How do I be a better surfer? I've been surfing for five years now and I surf as often as I can but I don't feel like I'm getting any better.
In Intermediate - Asked by John
Maybe you're just not made for surfing... Nonetheless, practice, practice, practice. There is no substitute for experience and fighting through one of the most difficult learning curves of any sport. Whether you're a beginner struggling with paddling or you're an intermediate surfer learning to hit the lip and throw some spray, one thing is for sure. You will get knocked down so be relentless and get back up and keep fighting. However, there are ways to speed up that learning curve. Here are some tips: 1. Take surf lessons - if you're a beginner, it's well worth it to take surf lessons or join a surf camp. Having an instructor, coach or any one who can surf better than you give you tips and advice can only help to speed up your learning curve. 2. Challenge yourself - If you're just comfortable surfing waste to chest high waves, don't be afraid to challenge yourself on bigger waves or going out on bigger days. Now I'm not talking about surfing Marvericks on a double overhead day. If you get to the point were you feel confident on 2-4 feet waves, don't be afraid to paddle out on days when it's about 5-6 feet days. 3. Surf different breaks - Every time you think you've mastered a wave, try surfing a different spot or under different conditions. I can guarantee you mother nature will humble you again. It can be easy to surf perfect glassy medium size waves with no crowd. Practice surfing in choppy conditions or waves that are fast, steep and closes out in a heart beat. That will force you to learn how to make adjustments. The best surfers can adjust to many different conditions. 4. Take a surf trip - For many weekend warriors who only have the opportunity to surf once or twice on the weekends, often time you will feel like your surf skills have plateaued. The best way to break through that barrier is to take a long surf trip where you can consistently surf consecutive days in good surf and if you're lucky, an uncrowded lineup. After you get back home to your regular surf spot, I promise you'll feel like a much better surfer. 5. Get a coach - If you're an intermediate or advanced surfer who thinks that getting a surf instructor is for beginners and kooks, you're wrong. If you don't have the luxury of great surfers giving you pointers and tips, your best bet is to hire someone with experience. You're surf coach can watch you from shore and often times its not uncommon for him/her to video tape you while you surf. You can see how you surf and see the mistakes that you're making. From there they can break down your style and your skill and give you pointers and suggestions. Getting a surf coach on your surf trips is highly suggested. You many only have a few precious days or weeks to make the most out of your surf experience. Having a surf coach to not only to teach you with your surfing skills but also to give you guidance on where the best surf breaks for your level of surfing is only going to enhance your experience much more.