Three Things Surf Students Must Learn


When I teach Surf Lessons in Oceanside, I point out that new students can learn three important techniques or skills to launch their surf adventure. The first is balancing and positioning on the board. The second is learning the pop up. The third is catching waves.proday4

Even though they sound elementary, they are not. Students have trouble with all three. Once mastered, they can then practice correctly on their own and advance. One of the biggest obstacles students have with all three is over coming their own incorrect instincts.

It is amazing how difficult it is to get students to lie far enough back on the board. They like to crowd the nose which then causes them to pearl. (nose of board into the wave). To avoid the pearl, they also have to hold their chin high as they catch waves to prevent the nose from diving. Secondly, they don’t grasp that if they are not straight on the board and if it isn’t perfectly level, they will flip when the wave hits them.

The pop up is a series of four counts as I teach it. Paddle is one, hands at the chest like a man’s push up is two. Pushing the body up off the board is three. Bringing the front foot under the chest to land between your hands is four. The shoulders have to be facing front and the hands have to both be forward. Any deviations and students are falling off the board. (see my video at bottom of landing page)

Finally, catching waves is more difficult than anyone imagines. Instincts are all wrong. You have to paddle in advance of the wave arriving and keep paddling until the board has caught the wave. I see students, not taking lessons, jumping up on their boards before the wave even arrives. Most new students wait until the wave hits them before paddling and often just try to jump up. They have to paddle in front of the wave and paddle when it hits until the board is in front of the wave before doing a pop up.

Whereas some students can get it in an hour, I recommend an hour and a half lesson. The better students learn advanced wave catching techniques, carving, and angling on real waves.


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Surf Instructions 

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Illustrated 80 page E Book  by Mark Kaplan, Surf Instructor Download Immediately Learning the Physical, Technical and Psychological stepping stones to becoming an Advanced Surfer

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