How to Improve Your Surf Balance: The Truth
One of the most challenging aspects of the entire surfing process is to keep your balance. A solid grasp of balance not only lets you gain more confidence in your ability to stay longer on the board, but also allows you to surf with more style, more grace and a higher level of performance.
Given the fact that what this surf balance involves is so much more complex than what we can see, it is no surprise why many people with relatively complete level of balance find it hard to understand what exactly they are doing.
So, in this chapter, we will be covering some basic facts regarding balance and hopefully, how to improve the balance.
But first, let us look at some of the basics regarding balance. How is balance achieved? How does your body sense balance? What does your body go through in order to achieve balance? These are some of the questions that we will be answering in this chapter.
#1. Try skateboarding.
Well, skateboarding is one of the best sports which require you to stand upright on a slippery board and balance it. You must try skateboarding if you wish to improve balancing skills. Moreover, it is an epic recreation and a pretty good workout.
Skateboarders and surfers are different groups of people: skateboarders are younger and more interested in tricks. Surfers are older and prefer the energetic sport.
However, there are similarities: both want to be experiencing the nature while enjoying an exhilarating feeling of freedom.
Whether it is surfing or skateboarding, both activities resemble each other. Skateboarders skate because they want to achieve those same enjoyable and exhilarating feelings. It becomes an addiction just like surfing.
In addition, skateboarding is just like learning to surf. They both need balance, agility, and the ability to avoid obstacles. They are also considered similar in the sense that when you learn to be a great skateboarder, you are well prepared when you step on a board.
#2. Practice yoga.
Yoga has several benefits. It can improve flexibility, balance, strength, correct posture, and overall your health. The yoga video I highly recommend to improve surf balance is Yoga for Surfer's by Deeksha Khanna.
This practice will prepare your body to do the balance poses that are usually difficult for most surfers.
#3. Exercise at home.
If you can’t get to the beach, you can still train your balance by exercising at home. Take a look at the gyms in your school or college. Some facilities create small sized surfboards for students to practice surf balance. You can use a chair and surf paddle to practice your surf balance at home. Practice your balance by sitting on the chair and paddling in front of the chair without falling off.
#4. Invest in the right surfing gear.
It is important to have the right surfboard for your height, weight, skill level, and type of waves you want to ride. Each type of surfboard serves a certain function and can be more comfortable or efficient depending on your riding style.
In comparison to snowboarding, surfing has less of a technical gear component. You don't need to buy special snowboards and boots – all a snowboarder needs is a pair of boots and a snowboard. For surfing, all you need to get started is a surfboard and a pair of surfboard fins.
However, if you are more serious about the sport and want to improve and enjoy it more, investing in the right board can help tremendously. An ideal surfboard for you will depend on the following aspects:
- Your height
- Your weight
- Your skill level
- The type of waves you want to ride
Let's start with the ideal surfboard body. This is the part of the surfboard that you actually stand on. The body of the board also holds the fins and helps determine the stability of the board.
#5. Maintain your position.
A. Balance on one foot.
B. Balance on one foot with the other on top of the knee.
C. Balance on one foot. Slowly lean to one side, maintain your position, and return to center.
D. Balance on one foot. Slowly lean to one side, maintain your position, and return to center. Then lean to the opposite side.
E. Balance on one foot. Slowly lean to one side, maintain your position (gut sucking in), and return to center. Then lean to the opposite side.
F. Balance on one foot. Slowly lean to one side, and attempt to wrap the arm that goes onto the edge around the chest. Don’t fall.
G. Balance on one foot. Slowly lean to one side, and attempt to wrap the arm that goes onto the edge around the chest. Don’t fall. Then lean to the opposite side.
H. Balance on one foot. Slowly lean to one side, and attempt to wrap the arm that goes onto the edge around the chest. Don’t fall. Then lean to the opposite side. Then wrap the arm around the chest and fall.
#6. Choose your board wisely.
It is- without any doubt- very important that you choose a board that properly fits your needs and profiles.
