So many of us look at the surfers out the back ripping on waves or surfers on posters or in competition and on tv, making it look so easy and effortless and think to be a surfer that we must be able to surf like them right?
The beauty of surfing is there are so many different styles of surfing and so many different types of waves to learn to master but we generally only focus on the shortboarders getting barreled. That is totally fine if that is what you aim to be and you have a good understanding of what that person had to go through to get to that level.
Surfing takes a LOT of dedication and time, it is a step by step sport and its not just about riding a wave but connecting with something as magical as the ocean. It is about the community you become a part of and your coastline that gets your heart every sunrise, every rainbow and every dolphin that swims past. It’s about how you’re body feels after doing an incredible amount of fitness without even realizing because you were having so much fun.
When you are learning and still in the whitewash you are just getting a taste of what surfing is all about but once you start to move to out the back surfing you will need to starting thinking about what you want to do and what you are able to do. This is a really important element to wrap your head around as surfing can be fun and gentle one day and become powerful and scary the next and you don’t want to get stuck in an environment you don’t want to be in with no understanding of how to get out.
Understanding your ability is about understanding where you are at with your surfing and what you are physically and mentally able to do moving forward. Setting the right goals so that you are able to achieve them not struggle to get there (or not get there at all). When you are guided by a coach they are able to assess where your strengths and weaknesses are and where you should be aiming with your surfing.
Should I be a short boarder and if so then I need to understand that I need to have a strong paddle and I need to be on slightly bigger, punchier waves. Or should I be a long-boarder learning how to cross step, learning more on smaller, cleaner, fuller waves. Or should I be a foamy rider or retro surfer or SUP boarder????
With each style of surfing comes the style of waves you need to master that particular technique of surfing so make sure you do your homework and you start setting the right goals that are relevant to your ability.