The Secret “key” for unlocking the door to becoming a successful Competitive Surfer/Surfer
To be a pro surfer there are 5 main areas to work on in preparation for an event:
- Technique: this needs to be worked on at a young age, your foundation stage. See attachment for the fundamentals of surfing
- Health and Nutrition: To obtain the maximum performance from your body on any given day must give it the right fuel. Nutrition plays a vital roll in surfing to a high standard
- Physical Fitness/cross training: The more you put into your surfing the more you get out. It also give you confidence and often a “personal” psychological advantage over your competitor.
- Phycology: This has become a huge part of surfing these days with all professional surfers surfing at their best. This is the difference between making it and not making it. Working with your individual character working on weakness and building on strengths.
- Equipment: This cant be stressed enough, you have to be confident in your equipment; this can create doubt and affect your performance. You have to learn how surfboards work and how they are made, then you’ll be able to best work with your shaper.
When you’re at the event there are 3 things to focus on:
- Phycology: As a coach you need to understand the individual, what it takes to make them tick. What routine, what thought process does it take to reach your IPS, ideal performance state.
- Wave riding skills: Depending on the days condition at that particular surf spot you will need to a certain types of turns to maximize your scores. What do you need to do on a wave to achieve the maximum scoring potential.
- Heat strategy/plan: When do I paddle out and how many waves do I take? How to read the heat? Understanding heat structure and heat tactics
Surfing consistently to the average of the conditions on the day at that particular surf spot is key to your success.
It takes 2 waves to get through a heat or win a contest, its like a word sum. If you need to get 2 x 5 point rides to get through the heat in your division in the given conditions can you meet that requirement? If so there is NO reason why you should not advance through your heat or have a good surf.
There are two extremes conditions to achieve consistency in contest conditions. Small and onshore and Big and onshore/offshore, in this case nothing other than IPS and hard work will get you through a heat
Time Management and Heat Structure:
It is vital to have a structure/plan to your heat so you can mange your heat and use your time productively according to the waves and conditions of the contest venue. When do you paddle out and where do you position yourself in the line up as the heart starts.
Positioning yourself at the beginning of the heat according to the waves and your competitors will allow for you to catch the first wave of the heat. This is vital, ideally it’s a scoring ride, this puts pressure immediately onto your competitors and sets you up with your flow/rhythm with the waves/ocean.
A heat is usually 20 min that allows 5min per wave in most conditions. Catching the first waves/scoring wave of the heat is vital. 20min two scoring waves 1 wave every 5min: By using this formulas/structure there are many different scenarios. The key is to know which one your in and plan/focus accordingly
|SCENARIO A||SCENARIO B||SCENARIO C|
|5min: SCORE||NO SCORE||SCORE|
|5min: NO SCORE||SCORE||SCORE|
|5min: SCORE||SCORE||NO SCORE|
|5min: NO SCORE||NO SCORE||NO SCORE|
All your focus should be on is either dropping a lower score/improving your back up or getting an excellent ride. If you maintain your focus in WHAT you need 99.9% of the time you will get it. However if any doubt comes into play then your energy/focus is broken and you’ll not be able to get what you need.
You can quite easily tell your score without the judges announcing the scores. Pull out of a wave and your either feeling bad, good/average or amazing about the ride. Use this gage to know immediately what type of score/wave it is your looking for.
IPS – Ideal Performance State:
There are 3 ways in which you can achieve your ideal performance state of mind.
- LOVE: is a very powerful word it makes you feel good and can be triggered by a favorite song, thought of parents, animals etc
- Past good result: recall your best performance in heats and your highlights in your career
- Past good waves and spots: where did you have your best surf and your best heat result
By replaying these event in you mind you should be able to bring back emotions and feeling that helped you achieve that moment.
What you think is what you feel.
Controllable and Uncontrollable:
When competing or deciding to go for a surf many “things” can come into your mid that can put you off of your heat or going out for a paddle. 99% of the time you always have a better surf than what you thought you would have despite the conditions, waves or crowd
Life is much the same, you can paddle out when its cooking (beautiful day) and have a terrible day or paddle out when the waves are bad(bad weather/raining) and have a great surf all depending on mind set which is affected by controllable and un-controllable. Knowing what is in your control and what not to focus on can help you achieve your IPS.
- Crowds- uncontrollable
- Wind,Tide & waves- uncontrollable
- Who’s in my heat – uncontrollable?
- Equipment – in my control
- Mind set – in my control
- Health, Nutrition and fitness – in my control
Positioning and Wave selection:
This is by far one of the most difficult things to learn and teach. How do you position yourself in the line up according to the waves and the guys in the water/heat.
The more you surf the better your position and wave selection can be. You don’t have to be on the inside for the best waves.
When a wave approaches you, the wave can peak and crest at any point and probably never at exactly the same place.
The better you surf the better position you can put yourself in, there are 360 degrees to paddle in for a wave. Most people at an intermediate level tend to just turn and paddle despite what the wave is doing.
This can be combated by good ‘ beach analysis’ and asking/watching the local.
- Where am I in perspective to the regular peaks of the given break?
- Is the wave a set wave or a smaller wave? Should I paddle out to the wave then turn around or is it a smaller wave that I should turn around a.s.a.p. and start paddling.
- Is the wave/swell coming more from the inside or is it breaking wide.
- How soon do I see the sets approaching, then I can decide where to paddle too.
- Where am I sitting according to sets approaching, the line up and the hierarchy of surfers around me?
Hierarchy of surfing in the line up and contest ladder:
In life/sport there is a ladder or hierarchy that one has to climb in your mind/phycology and in ability. Both are influenced by your knowledge gained over time, experience and influence from others/coaches. This improves your confidence and self-esteem, which allows you to mentally put yourself above others in a competitive environment. And dominate the heat, track or work environment.
- You win/do well at grom games
- Then you make the provincial team for the first time to go to SA’s
- Then you make the SA final/win
- Then you get to got to SA team trials and make SA team
Now you have reached the top of the ladder in the SA Junior scene.
In your every day surf there too is a hierarchy, there are three different levels of hierarchy.
- Your localism hierarchy: How long have you been surfing a spot. Did you got through the grom abuse and go to school in the town of your local spot or did you move into the town recently and start surfing?
- Your ability hierarchy: The better you surf the better you can position yourself to catch the best waves. This however does not mean if you surf better than everyone in the line up you have the right to take all the best waves.
- Your craft hierarchy: Sad but true surfing is at the top of the hierarchy and then the rest fall in whether SUP, Long board, or boogie board. (this probably due to the long history of surfing)
Know your place here focus on positioning, have a good vibe and you’ll always get your fair share of waves at any spot in the world no matter how well your surf
F.T.B FOCUS TRUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE