Surfing Partner Basics
As in any partnership, finding the perfect surfing companion comes down to personality compatibility. However, there are some basic qualities every good surfing partner should possess. A good surfing partner should be positive, punctual and proactive. There is nothing that kills the mood of a good surf trip more than a pessimistic, complainer. Look for a surfing partner whose spirit and attitude matches yours and you will be more likely to share inspirational time together. Also beware of the chronic late-comer. You will want to set a time and place for your surf meet ups a couple of days in advance to give you and your partner time to adjust to each other's schedule. If you are a morning person, find a surf partner who is also a morning person. And if you are one of the chronically late, then be sure your partner is okay with and understands your tendency. A proactive partner will not only motivate you to get out on your board more, but they can also be a catalyst for improvement. Find a partner whose skill level is either the same or better than yours in order to improve. You may even want to have a few surfing buddies at hand in case your partner should not be available one week. Surfing with a partner is not only fun, but also smart. Should you find yourself stuck in a strong current, you will want to be able to alert someone. Invest some time in finding a surf partner today.
Catching A Wave
Being able to catch the perfect wave doesn't happen over night. You have to build up strength, skill and patience. Surfers are patient sportsman. The waves come when they want and you are at their will for the most part. How then can you prepare for catching a wave? Be sure to take a few lessons before attempting any wave catching. Get expert advice on your weaknesses!
First paddle out beyond where the waves are crashing, sit on your board and watch other more skilled surfers catching waves. Where they set up to catch a wave is where you too will want to set up. Once you see a wave coming you think you'll want to catch, lie down on your board. You'll want to know where it is best to lie down to create space between the nose or tip of the board and the water's surface. Next, you'll want to start to paddle. Try not to paddle to fast, but paddle enough to catch the wave's momentum.For your first couple catches, you'll have to just lie on your stomach. On solid ground, practice getting from laying on your stomach on the board to your feet in one succinct movement. This will help you learn how to get up to your feet quickly giving you more control when riding an actual wave. Once you've mastered this skill, try it on a wave. You'll want to catch the white water section of the wave. Get up to your feet quickly; the sooner you are up, the sooner you will have control of your board. Facing sideways with your feet along the stringer or center of the board, you can lean forward or backward to make the board plane evenly with the water. If you lean side to side, you will turn the board.
Once you're up take in the zen of the moment, but stay conscious to the wave's activity. Waves have a personality of their own. If you approach the wave right, it will give you a tremendous ride.
Competition can sometimes be good for the soul, if you approach it with an open mind and ample ambition. Surfing competitions have been around for decades and have evolved in many ways. Once thought of as only a leisurely activity, surfing is now a sport full of professional sponsorships and partner affiliations.
So, what does one do once you've signed up for a surf competition? First, read all the rules and regulations. Be familiar with all policies, so you can prepare yourself properly for the feat at hand. Also make sure you are in great shape. In surf competitions, surfers are judged based on who can execute the greatest number of maneuvers with speed and control closest to the breaking point of the wave. Arrive early the day of the competition to observe the wave conditions. You will want to know where the waves are breaking and where others are catching the best waves. Identify rips, sweeps and sandblocks.
Each competition will have heats. Within in a heat be sure you know what whistles and flags symbolize start, 5 minutes left and end. During the heat, you will have a certain number of waves to catch and at the end the best two will become your score. Know the rules of sporting competition; do not cut in on anyone's wave, or heckle your opponents.
To prepare for your first surf competition, take this Upper Body Free Weights workout with you to the gym.
Surf Trip Essentials
So, if you've decided to take your surfing to the next level with a surf trip, there are a few things to take into consideration and more than a few things to pack.
First off, don't think you can just hop on a board in foreign waters without ample practice and training time behind you. Likely, you have never surfed as much as you will on a surf trip, so add some days to your normal surf regime. Also, try swimming a couple times a week in a pool to help with your paddling strength and endurance. You could also try rowing. Try taking yoga 2 to 3 times a week to help you stretch and gain better balance. Weight training is also not a bad addition to this pre-trip workout
Next you'll have to start packing. Some essentials you'll need include: sunscreen, sunglasses, after-sun spray, first aid kit, wetsuit, rashguard, more than one board, board wax and ding repair. Check with your trip advisor, if you have one, to see what other crucial items you should carry. Depending on the area you are traveling to also remember to: get any shots you may need, bring your passport, find maps and guides, and bring swell/tide charts.
The more prepared you are the easier your trip will be. But be careful not to over pack. It would be a drag to have to lug a large bag down to the beach everyday. Travel light by traveling smart.