Photo: O’Neill

We’ve all watched those brilliant local surfers that make the sport look so effortless and easy.  So how long will it be before you can surf like them? Getting fit will help your improve your surfing ability but the most effective way to improve your surfing is to surf as much as you can. We’ve all have our own struggles when it comes to surfing, especially if you’ve taken a break from it. There really is no short cut to becoming a good surfer.

Surfing is meant to be fun; well, we think it is anyway! Enjoy the waves, the workouts and the wipeouts. It’s all part of the sport and should be welcomed. Of course, it’s not going to be all fun and games, but we are sure you can find joy in every aspect. So ride the waves, share the smiles and bask in that surf stoke; there really is no better feeling! 

Here’s some ways to improve your surfing.

1. Get fit and surf, surf, surf. 

The more you surf, the fitter you will be. Likewise, the more you train out of the water, the stronger you will be in the water. The two go hand in hand, so get training! Of course being fit is key to any sport. One glance at the surfing elite and you can see that fitness and stamina are key factors in surfing. So working on your fitness levels between surfs is also really important – especially if weeks and months go by between your surf sessions. Then to really progress with surfing you need as much water time as possible, which means braving those cold winter days, embracing ice cream headaches and battling the summer crowds. And above all, you need to enjoy it!

2. Patience is key

Surfing is one of the most unique and frustrating sports you may ever learn. Learning to take the rough with the smooth will make your transition to a more progressive surfer easier. Try not to be too hard on yourself, especially when you’re out in the water and not having your best surf. It takes a while to master many aspects of surfing, and you’ll find there will be some parts you master quicker than others, but stick with it and be patient.

3. Prepare to feel a little scared; it’s ok!

When you’re taking the leap into surfing or pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you will start to feel a little scared, and this is fine. It’s a normal feeling to have and one that should be welcomed. Embrace the fear and use it to your advantage. When fear sets in, it’s a normal feeling to want to stop and maybe for that moment, it’s worth taking a breather to get back in check, but don’t let the fear stop you altogether. Fear is something that is meant to come with surfing. The ocean is powerful and unpredictable; it should be taken seriously. As the saying goes, “never turn your back on the ocean.”

5. Find friends who surf

Surf buddies can make surfing all the more enjoyable. They can get you in on the days when you’re not feeling it; they can cheer you on and help get you back on your board after a wipeout. It’s also a known fact that seeing a friend get a good wave is the best motivation for you to get one better. Friends in the surf are, in our eyes, priceless. If you’re struggling the make friends in the surf, then look out for local online communities. Put yourself out there and arrange a surf meet up and get chatting to local surfers in your area. However avoid people who pressure you, judge or do not understand your level of surfing. There’s no time for bad vibes in the water, find someone who shares your stoke. Surfing is lovely on your own, but having your friends in the lineup is even better.

Escameca Surf Club

6. Surf the average days

Surfing isn’t always clean waves and sunshine, especially if you live in the UK. Surfing is cold, it’s windy, and it’s hard work. The waves aren’t meant to be perfect all the time, but that doesn’t mean you cannot surf all the time. Embracing the average days, the choppy days and tiny weak days and all that’s in-between. Surf as much as you can, and you’ll see your surfing come on leaps and bounds and will help you to go beyond your comfort zone. Also it maybe painful to watch but think about getting yourself videoed in the surf, so you can see your mistakes and improve too. 

7. Focus on surf specific training  

We have a great selection of surf specific workouts for all abilities on our Premium channel. We have thought about your entire body and how you need to train to stay fit for the surf it will make you feel more powerful and give you a boost of energy. There’s workouts for cardio fitness, balance and stability training, flexibility and core strength, whatever your level of ability. The workouts will help with paddling out, jumping to your feet, stamina and preventing injury. Try to tailor your workouts to your wave riding, and you’ll see a big improvement.

Try this Upper Body Surf Strength & Energy
This high energy workout with Tee is designed to improve our upper body strength and stamina by continuously working between our energy systems as we would during surfing, to give us that ‘surf stronger confidence’.

8. Find joy in the small wins

When we talk about ‘small wins’, what we mean are the days when you don’t fall on your pop-ups. The days you catch loads of waves or make it outback. These are the small wins that should be celebrated. Even just cheering yourself on because you got in the surf when you didn’t feel like it. All of these wins will make you a better surfer. Pat yourself on the back when you do something your proud of, no matter how small you may have once thought it was. It’s not, it’s a big deal, and you are smashing it. 

9. Get the knowledge  

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to surfing. If you’re the type of person that learns from reading and watching, then our Premium surf tips have you covered. Fill your brain with all the surfing knowledge, then take it out with you into the surf. There is always something to learn, and no surfer ever gets to a point in their surfing when they feel they have learnt and done everything. Even world champions still have something they still wants to master, there’s no end to progression. 

10. Question your surf kit 

If you’re already surfing and have your kit, then maybe it’s worth looking at your equipment and asking the question, “is it right for me?” 

The reasoning behind this is some surfers are riding the wrong board or a wetsuit that doesn’t fit them. These two factors can make or break your surfing. Being too cold will result in short surfs. Surfing the wrong board can result in not catching many waves. Try new boards and suits out, ask friends and watch your surfing back if you can. Analyse what you think is wrong with your surfing and do something about it.