- Work smarter, not harder
The strongest paddlers don’t necessarily catch the most waves! The more you surf, the better you’ll get at positioning yourself in the line up and learning to read the waves. Also, sometimes it helps if you don’t just follow the other surfers in the water. Try searching for an empty sandbank and getting some waves to yourself, and if that doesn’t work don’t be afraid to try a different bank!
- Back yourself. When an opportunity arises, grasp at it
When the wave you’ve been itching for pops up on the horizon, commit! Commit! Commit! Any hesitation will likely see you miss the wave or be sent straight over the falls for a wipeout.
- Practice makes perfect
The best way to progress your surfing skills is to surf as much as possible. The more you practice the more natural the movements become and the more comfortable you will feel. I always tell beginner surfers that progression at the beginning of your surfing journey is quite slow. But after a while you’ll start to see exponential improvements and every time you set foot in the ocean there’s always something you can learn.
- Quality over quantity
You can paddle out and catch 100 waves in a session, but if you are wiping out on all of them it won’t be a very memorable day. Learn to pick the right waves, this might involve the tutelage of a friend or surf instructor to explain the difference between a good wave and a not so good wave. Every surfer you ask will have at least a handful of individual waves imprinted into their memory – and it’s these waves that keep us coming back for more!
- Be observant and share the stoke!
It really pays off to be observant in the surf. Spatial awareness is important for safety reasons, but there’s also a lot to learn simply by watching other surfers. Don’t be shy, if you see someone catch a nice ride let them know. If you’re bringing a positive vibe to the lineup people will open up to you, maybe even share some tips or call you into waves they otherwise would have taken for themselves. Surfing alone can often be intimidating, but with a few big smiles, a couple of loud “Yewwwws” and some shakas you’ll never be short of surf buddies.