We all want to improve our surfing quickly, and the more waves we catch, the faster our learning process becomes. Catching waves can be one of the more frustrating skills to develop when learning to surf. Typically when you watch a group of surfers from the beach, you’ll notice the same three or four surfers taking wave after wave, even when there’s a crowd. They achieve this by reading incoming waves and setting themselves up in the most effective position to drop in. Positioning is the key to catching more waves.
One effective tactic to improve positioning for an incoming wave is to distance yourself from other surfers. Allowing space between you and the nearest head in the water will optimize your ability to position yourself better, so you may assert your priority on the incoming wave. Leaving little space between yourself and other surfers in the water could lead to confusion, collisions, and more frequently missed opportunities. Leave enough room to capitalize on every missed opportunity from nearby surfers!
Gaining familiarity with an area you’re planning to surf is a must. Developing an understanding of where waves break and do not break takes time, but it rewards you with the knowledge of where to position yourself. When you want to surf a new location, put some effort into researching the break. Most importantly, watch the waves for a good 10-20 minutes to pick out your spot in the lineup before you paddle out. The more you learn about the breaks you are surfing, the easier it becomes to catch more waves.
Don’t feel discouraged on the days that feel like you’ve wasted an hour paddling with nothing to show. It happens to a vast majority of us who surf. All this means is you need to re-evaluate your positioning by checking over the elaborated tips. Become one of the surfers in the lineup, catching every wave you want!