Improve Your Surfing – And More! Pt. 2


Sometimes you have to do a few of these


So by now you have been thinking if improving your surfing is what you want to do. After some mulling and after being cut off by a 12 year old girl on a bodyboard; you have decided that the answer is yes!

Next you must set some goals and change some bad habits. You should:

  • Plan

At my local beach, I pull up into the parking lot with the other surfers. They jump out and put on the wetsuit or wax up and within 10 minutes they are in the water. I walk down and watch the waves. Where are the best waves coming in at? What is the best route out? Are there alternative areas that are offering some sections that the others have not noticed? Then I warm up and finally paddle out. By the end of the day, I may not have caught more waves than anyone else but the stand out waves will more than likely see me on them.

I also plan out what I want to do for the day. Surf more vertical. Work on a particular trick. By focusing on an area, I am doing more than just catching waves and blindly just goofing off.



To do a few of these.

  • Practice

To go even further, sometimes us contest types like to block out our surf sessions. So for 30 to 40 minutes we just try to do one type of turn. For example, just doing cutbacks for 30 minutes even if the section says do an air. Basically it is like a golfer practicing putting or driving. Repetition helps improve the fundamentals.

Practice should also involve developing a solid training routine. Yoga is a great tool as well.

  • Choices

As a young surfer, I just had fun and surfed. My improvement in surfing came on the back of more pressing issues such as my education. As a pro, I had to face reality. Just surfing and goofing off in the water was not going to help me. My biggest improvements came when I was forced to leave my beloved sponsors store in Satellite Beach and I was sent to the Cocoa Beach store as an amateur. I was named as the Team Captain but was still required to actively participate in practices. The real coaches were guys that judged at the top level. From them, I learned how to analyze and plan.

So my life then became a lesson on doing something now or later. For example, to me taking an hour to write this post is important to my website. I also have more cleaning to do in my house. At no point today did I spend more than 15 minutes on Facebook. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day and like many; my free time seems to short. So do you really not have any time to work out for 30 minutes?

An employee once told me that they did not have any free time during their shift to take a break. They said that they had far to much time piled upon them and if they took a 30 minute break then they would never finish their work.

I then questioned what I saw during their shift. They stopped to speak to their bank representative who put them on hold for 15 minutes and the calls from their family members. There team also stopped from time to time to drink coffee for a few minutes. All this time would add up to a break so that was her answer. You should clock out for your break and do all of these activities on your own time. Which in our own lives means what is the biggest priority? Is it working out or watching a few television shows?

The time is there. You just have to make it the priority.

Some Resources

Of course I ask people to search in my blog for some useful tips. Here are a few that should be read:

A Current Affair

Doing a Solid Cutback

Take the High Road Redux

For a good surf specific workout I highly recommend either Chris Mills or Clayton Beatty from Surf Snow Fitness.

Chris Mills

Clayton Beatty

So of course…More to come! And questions are welcome! Except from Mulletkiller.




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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