Develop your surfing skills out of the water
SURF GUIDE PART 9: SIMPLE WAYS TO TRAIN AWAY FROM THE WAVES
TRAINING can help to continue to build your surfing skills either when there are no waves or you can't get to the beach.
Develop your skills by using alternative equipment such as
1. Indo boards
2. Tea towel
3. SmoothStar (skateboard)
1. Indo boards: These help you understand how to lock your core and feel the balance you need on your surfboard.
Keep your knees bent, with your thighs to knees squeezed slightly together as if you are holding a small ball between your legs.
Squeeze your glutes (butt cheeks) with your back straight, shoulder blades pulled together and eyes looking out over your front shoulder, with your arms positioned as if shooting a bow and arrow.
2. Tea towel: Even the common tea towel can be used as an aid in correcting your technique as you are learning to surf.
Simply lay on the tea towel in front of a full-length mirror with your stomach in the middle of the towel.
Place your hands on each top corner, fingers facing out, legs together and back arched, imagining you are on your board.
Run through your technique in your head methodically, then proceed to practise your technique while continually looking straight into the mirror.
This will let you see what you are doing while keeping your chin up and head straight.
Remember: if you are doing it correctly, your feet should be at either end and in the middle of the tea towel.
3. SmoothStar: Smoothstar skateboards are possibly the best on-land surf trainer in the world as the wheel and truck composition lets you build speed and manoeuvre, similar to a surfboard.
That's the reason two of the best top-10 pro surfers in the world - Filipe Toledo and Johanne Defay - put their names behind it.
This training again will help in developing the balance skill on something with forward momentum.
The main skills you will build are having your feet in the correct place with your back foot half over the back trucks and learning how to build speed through proper rail-to-rail pumping, pushing through the back truck as if it was your front fins (drive fins). You'll learn to turn/manoeuvre your board, keeping your rotation of upper and lower body engaged without disconnecting.
Practising on a SmoothStar, you can really work on developing your style for surfing.
- Surfing: Where to start when you don't know how
- Read the ocean, then hit the water
- Paddling: Getting out the back easily
4. Swimming: Whether it be in the ocean or a pool, swimming is always going to be great exercise if there is no surf. Like most sports or skills, the old saying: "Use it or lose it" is so true.
You will find, in general, the more surf or water-fit you are will help your surfing.
Swimming will help with your breathing technique and an understanding of rhythm needed to paddle correctly. The more you swim, the more confidence you will have in the water, which does make it so much easier to build your skills.
5. Paddling: It is funny how the one skill that is the most important is possibly the most neglected when it comes to training for surfing.
Maybe it is because we have too much going on in our lives to go paddling or is it because it is not as much fun without riding waves?
Paddle training is the key to surfing better and becoming fitter. Go down to your nearest spot with flat water, throw the board in and start paddling.
For the first few sessions, only paddle half to one kilometre at a steady rate with intermittent bursts of speed as if paddling for a wave. Over time, build the distance and burst-of-speed paddling into your session.
OUR XL Surfing Academy Surf Guide continues tomorrow.