If you’re new to surfing, this can be a pretty scary experience. But know that even professional surfers have a hard time with this one. When you’re at a point where you see a big wave coming towards you, and you have no way to escape, you need to start making quick mental calculations about the best approach you can take and at what instant this approach should be executed.
But really, even the most successful surfers cannot master the art of making it out safely unless they work on their composure first.
Surfing is all about remaining calm and being alert
If you have your breathing under control and don’t get stressed at the final stage when execution is necessary, there is no way that you’ll mess this up. For this, you need to practice three things beforehand:
Learning to hold your breath for more than 30 minutes is essential because getting caught on the inside means that you will ultimately have to dive deep to escape the tumultuous wave coming your way. If you’re panicking, your breathing will be irregular, and you won’t be able to equilibrate it as needed for a successful dive. In addition, you should remember that panicking just wastes energy, which you’ll need for what’s to come.
2. Remaining still and analyzing
Paddling towards or away from the wave won’t help in this situation, and therefore, you should simply stop, look around, and see what your environment is like. If there are surfers or obstacles around you, then you need to strategize accordingly because if surfboards aren’t handled properly, they can lead to severe injuries to you and others around you.
3. Deciding which maneuver to adopt
There are two really effective ways to try to avoid getting pulled around by the approaching wave and losing control:
Diving right side up
Holding the rail guard, flip your board so that the fins point towards the sky and then dive, all the while pulling hard on the leash. With this technique, you’ll be underwater with your board while the wave passes over you. The good thing about this strategy is that your board will be well under your control, thereby avoiding unfortunate and serious accidents.
This strategy involves paddling towards the wave while keeping your knees bent and holding firmly to the sides of the board. With the approaching wave, push the board forward and downward so that you’re under it. Keep propelling yourself in the downward direction with the help of your feet and legs, and resurface once the wave is gone. You’ll know this when there is no more turbulence.
If you want to be a great surfer, you should, first and foremost, be fearless because fear gets in the way of making important and quick decisions that will either make your final outcome successful or lead to complete failure.
Written by James Davis
I'm a true California local, and I've spent my life riding the waves along our stunning coastline. Surfing has always been my greatest love, and in my writing, I try to capture its genuine essence. My words aim to transport you into the heart of the surf culture, where the ocean and surfers come together in perfect harmony.
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