Small things matter when you're taking your surfing to the next level. Intermediate surfers can easily make the transition into the advanced arena with a useful, yet simple collection of tricks, tips and rules.
It's all in the waves. If you add these surf thoughts to your sessions, you'll definitely improve the quality of your surfing. Give it a whirl:
1. Peak Positioning: whether you're taking off behind the wave peak or you want to catch the wave where it breaks, it is always important to know the exact spot to be in order to ride it better.
2. Ideal Foot Placement: when you're popping up and taking off, timing and foot positioning are critical variables. Different surfboards may force you to adapt quickly, but a wide stance is a good general practice.
3. Surfboard Waxed Area: losing a great wave or failing to complete a critical maneuver due to poor waxing is pretty frustrating. Make sure you've waxed up the margins of your foot placement areas, but steady on: wax has its weight.
4. Leash Length: the challenge is to limit the length as much as possible, while allowing yourself full freedom to maneuver. Any extra inches are dragged while riding the wave, creating water friction and, therefore, loss of drive and speed.
5. Managing Tide Changes and Line-up Positioning: when the tide is coming in or going out, waves will be breaking at different line levels. You'll save your time, strength and breath if you bone up when the waves will be rolling in. You'll also have the added advantage of catching waves nobody else will. Have you heard about the "Rule of Twelfths"?
6. Pick the Right Fin Setup: fins have a strong relationship with waves; big and hollow waves will make a toy out of a single fin surfboard. Learn what is the best fin setup for a particular wave type.
7. The Best Wave of the Set: normally, the first wave of the set is not the best choice. Before hitting the water, spend a few minutes checking three or four sets and try to get a clear idea of the best wave of the set.
8. Peak or Peace: the best surf peaks are usually very crowded; if you're not willing to wait; to manage local power, snaking and physical challenges, it's always better to paddle to alternative peaks, even if the wave quality is not as good. You'll train more and have more fun.
9. Delay Right/Left Decisions: surfing in walled waves is a common situation. Don't stress; it's all part of the process. When you've decided to paddle and you're not sure if the wave is breaking left or right, try to delay the decision to take off - one way or the other - as much as you can. It'll improve the quality of your overall decisions.
10. Chest Adjustments: different waves require different chest positions on the surfboard. If the wave's too mushy and fat, you might move your chest to the front of the board while paddling for a wave; conversely, if the wave's hollow and vertical, protect yourself from going over the falls by centering your chest lower down on the board.
Discover more advanced surfing tips and techniques.