Whether due to poor learning or lack of constant practice, there are certain types of misconduct that are very common among surfers, especially those who are just starting out in this sport, and which can represent a significant stagnation in their progression in surfing.
This type of common mistakes, besides affecting in a considerable way their performance, can turn the learning into boredom by not allowing to perform effective maneuvers on the waves, hence the need to correct them as soon as possible in order to advance. Although they are usually made by newcomers, many surfers of different levels have naturalized these mistakes, so it is essential to know them so they can be corrected in time.
Most common mistakes that stall your progress in surfing and what you can do to remedy them.
1. Not preparing the body before surfing
In surfing, as in any sport, physical and mental preparation is essential for a good performance in the sea. Not doing warm-up and stretching activities is usually a typical mistake among newcomers and they tend to keep it up as the years go by. It is about performing simple routines, focused on maintaining physical fitness by working on anaerobic capacity, body balance, physical endurance and mobility, in just a few minutes before entering the water.
Some exercises, like running barefoot on the sand to improve balance and strengthen the muscles of the foot, or routines for intervals of high intensity, are more than recommended to enter the sea in a good physical condition. It is important that those who are starting to surf and have not yet worked on their physique, are properly advised by a coach to establish the limitations of the training, conditioned to pre-existing injuries, heart problems or any other health difficulties.
2. Not correcting technical errors in time
As with most sports, learning to surf must result from an adequate combination of technique and strength. However, it is the technique that will govern our progression in surfing and if it is poorly learned and we do not correct it in time, there comes the stagnation and frustration of not advancing. One of the most frequent technical mistakes among beginners is inefficient paddling, which makes it difficult to catch good waves.
This usually happens because you learn to paddle with your shoulders too low and making excessive lateral movement, destabilizing the board. The result is a lack of speed to catch the wave. On the other hand, standing up with the knee is another technique that is difficult for beginners to learn and that prevents them from progressing in their learning.
Far from what many people think, standing up correctly has more to do with technique than with strength, although both undoubtedly represent an important factor. The inadequate separation of the feet on the board, the bad position of the hip at the moment we are on the wave and the loss of contact with the board when pumping, are three other very common technical errors that, if not corrected in time, can stagnate your progress in surfing.
At the intermediate level, a couple of common mistakes among surfers is not flexing the body enough to adapt the body to the maneuver or turning the head when making a turn. Leaving rigidity aside is essential for good performance, especially when the difficulty of the maneuver you want to perform is greater.
3. Failure to properly measure risk
Another of the most common mistakes surfers make is not measuring the level of risk at the time of entering the sea. It is usual that, when we receive the first instructions on how to surf, we start looking for the best wave that makes us feel all the adrenaline possible. It is necessary that the decisions taken in the sea are subject to our own level of learning, without taking more risk than necessary.
Thus, when deciding the spot, the convenience of entering the sea according to the time and type and size of the wave to be surfed, we must be consistent with our own level of surfing. Being aware of our own limitations is a fundamental aspect to safeguard our physical integrity; that way, we will be able to enjoy this sport to the maximum, with the maximum control over the risks.
4. Not choosing the right board
One of the first actions that those who are just starting out in surfing do is to buy their first board, even if they have barely learned the basics of the sport. In principle, this should not represent any mistake. However, the thing is that the choice is usually wrong, opting for the latest generation of shortboard, fish or longboard, based only on the visual aspect and trying to emulate the professional surfers.
This, without a doubt, represents a big mistake for the newcomer. Even though it is possible to surf on this type of boards, it is necessary to choose the most suitable one according to the level you are at. Thus, for example, the shortboard, despite being one of the most common and used, requires a good technical level and a good physical condition on the part of the surfer; it would be a great mistake to start surfing with one of these boards.
In the same way, the longboard, modern replicas of the first surfboards, are not very recommended for beginners who want to learn how to surf since they require a certain technique when turning. These boards allow you to ride almost any type of wave and are a lot of fun, but are recommended for those passing through at an intermediate level.
5. Not respecting the established rules of conduct
It is usual that beginners, eager to start riding the waves, do not take into account the basic rules of conduct that govern surfing. Through this kind of surfing code, it is possible to harmonize the practice of this sport among all surfers anywhere in the world.
Respecting the preference and waiting for the turn to catch the wave, always observing what is happening around, establishing an active communication with the other surfers that are in the water, keeping calm and not causing discomfort to the other surfers, are only some of the precepts of this kind of pact that allows establishing a climate of respect among all the surfing community.
Correct errors in surfing to be able to move forward
These are some of the most common mistakes made by surfers of all levels that prevent them from progressing in learning this exciting sport. The constant training, the visualization and analysis of videos and images of yourself surfing and the advice of a specialized monitor, represent the right formula to get out of the stagnation.
If you have been able to identify some of these errors in your routine, you should know that all of us have had them at some point, especially during the beginning; therefore, we encourage you to correct them as soon as possible, so that you can visualize the changes and make progress in your surf training.