you to push your own limits and boundaries about what you thought was possible for yourself. Try to choose friends that aren't complete pro's. You need their knowledge and skills to be relatable to you.
2. Understand surfboards, and invest in the perfect one for you.
Not all surfboards are created equal (obviously) and it is imperative that you are riding the right board for your ability and wave preference. Even the smallest change in dimensions will have a dramatic difference on the way your board reacts.
Figure out what style of board you like riding. Do you like shorter wider boards? Do you like twin fins? Are you all for longboarding? Do you like thruster setups or quads? How many litres do you need to have a board that is buoyant enough for your weight?
The best way to find out about this is to do some research, and then try different boards. Trying different boards is the most efficient way to find out exactly what you like.
Do yourself a favour and explore boards, so that you can improve at the rate you deserve.
3. Stop caring what other people think, and realise the only boundaries you have are those in which you place on yourself.
It is important if you are wanting to improve that you are not afraid of pushing boundaries. By pushing boundaries however, you will at some point fail, and you need to be ok with looking like a kook at times. It is a stage everyone needs to go through, and its better that you embrace the challenge rather than turn from it.
4. Get filmed.
If you really want to know how you are surfing you need to get filmed. Being filmed is the most efficient way to see your weaker points, so that you can put some work in and move past them. You don't want to surf for 10 years with a bad style, because this will be incredibly difficult to change. Its better to nip bad forming habits in the bud, so that you can surf smoothly and powerfully from early on.
5. Go on a surf trip to a location that will push you.
Surfing in new spots keeps surfing fun and fresh, half the time the fun just comes from the journey getting to the beach itself. When you surf a new spot you are exposed to different surfers with different styles, different ways that waves move and bend, different conditions and an overall different vibe.
This is challenging, but will ultimately make you a more rounder, more experienced water person. Grab a map, and get searching!
6. Get coached.
Being coached is transformational. Not only does being coached bring you to peak awareness of what you are doing, but coaches provide structure, permission and motivation to move you to the next level.
Although you may think that you know where you are going wrong, there is nothing more valuable then having someone who is trained to pick out which parts of your surfing are worth putting energy into, to give you the fastest results.
If you are in New Zealand, I am running a weekend coaching camp aimed at just that, right here.
7. Learn to properly read surf forecasts so you stop wasting time.
If you want to make the most of the conditions to improve your surfing, understand how to read surf forecasts so you don't waste valuable time heading to the wrong spots. School yourself on swell directions, swell period, which spots prefer certain tides and so on. It takes time to gather all this information, but it is incredibly valuable to your surfing progression.
Good luck, and remember - persistence is key!
The Surf Box | The Blog For Women & Girls In Surfing Worldwide.