We all know that moment, when we lose our surf stoke a little, because we got frustrated with not progressing fast enough, or got out of the swing of surfing regularly since having a family.
Surf coaching is about more than just teaching surf techniques and manoeuvres. It is just as much about coaching the ‘part in between the ears’: your confidence and fun in the water. Because unless you have a pro-surfing career to rely on to feed your family, that is why we’re surfing: to have fun!
Here are some tips from our Surf Getaways coaches, Jenny Boggis & Serena Adams, on how to keep having fun surfing. They have coached plenty of women at all levels during their surf coaching careers, understanding that sometimes what’s holding you back in the surf is not having enough fun, and taking everything a little too serious.
1. Set yourself goals
Whether you go out in 0.5 ft sloppy surf, or challenging yourself in bigger waves, set yourself goals that suit the conditions. We can’t always have perfect surfing conditions and go out at the ideal tide, so we need to work with what Huey has given us.
If it is a fat day with full waves on a high tide, the waves will be flatter. These kinds of waves are a great canvas to practice your paddling speed, perfecting your pop-up technique, or practice your cut backs on, to return to the pocket of the wave where the power is.
Waves that are closing-out on the other hand offer a great opportunity to work on more committed take offs, quick pop ups on the top of the wave, and more dynamic turns like floaters and lip-line close-out re-entries.
On a small day you might work on generating speed when the wave doesn’t give it to you for free. And of course, any day is a good day for some paddle and duck-dive practice!
2. Always more positive than negative
After a surf session, try to reflect on how you surfed and those goals you set at the start of your surf. When reflecting, always start with a minimum of three positives before reflecting on your one main ‘point of improvement’.
The goal is to reflect, be positive, and grow. Don’t be too harsh on yourself and take things too seriously. That’s when you lose the fun: you’ll be plateauing and lose the essence why you’re surfing in the first place!
3. Ride the appropriate equipment
Nothing is more frustrating than riding your low volume short board in tiny waves or trying to duck dive your bigger board through close-out sections. You’ll have more fun in the surf riding the appropriate equipment.
Also, when progressing and starting to ride smaller boards, give yourself a break on days when you just feel like having a fun and easy surf, and take your old faithful bigger board out to have some fun and not always look for a challenge.
4. Set fun challenges with your friends
It’s hard not to have fun when surfing with friends! Especially women in the line-up encourage each other and call each other onto wave, rather than creating competition.
Set some fun challenges amongst your friends where when a friend calls you onto a wave you HAVE to go! Just make sure you can trust them not calling you onto a close-out.
5. Mix it up!
Swap boards with friends to learn about different boards. How does a different board ride and what impact has a different fin set-up? It will help you find what works best for you and what will help you progress most.
Also, don’t stick to your home break. Mix it up and surf different breaks. Keep it exciting by surfing different types of breaks and surf different sizes of waves – it will make you a better all-round surfer.
Above article was written for and first published on The Mermaid Society – a great resource for women who surf and are looking for inspiration!
Does this make you want to plan your next surftrip? We’d love to see you on our Surf Getaways! Check out our upcoming dates for all different levels of surfers.