how to surf better
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How to Surf Better

There are always ways that a surfer can become better. Let's take a look into all the aspects that can contribute to you becoming the best version of yourself that you can possibly be.

surfing better

One of the best things about surfing is the fact that you can never quite figure it out. No matter how good you are and no matter how much time you have spent on mastering the art of surfing, there are always new roads to take and different approaches to your already perfected moves. 

If you ask us, that’s the allure of it, the timeless pursuit. Trying to better yourself day in and day out will make you a better surfer but also a better person. While it’s true that everyone has their own ways of doing things and their own approach, it’s also true that there is no going around the basics. There are some things that have to be taken into account and cannot be discarded. 

The Basics

Today, we are going to take a look at some of the ways and approaches you can take in order to form good habits and raise your game to the next level. Let’s get going. 


It’s absolutely true that the equipment does not make the surfer, however, it can break them. You might be putting in a ton of extra work and going at it day after day, but the reality is that if you have broken down and unreliable equipment, it will only hinder your progress. 

For one it will drag you down because it will require you to go above and beyond just to make it work as it should, but that’s not even the worst part of it. Bad and improper equipment leads to bad habits, and bad habits can be the reason why you give up surfing one day. So, don’t make that mistake and invest in a proper surfing rig. 

No, this does not mean to go out and buy the most expensive custom sets that are being marketed as the second coming, but with a bit of research, you will be able to land the board that will offer you to become that much better at your craft and not break the bank.

But how do you know if you need more expensive equipment in the first place? Well, there are pointers that you should look out for. 

For example, if your board is too small for you, it goes below sea level when you board it. You will never know which board suits you until you try a lot of them and see what’s out there. Never settle. 

Ask your friends to borrow their boards or rent some boards; whatever you do, don’t stop searching for the perfect equipment. There is almost always a better fit out there somewhere. 

The Body

Let’s face it. Most of us cheat on the stretching exercises because we can’t wait to get into the ocean and start paddling. Well, if you skip your stretching exercises, it will show in your surf. So, stick with it. It might be the broccoli of surfing, but it’s damn good for you. 

If your legs and hips aren't stretched out and flexible, forget about entering the fold until you have gone through your stretches. Yes, it will limit you, and you will feel out of place when you pop up, but that’s not even half of it. 

What if you get injured because you didn’t want to stretch and then have to take an extended period away from your board? Be smart about the flexibility of your body; a little stretching goes a long way. 

The exercise that surfers most often perform to warm up is the squat. There are a few different ways to do a squat, but you should do squats that focus on your balance and positions. Move slowly and pay attention to what your body is telling you. 


There are no two ways about this one. If you want to excel as a surfer, you have to be in shape. We’re not going to tell you what to do because everybody is different, but you should find an exercise routine that will allow you to build a strong foundation and build upon it. 

Remember that you are not exercising in order to gain considerable muscle mass—you are training to become fit. This means that you shouldn’t do heavy lifting in short bursts. If you do, you might stiffen your body, and then there is going to be a lot more stretching involved before a surfing session. Take it slow. Surfing is not a race; it’s a journey. 

If you are already in good shape, up your reps instead of the weights. You can always rely on your jump rope when you don’t have enough time to set up a proper workout. Just carry a jump rope with you and pull it out every time when you feel like you’ve got minutes to spare. 


This goes hand in hand with flexibility and stretching. You want to test your body, see how it feels, and take note of any new sensations that might perk up. Take things step by step. Start warming up even before you get into the sea.

We are well aware that you’d much rather be riding a wave and that that’s why you came for, but the ocean isn’t going anywhere—it’s been here for a long, long time. 


One of the most important aspects of becoming a better surfer is mastering your stance. You don’t have to be positioned to make a move at all times. In fact, at various times, it’s a lot more beneficial and enjoyable to loosen up a bit and move towards the tail of the board. 

