If you feel your surfing needs a lot of work but don’t know where to start, here are 12 practical surfing tips from Kolohe Andino that will help you improve your surfing.
1. Don’t eat before surfing.
While some surfers can eat breakfast burritos before competing in a heat, it can be counterproductive for many surfers to be rolling on whatever they just ate when paddling. It often bogs a surfer down and can be unpleasant in some cases. This tip does not apply to all, but for many, this might ring true.
2. Establish your warm-up routine.
It is best to feel warm and loose when you hit the water. Find a way to stretch whether you use rubber bands or fitness balls. When you’re all loosened up, you can be fluid when you surf.
3. Rehydrate and eat up after surfing.
After a surfing session, be sure to drink lots of water and eat a big meal to refill the energy and electrolytes you’ve lost while shredding. If you have no idea on what a surfer’s diet looks like, refer to this guide on what to eat when surfing.
4. No Wax? Sand will do!
You can nicely ask someone for some wax when you forget to bring yours. But if there’s no one to loan you some, sand will be a good alternative. Go to the water’s end and rub as much sand and goop on your feet and on the old layer of wax on your board until you feel comfortable surfing on it.
5. Use the dryer to fix your soggy wetsuit.
Throw your suit in the dryer for 30 minutes before every session. It will feel brand new and ready to go after.
6. Don’t think too much.
A wave is best approached by surfing it laterally and going where it will generate the most speed. Overthinking what you want to do on a wave never gets the results you want. Surf the wave from one section to another. Surf with the wave rather than trying to force it.
Kolohe in a surfing session:
7. Always align your head with the direction you want to go.
What you must focus on is looking at the direction you want to go. Your head must be kept in line with the turn you want to draw. When you’re doing a round house and feel that the wave is speeding in front of you, focus on the white wash you are going to rebound off before you head back down the line.
8. Wait for your turn.
It’s a rule of thumb regardless of where you are surfing in – wait for your turn for a good one and go. It is smart to do this especially when localism is prevalent in the surf spot you are trying to catch a wave in. Always apply the basic surf etiquette.
9. Don’t paddle out an unfamiliar surf spot in big groups.
This is especially important when you’re in a localized area. It’s best to paddle in groups of two, and don’t drop in on the locals or act like a kook.
10. Keep your hands in front of you when in the tube.
It helps to keep your hands in front of your body when you’re going frontside. It gives you better chance of coming out of the barrel.
Kolohe Andino in a barrel:
11. Stay low during aerial maneuvers.
The best way to keep your body over your board when doing airs is to stay low. This keeps you more centered and closer to the board.
Kolohe Andino Alley Oop:
12. Learn how to double-loop your leash string.
You don’t need a separate leash string for every surfboard you use. Do the classic leash string knot but tie it before putting it into the plug. Once it’s tied, slip the looped side into the plug and half it so that there is one loop on each side. Feed the leash through the two loops. When you velcro the leash, it’s held together in place.
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