Maximizing Your Surfing Progression on Your Next Surf Trip

Got a surf trip coming up? And want to maximize your surfing progression? Then it’s time to get prepared!

Before I go to any new surf destination, I like to research as much about the break as possible. Watching videos and consuming content about the destination helps me to paint a clear picture of what to expect and how to best approach the wave.

To do this, I like to start by gathering as much information about the wave as possible. For example:

  • Is it a reef or beach break?
  • A left or right or A-frame?
  • What are the optimal conditions for the break?
  • The best tide, wind, and swell direction?
  • Where are the ideal take-off points?
  • Is it a steep or mellow take-off?
  • Is it a slow or fast wave?
  • What are the different sections of the wave?
  • What maneuvers are other people trying on each section of the wave? 

What this does is set me up with a solid base understanding of how the wave works and how I should surf the wave. 

Why is this important?

Many surfers rock up to a new surf spot, unfamiliar with how the wave works and then spend the good part of 2 to 3 hours in the water trying to figure it out instead of doing what they came to the destination to do: progress their surfing. 

By having this knowledge before you even get to the spot, you’ll know exactly how the wave works, what to do on each section of the wave and know what maneuvers you’ll be able to progress ahead of the session.

For example, let’s say that I am going to a wave that is a fast, hollow wave with the best section of the wave further down the line up. Therefore, I know that I shouldn’t slow down too much at the start of the wave and to try to get barreled there as I’m not going to have the speed to make the best barrel section of the wave further down. BUT I wouldn't have known this if I hadn't studied the wave already. 

To add to this, having the knowledge also allows you to come prepared so that you can work on things that you might not be able to do back home. For example, home in New York, I don’t have access to many long point breaks. So I don’t get the chance to practice drawing out my turns and flowing between sections on a wave. However, I know that in certain locations that I may travel to, there are plenty of long point breaks. So when I head to these particular spots, I know that I can really focus on drawing out my turns. Something that I can’t do back home on fast, 1-2 section beach breaks. 

Every surf trip is a golden opportunity to fast track your progression. Know the wave before you get there, be prepared, and make the most out of your next surf trip!


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