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No Waves, No Problem! How to Get Better at Surfing, without Actually Surfing.
When you learn how to surf, you'll quickly realize that surfing becomes a prominent center of your attention, even when you're out of the water. And if you're like most, then the desire to become the best surfer you can be is most likely now at the forefront of your existence, and learning how to get better at surfing is a goal that never stops.
But let's be real. Overall, as much as we'd all love to surf for six hours a day, it just doesn't happen! So what can we do with this desire to improve our surfing? How can we channel it and use it, even when there aren't any waves on tap, or we're simply too busy to make it to the lineup?
Well, my salty people, that's where things become pretty darn fun. There are still plenty of ways to practice surfing at home and improve the skill sets necessary for the art of riding waves without riding a wave at all. Sure, there's no better practice than the real deal, but if you strive to be your best, here are a few activities you can do to become a better, more well-rounded surfer.
Go Surf Skate!!
A surfskate is an incredible way to emulate the sensation of surfing while riding the concrete wave. With a surfskate, you can master all the surfing essentials, like pumping, carving, and overall balance/board control; the specialized swivel truck and surfboard-like board culminate a surf-like setup perfect for practice.
Find a concrete transition or hit the park to ride the bowl, and take your surfing practice a step further by working on your frontside and backside snaps, bottom turns, and so much more.
Every surfer family needs a collection of surfskates, as they're perfect for every age, ready to hit the sidewalks when the waves get sleepy. If it piques your interest, check out my guide to surfskates to learn more about this insanely fun surfing pastime.
Skateboarding in General
Skateboarding was born from surfing, and although it's taken on its entirely own personality, there are still plenty of similarities between the two, even if you're busy throwing kickflips down four stairs.
It's really all about building experience riding a board, regardless of its form (snowboarding/wakeboarding other similar subsets!), and gaining comfortability with the required 'sideways standing balance' indicative of boardsports.
That, and the fact that riding transitions, even in a typical skateboarding style (versus surfskate), still mimics much of the flow, sensation, and same body motions of surfing, skateboarding is a killer way to get better at surfing while embracing these oh-so similar lifestyles.
Check out our line of radical skateboard completes if you need a new shred stick to keep you and the groms occupied during any flat spell.
This grom is always on a board and always improving her surfing.
We absolutely love balance boards, and there's about an 80% chance that if we're inside the house, at least one of my grommets (or me!) is improving on their surfing skills with a balance board sesh.
I mean, if the name didn't already tell ya, these things are your balance's best friend, as they'll hugely contribute to improving your ability to stay calm, cool, and collected above an unstable board.
The design of balance boards makes it feel eerily similar to riding a wave in the sense that there is always motion, nothing is stable, and constant weight/foot changes are always needed to stay steady on a wobbly surface.
They're pretty diverse, too, and you can do all sorts of tricks on em', including riding the nose!
I'm telling you, if you want to practice surfing at home, whether for a quick five minutes or an hour or two (solid workout, my friends), while always having the perfect indoor activity for kids, a balance board is the way.
If you want to learn more about what a balance board is and how to use one, I just did a write up all about it, so head that way for the run down!
Work on your Equipment
Want to know how to get better at surfing? Even though this isn't a physical approach, it's still a definitive way to enhance aspects of the surfing experience and your surfing abilities as a whole.
I don't think we're necessarily as good as our equipment, but there is some truth to that saying. If you're bored at home, need a project to keep you and the groms busy, and also want to improve your surfing, then working on your surf equipment is a great way to do it all! Clean off your boards, give them a new layer of surf wax, fix any dings you might have, wash the wetsuits, and work on better surfboard storage.
Anything you can do to ensure your equipment is fresh and in pristine condition will promote better surfing, as this translates into more easily being able to perform when the time comes to surf.
Work on Flexibility
Dig the Little Yoga Pants? We do, Too.
It goes without saying that flexibility is a prominent factor in how well you surf. The more limber and flexible your body, the more fluid and able you are on a wave, and the longer you can surf, as flexibility, recovery, and muscle stamina/growth are all intertwined.
I mean, the progressive maneuvers you now see today, like big, stretched-out laybacks and astonishing airs, simply wouldn't be possible without high levels of flexibility from the athletes that make it happen. If you want to practice surfing at home, then try working on some yoga flows, or even just a quick 15-minute stretch sesh will benefit you in the water.
Work on Strength!
You figured this was next, didn't ya? The stronger you are, the better you will surf. Waves become less intimidating, your breath hold naturally becomes longer, you can put more power into your turns, and really, you just feel better in the water!
That, and strength contributes to how long you can surf, and for how long you can surf well. Stronger surfers can maintain high-performance levels for more extended time windows, allowing for more practice and muscle memory growth. Those who tire don't just surf less, but surfing when you're tired typically doesn't push you forward in terms of growth and progression.
Working out is great for many, many things, but it's also one of those surf tips that makes a huge difference when learning how to get better at surfing, for surfing is one of the most demanding physical activities on this planet!
Surfing is challenging, so staying positive and enjoying the process is essential. To do so, try to be optimistic about everything in life so that this attitude will follow you into the water.
Find good in the bad, learn from the lessons, and keep that smile on your sun-kissed cheeks! Celebrate your successes and learn from your failures to keep improving your surfing. A positive mind doesn't just make you a better surfer, but it makes you a better person, and that's a win-win well worth pursuing.
Watch Surfing + Competitive Surfing
Sometimes it's good to just sit back, relax, and watch the best in the business do what they do. Besides, there's pretty much a guaranteed chance you'll learn something new, whether insight on how the pros read the lineup, how they perform turns, or about the history of surfing. And obviously, so much more.
Seeing how talented surfers move their bodies or pump their boards in certain situations is a great way to enhance your own surfing, as you can take all this information with you and apply it in the lineup. Besides, competitive surfing is super fun to watch and keep up with, as are classic surf films, so it's one way to use up some screen time that I really don't mind. Or, you can find plenty of local (and even professional) surf contests across Australia and the rest of the world if you'd like to see the action in real-time.
If you want to learn more about competitive surfing, I just wrote all about it, so give it a read and drop right into the action.
Another excellent balance-building activity, you'll often see slacklines hung across trees at the local lineup on a sunny day. And that's because not only is this a super fun, invigorating activity on its own, but your balance will boost to newfound levels after a few practice sessions!
It's a different type of balance than surfing, which is good because building on these various approaches to stability will make you the best surfer possible. So if you want to know how to get better at surfing without actually surfing, toss up a slackline in the yard and have at it! But be careful and take any necessary precautions, especially with the kids.
And as always, have fun, embrace the stoke, and stay salty!
Hello to all my salty people! Thanks for readin' my blog and for the continuous support towards our brand. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter by creating your account to stay in the loop with new releases, sales & giveaways, and all our future blog post!
Live rad, stay salty.
- Ash, Dev & The Salty Shreds Fam.