If you position yourself right, you’ll be able to control your board with your front foot without adding any additional stress to the other parts of your body. In order to make this work, you will need to distribute your weight more towards the front foot and use the back foot just to keep things on the level. That being said, there’s much more to adopting the proper surf stance.

The Ocean and the Waves

When you do feel like your body is ready to hit the waves, go in and just test out the waters in a literal sense. Take a couple of waves, but don’t go 110% on them. Instead, feel them out, see how your body feels. The ocean is unbeaten, so be mindful of its prowess.

Establishing the Peak

One of the worst things that you can do is chase waves. In order to catch more waves, you have to find the point at which the waves are breaking, and you won't be able to do this by ringing from spot to spot. 

Don’t chase the last breaking wave. Instead, try to line yourself up with the spot where the waves break. You can do this before you go in. Simply watch the ocean instead of over-paddling and see the waves as they rise up and break. After a while, the “magic spot” should reveal itself to you. While the way we phrased that might sound arcane, it’s actually really simple: what you know of paddling is (probably) wrong.

The Mind

It might not seem like it at first glance, but surfing is a rhythmic sport. If you just go all out at one speed, your performance will be robotic at best. Yes, we are well aware that the excitement might take over you, and you just want to let it rip, but the more you contain yourself and develop a rhythm, the more enjoyable the ride will be. Yet again, we’re only scratching the surface here, so in order to get the full picture, you’ll need to learn how to surf with more style.

Keep in mind that surfing is a mental activity as much as it is physical, so leave your baggage at the parking lot and go towards the water with a clear mind and a pure heart. There is a time to hold back and a time to fire on all cylinders. You need to balance things out on and off the board in order to get the best results and experiences. 

On that note, regardless if you are on your toes, ready to make a move, or just enjoying the ride, you should never let your guard down. Always keep your focus on your position and your surroundings. 

It may look easy in videos and when professionals do it, but in reality, it’s a lot harder to stay in the moment for prolonged periods of time. Keep your center of gravity low and keep your arms to the sides as often as possible. Of course, it all starts in your mind.

Some More Useful Tips


Surf Coaching

If you can afford it, it’s always a good idea to have a good surfing coach by your side. Regardless of the level you are at as a surfer, You can always improve and get better. At OMBE, we have something for everyone.

Join Forces With Intermediate Surfers

Intermediate surfers, or surfers who are better than you in general, are a great bunch that you can hang out with in order to broaden your horizons and improve your skills. The reason we’re stressing intermediate surfers is that these people usually aren’t set in their ways yet when it comes to surfing but do have some knowledge on the subject.

Here you will be able to find out what lies on the outskirts of the surfing community. Not every word of advice will be golden, but there will be diamonds in the rough for sure. And speaking of gold…

Move Closer to the Gold Coast (or Any Other Surfing Hotspot)

Well, it doesn’t have to be the Gold Coast per se, but if you are able to move to a location that will give you an unobstructed actress to a location like the Gold Coast, your skills and knowledge will dramatically improve in no time. 

In places like these, you aren’t just practicing surfing—you’re living it. There is a surfing community and systems in place that you can just plug into and spread your wings. 

Take a Surf Trip

You can take dozens of surf lessons, watch hundreds of surf videos, and read about wave riding as much as you can. But, until you go for a surfing trip and experience a totally different set of challenges, you won’t get hands-on experience and won’t progress as a surfer. 

Even a change of scenery can help, as well as the different waves that come with it. A different location will force you to surf differently, reconsider old habits, and ultimately speed up your learning process.

A Few Words Before You Go… 

Line up the surf and keep your upper body as flexible as possible. Once you are out there, pay attention to other surfers. It doesn’t matter if they are beginner surfers or experienced surfers. You will have a better idea of what the conditions are like when you have this person's view of others. 

Pro surfers will tell you that the more fun you’re having and the more you surround yourself with people that love surfing, the better you will become. 

Written by
Jeremy Dean
surf coaching