Words by Corinne Evans / Photo above courtesy Dan Chapman
Looking down at the bottom on the wave can feel like a really daunting prospect but the moment that you take the plunge and drop in on that wave and don’t fall off you’ll feel amazing. The rush of adrenaline that you’ll get from dropping in on that green wave will make you want to paddle back out and do it all over again.
I won’t lie and say you won’t fall of because you will but that’s a big part of surfing and when you begin to push yourself you have to expect to fall from time to time. Instead of beating yourself up about it just pick yourself up, grab your board, rub the salt water out of your eyes and get out back out to the line up.
At my Corinne Surf School surf days, I’m often heard shouting, “PADDLE! PADDLE!! PADDLE!!!” and that’s exactly what you need to do to get onto the waves. Commit to the wave and paddle your heart out.
Cup your fingers together and dig deep, get those paddles long and as the wave get’s closer speed them up. As a general rule if you feel like you’ve done enough do two or three more to really make sure you’re on the wave. It’s so frustrating when you don’t do enough paddles and the wave either passes you by or you end up popping on top on the wave. Paddle power is key to catching waves so use those arms and paddle you heart out.
Photos above courtesy Checkered Photography
Keep Your Eyes Up
I know it’s hard as you’re trying to make sure you get your footing right but once you’re up don’t look down! Get your eyes ahead and looking down the line. Focus on the area you want to go. Your feet are fine and won’t go anywhere so get those eyes on the wave and get surfing!
Try not to stand too up right. Keeping low will give you more balance and stability, which will make dropping in a lot easier. Often people make the mistake of standing bolt up right after popping up but this is the worst thing you can do. Bend those knees and stay strong. Stay low through the drop and compress even more into your bottom turn, when you reach the bottom look up at the lip or down the line depending on what the wave is doing, set your line and ride that wave!
Use the Surf Girl Handbook to help you improve your surfing technique and build your confidence:
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