Improve Your Surfing – And More! Pt. 1


Jr. finals of the Easter Surfing Festival.


Surfing is not an easy sport. So I will start off with the disclaimer:

If you are out of shape or have an injury; please consult a professional and get it done the correct way. Do not wing it and further injure yourself.

Now back to the fun!

Be What You Want!

If you have followed my blog, you may have caught the stories about my childhood. I was a frail pint-sized kid in Hawaii with poor motor skills. I was awful at just about everything I did. Yet, I knew I was going to be a professional surfer after opening up the first magazine that I ever laid eyes upon.

Is this realistic? For a 40 year old parent learning to surf; probably not. But we all have the power to improve. To achieve this we have to lose some things to gain in the long run. We have to lose the fixed mindset that hinders us.

I am not good at math.

I have terrible balance.

I can not do that!

If you have this mindset then you are right! You will not do it! You gave up before you worked to conquer the obstacle that you believe is in your way.

Coaching Alex

Growing up, I lived a few blocks from the beach. By the time I came to my current hometown, I was already a solid surfer. So moving inland only took a few shifts in focus and I was on my way.

Later, I was given my first role as a surf coach for a surf shop. I began to scout out some talent to add to the team. Through a tip and a stack of letters I found a kid named Alex. Alex was a decent surfer for his young age but he was a far better skateboarder. From watching him skate, I noticed that he had developed a great style and his mechanics were decent too. I knew that this would provide the base to build and improve his surfing. I signed him up as fast as possible!

As we begun to surf together more frequently, he was always checking in and soliciting feedback on what he needed to work on. This separated him from the other kids as they waited for me to give feedback and were not as active in applying what I was teaching them.

With this attitude, he was eventually collecting trophies and doing well in an area known for the talent pool. I also made a big decision. We were in between two districts. One had talented surfers but the exposure level was lower and so was the overall depth of the field. He could easily qualify through this district.

The other was far harder and in fact it was the top district in the United States at that time. Qualifying would be extremely difficult. I signed him up for the second one. Competing against the best is the sure fire way to improve yourself.

Oh yeah! Alex lived 45 minutes from the beach on a good day and he was a minor so he had to get people to drive him if his parents could not go. So yes, you can be a bit inland and improve too! No excuses!

Now for you!

Step 1.

Decide that you can improve your surfing! If you are just dropping in to my site out of curiosity and surfing is not your thing then do not worry. This applies to a lot of other areas including your job performance, your eating habits, or whatever it is you are aiming to do. You do not have to set your goals as being a 75 year old pilot of a rocket to Mars if it is not feasible. Everyone wants to be decent and you can be a competent surfer and improve where you are at now.

The next steps will be coming very soon.

I promise!

And as usual…Feel free to ask any questions regarding your issues in the water. From basic questions to the super technical; I will gladly give advice.



About 1stpeaksteve

Welcome to The Side Wedge! The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, a writer, surf coach, and hospitality manager. This is a collection of travel tips, motivation, and stories from my past. Finally, I offer surf coaching through The Side Wedge. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you want to improve your performance today! Thanks for reading!
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