Monthly Archives: November 2015

Want To Be A Better Surfer?

You have heard the cliché “Rome was not built in a day” and this saying holds true in learning to surf as well. People often want to progress in surfing at a very rapid pace because we watch surf videos, contests, and people out in the water everyday that make it look easy. The fact is to become a better surfer you just have to go out and surf more. There is a school of thought out there that it takes 10,000 hours to truly master something. To put this into perspective 10,000 hours is a little over a year (1 year and 1 month to be exact) and this means that you would have to surf everyday all day for a year straight to “master” surfing. As enticing as quitting ones job and surfing 24 hours a day sounds it is not a realistic possibility. So the use of ones time becomes paramount when learning to surf as 10,000 hours can be a serious commitment. We all have obligations, duties, and unfortunately jobs to attend to during the course of the day. Surfing is seen as a leisure sport that some cannot devote the proper amount of time to master. However surfing can be some of your most well spent time as it is one of the best forms of exercise and stress relief. There is no magic formula to becoming a better surfer but below are some guidelines that will help you on your journey.

 

  1. Swim- Hands down one of the best ways to get into surfing shape. Swimming forces you to breathe methodically ensuring you will have better cardio when you paddle.
  2. Row- Getting on a rowing machine for 30 minutes a day will increase the strength of the muscles needed to paddle for surfing.
  3. Stretch- Flexibility is huge often times people don’t put in the work to loosen their bodies up. If your hips and legs are tight the motion of popping up on a surfboard will not come easy.
  4. Hydrate/Nutrition- The body is a machine and our goal is to turn it into a surfing machine. Drinking water instead of carbonated drinks will pay big dividends when surfing and cutting back on junk food gives you better stamina.
  5. Surf- Seems to simple to be true, but the best way to get better at surfing is to simply surf. It’s all about muscle memory the more we do something the more natural it feels. Our body is then programed to continually do an act that over time will be an unconscious reaction.

 

I am committed to these guidelines as they have made me a better surfer, but my goal is to incorporate them into your life so you will be a better surfer. We are all on the same path in the realm of surfing some of us a just a bit farther ahead on that path. However with time, dedication, and a willingness to become a better surfer that goal will eventually be realized.

Wetsuits make the world go ’round.

Wetsuits are an essential piece of equipment for any surfer in the southern California area as our waters are subject to seasonal temperature change. Summer months can often bring water temps that exceed 70 degrees that do not require the use of a wetsuit. However the Humboldt Current that flows from Peru to our California coast brings frigid waters and surfing in 55-degree water more often than not requires the use of a wetsuit.

Wetsuits are comprised of neoprene, which is a synthetic rubber that is produced by the polymerization of chloroprene. It gives surfers the opportunity to stay in cold water longer than they normally would without the use of a wetsuit. Today’s wetsuits are made from a super stretchy neoprene that gives a surfer more range of motion and flexibility than wetsuits of old. Older wetsuits tend to be stiffer and thus paddling, popping up, and range of motion in the suit are made more difficult.

The thickness of the wetsuit is also crucial in determining the amount of warmth the suit will have while in the water. A 3.2-millimeter suit is the standard wetsuit for California waters as it has the baseline ability to keep you warm in water as low as 55 degrees. If you have less body fat or are susceptible to cold a 4.3-millimeter suit is more appropriate for colder water. At Learn To Surf we have both 3.2 and 4.3 millimeter suits in stock as water temperatures can change with little notice.

The brand of wetsuit is also essential as there are a lot of options to choose from when using a wetsuit. I have been surfing all my life and have used every major wetsuit brand there is on the market. Some wetsuit makers have styles that fit certain body types better and others more importantly craft a better wetsuit that will ultimately last and keep one warm. I have found in my experience that Rip Curl makes the best wetsuit on the market today as the quality and durability exceeds all its competitors. Their wetsuits dry faster and have a high quality neoprene that keeps one warmer in the water. There are a lot of options out there, but I personally recommend using them above all others. If you are interested in learning more check out http://www.ripcurl.com/us/shop/categories/wetsuits/ and we only use this brand here at Learn To Surf.

Our surf instructor Shane stoked on the use of a wetsuit.
Our surf instructor Shane stoked on the use of a wetsuit.