Lessons I learned: Mistakes in surfing

It looks so easy when others do it. I am surfing for four years now, not consistantly but quite a long time though. There are some small mistakes have crept in. And it’s really hard to get rid of them. But when you know what you’re doing wrong, you can work on it. Here are my common mistakes:

I don’t look back while paddling for a wave

When there is a wave I usually start paddling like a maniac. With a quick look behind you, you can not just check if and where the wave will break. You also can see if someones going for the wave as well, who might has priority.

I get hectic when the wave is coming

Sometimes it happens, that I get hectic. Then I really want to go fast and faster. And then I start to open my arms to widely. That leads to an inefficient paddling just on the surface. You have to do deep and long strokes to gain up speed. It will help you if you lift your upper body into a hollow back.

My take off is too slow

This is a big issue and something I really need to work on. I am taking off in two steps and it takes me ages until I finally stand up on my board. On land it’s pretty easy for me to jump up, but on the water it’s different. The only thing that will help is to practice.

I stare at the nose and my feet

When you stand wrong on your board you will fall off anyway. It doesn’t make a difference if you see your feet or not. Quite the contrary, you will be even more wobbly. Don’t look down, look where you want to go… first to the horizon then to the wave. That is what I worked on in my last holiday. And now I could x it out from this list.

My arms hanging flabby

My arms often flap loose beside my body. One one hand it looks kind of ridiculous. On the other hand, it’s important to move your arms slightly with you, when you start to turn. And when I not forget it – surprise, surprise – it’s getting more easy to turn.

When it’s getting wobbly, I set myself up

People tend to raise up when they feel to loose balance. And that’s actually totally stupid, because only when you are down and stay loose in the knees you get stability again. The Indos always talk about the “crap-style” because many Europeans stand on the board, just as they would sit on a toilet. Eighth time on it, it really is true – that always remain loose.

How could I even surf?

Oh, Oh, what a long list. Now I am amazed, that I even surf some waves. But sometimes it just works! You need proof? Here:

and sometimes it works

… apparently I did something right 🙂

The most important thing: never give up and have fun. No matter how many mistakes you make, as long there’s a smile on your face when you come out the water, everything’s fine.

Over to you: What are your common mistakes on the water? How do you get rid of it?

stay stoked and hang loose

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Surfing: How To Get Back In After A Break

The first day in a surf camp is for me always a day full of mixed emotions. On one hand I am absolutely euphoric – finally surfing again, in the ocean, into the waves. On the other hand: disillusion, most things just don’t work how they should. That leads to disappointment, frustration and dissatisfaction.

But why? And How Can You Avoid It?

Expectations Are Too High

The first day is for getting used to surf again not for high performance surfing. I know that, but still, I often can’t appreciate even small success. I tend to belittle my accomplishments. … “Yeah, that was quite ok, but only in the white water and also I had a longboard …” Better is…
Enjoy every wave you get and do not be disappointed because they may be too small or you were not able to ride them long enough Try not to think about how much better it was the last time. Be glad about those small moments of happiness and success!

Not Enough Training

Everyday life can be very stressful and busy sometimes, so training has not always prio 1and I skipped it once in a while… shame on me. But what goes around comes around. After a few paddle strokes I hang panting on my board and must take a rest constantly. The next day I have sore muscles and then I could barely move. To avoid this…
Train regularly. Your goal should be to start where you end at your last surf trip. Hang in there.

Bad Equipment In The Surf schools

The boards in the surf schools are in heavy use. Therefore, there is either water-soaked soft board or haevy hard boards made of poly-ethylene. Then it could be that there is no surfboard with your preferred sizes or this it is just given to someone else. Therefore …
If possible, take your own equipment. You know your board and so you don’t have to struggle with rented board with low quality. In the worst case you have to test more than one to find something that suites you. Precious time, you better use for having fun

No Help

Especially when I visit a place for the first time and am not familiar with the spots and the waves I feel sometimes a little helpless. And when I am in a huge group of surfers it maybe can be, that me and my interests disappear in the group. But…
You should talk to your surf guide. When you have a specific goal that you want to work on, tell him and ask for feedback later.

If you follow those tips, you can avoid disappointment and frustration on your first day on the board again. And always remember:

surf and have fun

The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.

Over to you: What about your first day surfing after a long time?

stay stoked and hang loose