Filming yourself surfing is the key to progression

Surfing comes with a unique challenge - you can't see what your technique really looks like while you're out there surfing. What you think you’re doing in your head is almost always (in the beginning at least) looks way less cool than you think in real life. The unfortunate reality is it’s like always fixing your hair without a mirror while thinking you look great when in reality you’re accidentally giving yourself a mohawk. This is where filming yourself surfing becomes the game-changer.

When  I interviewed Chapin Kreuter, a seasoned surf coach, he told me that he spent two decades thinking he was a good surfer. It wasn't until he saw footage of himself surfing on a trip to Nicaragua that he realized the truth – his skills needed work. He admitted, "I actually sucked." Yet, he freely admits that moment of self-awareness became the most crucial turning point in his surfing journey.

The toughest part of this process is confronting your ego. It's not easy to watch your own surfing and realize that there's room for improvement. But here's the thing: the earlier you start, the better. Breaking bad habits is hard, and without seeing what you're doing wrong, you'll keep repeating those mistakes.

Filming yourself surfing is not just about fixing your style; it's the secret to progression. Professional surfers have mastered this art. They constantly review their footage, tirelessly refining and enhancing their techniques. It's like a football team analyzing game tapes to strategize and improve.

Now, how can you get this precious footage? Here are some simple methods:

  • Soloshot: Soloshot is a fantastic tool for solo surfers. It's an automatic camera system that tracks your movements and captures your entire surfing session from a distance. You don't need to rely on anyone else – Soloshot does the job for you.
  • Surfline Rewind with Apple Watch: If you're an Apple Watch user, you're in luck. Surfline Rewind lets you sync your Apple Watch with your surf session, providing valuable data and footage. The one requirement is that you have to surf at a spot that has a camera and it can be hard to see yourself, but better than nothing. 
  • Buddy System: Sometimes, all you need is a friend. Ask a buddy to use their iPhone to film a couple of your waves, and in return, do the same for them. It's a win-win situation where you both get to improve your surfing skills.

But what if you can't find someone to film you? Don't worry; there's still a way to benefit from others' perspectives. Ask a friend, preferably one who surfs better than you, to observe your surfing. They can provide valuable insights on what they notice about your technique and offer suggestions for improvement.

In conclusion, filming yourself while surfing might feel uncomfortable at first, but it's a game-changer. It helps you identify your weaknesses, break bad habits, and ultimately progress as a surfer. Whether you use technology like Soloshot or rely on the keen eyes of a friend, embracing this practice is the key to riding those waves with confidence and skill. So grab that camera or ask a friend for feedback – your surfing journey is about to level up.

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