The best way to define what board you need, is to consider the kind of waves you surf, the kind of waves you favor and the kind of professional surfers you like to aspire to.
In order to have a good surfing trip, it is essential to choose a board that possess the following characteristics:
- A board with a mid rocker or aggressive rocker is better when you are surfing in waves that are surfing in big surf. It will give you more speed and power to control your moves.
- Choosing a board that has a little volume and a flat to curved surface in the nose and a flat sine in the tail is better for beginners.
- A board that has a little volume with a slightly curved in the nose and a flat sine in the tail is better for intermediate surfers.
- A board that has a flatter nose with a slight curve is better for advanced surfers.
- A board that has a flatter surface in the nose and a flatter curved surface in the tail is better for professional surfers.
Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
In this chapter, I have used the most asked surf balance questions, I have answered based on my experience as a surfing instructor, and I have shared the information about the best surfing schools in main areas of the USA.
Question 1: What to wear in the water to prevent shoes from floating?
Answer: That will be tricky as we all know what happens when we try to put a wet piece of clothing on our shoes. Try using a waterproof suncream to help avoid this.
Question 2: Is it possible to wear long pants or journey with my lazer?
Answer: Sure it is! But there are some dangers in doing this. The big problem here is the water temperature conditions. You risk getting hypothermia within a few minutes, so it is better to take the dive swimsuit off when you are on shore.
Question 3: How to protect your surf board against the strong wave?
Answer: Not really much to do about this, but the key is to look at it from a distance so that you can see and anticipate the direction of the wave. That way, you will be able to get it to safety before it gets broken.
Question 4: I’d like to start with surfing lessons in Malibu, California. Is it a good idea to ask surf instructors for tips and suggestions before, during and after surfing lessons?
Q: Do I need to be an excellent swimmer to learn how to surf?
A: No, not at all.
If you can swim a lap, you are almost there…just kidding.
But seriously, practice makes perfect, and you will need to build some muscle memory in the water to start. We recommend you start with the swimming basics and gradually make it to more advanced one.
While you’re doing that, you can also work on paddle skills. Paddle skills are simple that every beginner should learn before trying to get into surfing.
Whichever gear you wear in the water will definitely help you surf better, so don’t ignore water gear recommendations. If it is your first time, we advise you wear the full-body wetsuit. It is going to reduce any chance of cold and surprisingly, it is very comfortable.
Q: Am I too old to start learning how to surf?
Surf lessons are designed for people of all ages and experience levels. Whether you’re first learning to surf, looking to upgrade your beginner skills to advance, or are an experienced surfer looking to polish your form, Surf School Finder makes finding the right surf class fast and easy.
Learning how to surf is a physical activity, and it’s important to remember that your mind and your body are interconnected. If you’re not confident in the water, you will learn much slower than someone that is comfortable in the ocean and you are much more likely to give up. However, even if you’re a good swimmer, it takes years to master balance and athleticism required to surf well.
Until you’re ready to take it to the next level and schedule private lessons, you should keep your lessons in a group setting. But if you’re stuck in a classroom with a bunch of people, don’t be afraid to participate in the lesson regardless of your level. We have found that beginners can still learn a lot from each other and from the instructor.
Q: Which surfboard can help in improving my balance?
First, you need to choose the right surfboard for your level and skill in surfing. Before doing that, determine your skill level. Surfboards can be divided into three categories.
These boards are for beginners in surfing. These boards are good for learning how to balance along the water’s surface. Aside from the basics, you should also learn the basic survival and safety techniques of surfing when you’re using a baby board. That’s when you’ll not be using a fin.
Short and Mini Boards
These boards are shorter than a traditional surfboard. They are also lighter than a normal surfboard. These boards have no concave design. Most people use these boards for short boarding. These boards are good in small waves.
These boards are thick compared to a normal surfboard. These boards also have a convex design. The boards are best used for long boarding.
Longboards are better in waves than the other boards. But since that these boards are quite heavy, they also require you to balance stronger during the waves. These boards can be used either by experts or for beginners.
You can choose a longboard to improve your balance.