Improve your surfing with this one tip
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What is a Coffee Cup gonna do for your Surfing?

Part 1 of our 2 part series diving into our trigger words and how they work out in the surf. This one focuses on making a subtle change to your stance and improving your coordination.

From our live streams, you may know about "Coffee Cup" or are maybe a bit confused by the term. There is meaning to this phrase and we came up with it as an easy way for surfers to understand how to position their back arm for every movement when surfing. 

It's a pattern interrupter and it's meant to break bad habits.We don't want to admit it, but I know when I started with Clayton he was spending all of his time to break my bad habits and retrain me to actually surf. This is where I started with coffee cup.

What is it and how does coffee progress my surfing?

Simply put, Coffee Cup starts with you back arm, held up, inline with your shoulders bent, elbow and your hands and the cup in front of you. Watch one of our students below taking the coffee cup into the water.

Improve your surfing technique
Look where his back arm is and how he is using the coffee cup to maintain technique.

It is all about retraining bad habits, and from growing up holding a cup, we always have it in front of us and don't want to spill it. 

So by having it in front of you and not spilling the water, you are in balance and this directly translates to good posture and your stance in surfing. You want to be projecting forwards and in balance. This gets the rear arm forward and not surfing like a man with no arms wearing a long sleeve jumper.

The power in the phrase

By knowing how to hold a coffee cup, its subconscious, you can do it all day without thinking about it. So by connecting the phrase coffee cup to your stance, it trains your brain, this is how my stance should be and what it feels like. The alternative is thinking about every little thing you need to do, hips forward, arms up, arms active, head looking where you're going blah blah blah....‍

or Coffee Cup

Simple, quick and effective. It's now subconscious and you can instantly switch into that stance.

Learning to train Coffee Cup

The important thing to note, is your rear arm is a driver, it helps create speed, direction and fluidity. If it's backwards, you're throwing weight in the wrong direction of where you want to go. When you're at the beach next, look for a surfer flailing his arms backwards and see how much speed he is generating and how much balance he has compared to someone projecting forwards. Which surfer do you want to be?

Bad surfing technique
Flailing arms is not a good look or technique

If you're not doing land based drills, you're missing out on rapid progress to your surfing. Start by either getting into your natural surfing stance but add an actual coffee cup filled with water and get familiar with the stance.

This is part of a 4 part series of guides. You can read the next part here: "How to pass the coffee cup"

Written by
Luke Hardacre
surf coaching