At Safari Surf School, we teach hundreds of new surfers every year. For many guests, surfing becomes, not just a lifelong hobby, but a passion. We have guests return year after year to further improve their surfing. Playa Guiones isn’t just the ultimate beginner wave, it’s a great wave for progression, where intermediate surfers can learn to generate speed, carve, and turn. If you’ve learned to pop up, bottom turn, and ride cleanly down the wave, it’s time to take your surfing to the next level. Our team at Safari Surf School has put together a list of surf tips to help you achieve your goals in the water. Whether you’re gearing up for a surf trip, prepping for winter swell season at home, or just looking to improve your overall surfing, continue reading below for How to Take Your Surfing to the Next Level with These Intermediate Surf Tips.
Intermediate Surf Tip #1 Surf the Right Board for Your Skill Level
One of the worst things a surfer can do for their progression is to ride the wrong board. Our number one surf tip is for surfers to spend ample time learning before changing boards. While it may be tempting to jump on the latest shortboard model once you have mastered the basics. You still have a long way to go. Shortboards lack the float and stability that new surfers need. We teach our new surfers on beginner-friendly soft top surfboards. Eventually, those students progress to traditional longboards that allow them to trim, turn, and carve. If students have a desire to downsize further, they then progress to a mid-length, which has plenty of stability and float with increased maneuverability. Once a new surfer has learned to generate speed, carve, and turn on a longer board, they’re ready to move to a high-volume shortboard.
Look Down the Line
Intermediate surfers who struggle to ride on the upper portion of the wave’s face can do so by looking down the line. This surf tip will help surfers who struggle to make fast-breaking waves. When you’re surfing, your head and shoulders essentially act as a steering wheel. Where you look while riding dictates where you go. So, as you get to your feet during your pop-up, turn your head and shoulders and look down the line. Where your head and shoulders face, your hips will follow, and you’ll be riding cleanly down the line.
Surf With Your Whole Body
As you progress as a surfer and begin to ride shorter boards, you’ll need to learn to generate speed. Surfers generate speed by climbing up and down the wave’s face, finding pockets of speed in the wave’s steeper sections. The most effective way to pump for speed is to utilize your entire body. As you drop into a wave and come off your bottom turn, throw your weight towards the wave’s face by extending your body and arms up towards the wave. This shift in positioning and weight will pull you up the wave face. As you rise up the face, compress by bending your knees to lower your center of gravity and descend the wave face with ample speed.
Lead Your Turns
Just like when generating speed, turning requires our whole bodies. Doing a proper cutback requires several steps. Step 1: compress and shift your weight towards your back foot. Step 2: Start your turn by leading the turn with your hands. Move your leading arm in the direction you want to turn by rotation at the hips and shoulders. Step 3: Follow your lead arm with your gaze, turning your head as you rotate. Step 3: Engage your outside rail as your board rotates through the turn. Step 4: rebound off the white water and continue surfing in the packet.
Surf on the Top Two-Thirds of the Wave
The top two-thirds of the wave contains 90% of the wave’s speed and power. As an intermediate surfer, you want to increase your time riding on the top two-thirds of the wave. When you surf on the lowest third of the wave, you can’t generate speed or climb the wave face, and the wave will often outrun you. Surfing on the top two-thirds of the wave allows you to use the wave’s power and steepness to generate speed and set up maneuvers.
Whether you’re new to surfing or an intermediate surfer who wants to continue improving, our surf coaches in Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador have what it takes to help you accomplish your surfing goals. Nothing is better for your surfing than an immersive surf trip to a world-class wave. Head to our website to book your trip today!