Surf Coaching: The OMBE Method
This article will all be about the 4 fundamental components of OMBE: The Ocean, The Mind, The Body, and Equipment.
How can you make something that's already fun even more fun? How can you convey wave knowledge, which is acquired only by surfing waves with deep focus, to those who've never been on a board before? How can you teach the correct technique, the right skills, and abilities to beginner surfers?
These are the questions a professional surf coach constantly asks themselves. Fortunately, here at OMBE, we have Clayton Nienaber who has asked these questions repeatedly throughout his lifetime and came up with satisfying answers to each. As a result, the OMBE Method was honed and released out into the world.
Nienaber is easily one of the best surf coaches out there and he has already coached some of the great names of the sport like Jordy Smith and Mikey February. Moreover, he's an experienced pro surfer who toured the world himself, and is an accomplished board shaper who’s designed boards for the likes of Dane Reynolds. So, what better surf coaching can beginners hope to get?
Now, you might ask what the OMBE Method is. If that's the case, let's explain it!
OMBE stands for ocean, mind, body, and equipment, and there's a reason why the ocean is in the first place other than the practicality that it makes pronunciation very easy: an intrinsic understanding of the ocean and the waves is essential for surfing and it plays an important role in brandishing a broad range of surf-related abilities.
What does understanding the ocean entail and how is it a part of our surf coaching?
A simple aspect of it is the wave count. Without understanding the ocean, knowing where the sandbanks are, which waves appear on which days, and which waves are more compatible with your surfing skills, you'll miss a lot of great waves in a surfing session.
There is a more complicated angle, too, though. If you read our guides and watch our tutorials carefully, you'll see that a phrase pops up everywhere: the energy of the wave. Whether when you just try to stand on your board, generate speed, or catch a huge green wave, you need to connect with the energy of the wave instinctively. Otherwise, your timing will be off, you won't have a feel of your ride, and you won't be able to progress as a surfer and have a surfing career.
That instinct is only possible when surfers understand the way the ocean and the waves work. Our surf coaching focuses on the development of that instinct with repetitive drills, but that's not all. To develop such an instinct, you need to have a surfer mentality, too.
Helping surfers grow with a surfer mentality is a crucial aspect of our coaching because only with such a mentality can you start understanding the ocean and feeling the energy of the wave. But the mind element doesn't only refer to the ocean. Your personal goals, the way you approach your body, equipment, and surf coaches, the fun you're having when you're on your board are all dependent on the right mental approach.
To that end, we have a course we call the Mind Surfer. In that program, we work with a wonderful psychologist, Kym Bancroft, and we're focused on how we can erase the misaligned fear, misconceptions, and mystery about the ocean and surfing from the mind of an aspiring surfer.
You fear the big wave, so you're afraid to catch them and head straight for the flats? We know the feeling, we understand you, and we're going to do everything in our power to help you.
No matter how hard you try, you can't feel the moment and focus on the wave? You don't need to worry because most of our teaching is based on how to feel it.
Your body is your temple, but not in the romantic, zen sense. Your body is your temple because for most beginners, their bodies are mystified - mystified in the sense that they don't know how the body works but they still worship it with preconceptions.
Trying to ride the board sideways is the perfect example of these preconceptions. Such a stance doesn't work at all, and that's not how a human body is designed to move. As a result, surfers who assume a sideways stance on their boards fail repeatedly when surfing.
One way we show why they fail is a thorough video analysis of their session. We record videos when they're surfing, and our head surf coach, Clayton, walks them through how they misused their bodies.
On the basis of shortcomings, we offer more technical self-assessment processes and drills as well. In the end, our students leave with a better understanding of their bodies' strengths and weaknesses and a better knowledge of the biomechanics of surfing overall.
Your equipment is just a medium between you and the ocean. Once you have a grasp of these two and once you can translate the feedback that emerges when your body and ocean are connecting, there's no reason you shouldn't have a full grasp of your equipment, either.
As we mentioned before, our surf coach Clayton Nienaber is an accomplished board shaper and if nothing, Anthony's quiver is a proof of that. So, as long as your feedback is sufficient in terms of explaining what’s right and what’s wrong with your current board when riding the waves, your coaches and shaper will help you get the right equipment in line with your skills and goals.
In addition to that, our video analysis sessions will give you a better idea of the relationship between you and the board.
A professional surf coach knows that surf coaching is not about teaching the correct technique. It's more about understanding, feeling, and passion, and that's what OMBE is all about.
We're a group of passionate surfers who want to have fun as we progress, and that's our promise. In the end, with the right mental approach and feeling, you'll see how easy surfing can be. In fact, you’ll experience many light bulb moments under the guidance of our head surf coach Clayton Nienaber.