Beginners in any sport need to be given special attention, because they often endanger themselves and others and in the process, could hurt people.
In surfing, things are not different. Always be on the lookout for beginners, who tend to make mistakes either out of a lack of knowledge or out of falsely grounded confidence.
When you see intermediate surfers, you know that you are safer, but even intermediate surfers make mistakes, like all people do. In order to improve, intermediate surfers first need to be aware of the mistakes they are making.
Here are my top tips for intermediate surfers, to improve faster.
Popping Up – A Way that Works
Popping up refers to standing up on the board after paddling, or rather, waiting for the wave to arrive. There are different ways to pop up, depending on the size and type of surfboard you are riding. Standard techniques include pushing up with your arms, sliding your front leg while jumping into position, one leg forward, and one back.
The reality is that not all methods work for all people, mostly because of height, sense of balance and size of board. Some methods work better than others on longer boards, while some cannot be done on short ones. Finding one way and sticking with it, particularly the one that works all the time, is the best thing an intermediate surfer can do for themselves.
The Paddle – An Obligatory Exercise
Paddling is an essential part of surfing, the part where you paddle into position before you do the pop up to catch the wave. Paddling is a really hard exercise, especially since you are doing it in a sea or ocean, or rather, moving water.
Paddling technique is something that most intermediate surfers could work on. The better the technique, the less energy a surfer will waste on unnecessary moves. The goal is to catch the most waves with as least effort as possible, because in the end, surfing is the goal.
General Fitness – Surfing is Hard
People who haven’t tried surfing and those who have not surfed for a while, often end up exhausted at the end of a surfing day, mostly because they have paddled for a long time. Paddling is hard, and so is all the popping up and surfing, in general. A lot of endurance is needed to be able to surf with comfort.
Working on your fitness level is recommended. Swimming is a great exercise, because it covers a large part of what you will be doing in the water prior to getting up on the board. Balance exercises can also help with the pop up and after that, surfing.
A Proper Warmup
Even though every guide always mentions a good warmup, athletes seem to forget how necessary it is and that it eases every part of any exercise. The body is ready and properly stretched, making most moves easier, and what is important, preventing any injuries. It feels bad that one gets injured because of a poorly done warmup.
Intermediate surfers can also learn more and these have been my tips to help them get there faster.