Surf CoachingSurfing To A Target (A Level 3 Top Tip) 

-Words by Ru Hill

Being able to set a tangible and achievable goal for yourself when you go out for a surf is a really productive thing to do. For level 3 surfers [?] it is often easy to fall into the trap of judging your surf by the length of your longest ride. This is a mistake for two reasons. One is that the surf that day may not offer any long rides, so you’ll just get frustrated. The other reason is that by focusing on length of ride it means you’re not going to be attempting any new maneuvers and it’s by practicing new maneuvers that you’ll improve faster, enjoy surfing more and ultimately be able to surf waves much further. Oh the sweet, sweet irony.

A great goal for level 3 surfers is to see how may times in a session you can get a broken, or breaking, part of the wave underneath your front foot.

…as demonstrated by two of the Surf Simply coaches, Martin (above on an 8’2″ NSP) and Jack (below on one of our new 6’8″ Pumpkin Seeds).

Surf Simply technical surf coaching resort, Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica
Surf Simply technical surf coaching resort, Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica

To begin with you will find that the white water will be breaking on top of your board and you’ll feel the water surge around you front foot and ankle. This means that you need to turn your board much more so that the nose of your board is pointing at the breaking, or broken, section of wave, when you hit it.

As a level 3 surfer you’ll know how to turn, but this exercise will tell you where to turn to. You will know when you get it right because you’ll feel the energy transfered from the wave to your board (that’s actual energy, not metaphysical hippy energy). It will feel as if someone has pushed upwards on the board from underneath. To begin with you’ll fall with surprise but, if you follow the Surf Simply blog or podcasts, you’ll learn how to turn as you feel that push from beneath, and a whole new world of fun will open up before you! SPOILER ALERT: make sure that your front foot is nice and square on the middle of the board or your board will flip over when the water hits the bottom of it (and yes, it may just get you right where the sun don’t shine), so get that functional stance right first.

Gem, co-founder of Surf Simply, neatly demos how you can even do this drill on the close out section at the end of a wave. She too is riding one of our new 7’0″ Pumpkin Seeds (photo by NosaraShack).

Surf Simply technical surf coaching resort, Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica

Not only is this the basis of almost every major maneuver from roundhouse cut backs, to top turns, white water climbs and floaters but more importantly, it makes surfing in messy, onshore surf as fun as surfing in clean, perfect waves because you’re constantly being presented with ‘targets.’ So why not go out and have fun when everyone else is complaining about the conditions.