Discover the 4 phases of learning to surf in which you will be involved during your learning.
It has already been said and I will say it again. Repetition is the mother of the development of a skill like surfing.
These last 10 years I have been lucky enough to be able to surf every day. While my skin has gotten a few shades darker and more wrinkled thanks to dangerous UV radiation, my ability to surf has increased exponentially every day. If you do something daily, you will inevitably get better and surfing is of course no exception.
There will come a point where you won't even have to think about how to do it. Think about the things you do on a daily basis, assuming you're not 16, chances are high that you drive almost daily. Almost everything you do in a car happens on a subconscious level, which is why you no longer need to think about it to make that incredibly complex series of coordinated movements from the moment you get in to the moment you arrive at your destination. The most important thing at this stage is, of course, systematic and constant practice, as well as adequate equipment for your needs.
We know from statistics that Around 70% of surfers do not use the right board for their level of surfing. It's not the same to practice on a 5.11 board, thin as a missile as our Double Agent fun board of 7 feet, who looks for waves practically alone. The former will practice, but the results he will have will be only a fraction of what he could get if he used the right equipment. Nobody learns to drive in a Formula 1 car.
Many of you may have read the book of Malcolm Gladwell, which defines the 10.000 hour rule. If you haven't, here's a summary:
Anyone who has achieved outstanding levels in some activity (examples in his book are: Bill Gates, The Beatles, professional athletes among others), have had 10.000 hours of practice under his belt. Which means on average the non-negligible sum of 20 hours a week of practice for at least 10 years.
Progress is a great argument to say that natural talent may not exist and that with the right amount of practice anyone can be at that level of excellence. Be careful, when I say progress, I am not only referring to your athletic ability but also to your ability and ability to read and understand the flow of the sea when surfing.
I'll just say this as an example: I personally have no natural athletic ability, but at the age of 12 I was awarded “Most Improved Player in the High School Basketball League”. In other words, he was the worst player in the entire city. When I tried to play soccer something very similar happened, and so on and on. Although it would probably be better for my self-esteem to just say that I very recently passed the 10.000 hour surf barrier, and that I consider myself a competent surfer, I would shamelessly add that when I first started, it took me over 10 sessions just to get up on the foam.
As I have said many times, the hardest part of surfing is getting up consistently on your board. If you have already done so, congratulations, you are on the right track. If not, persist in your goal, the brute insistence and overcoming the falls play a very important role in the progress of your surfing. Of course it also helps that you love the ocean and the way it makes you feel after a session. I think it is important to stress that there is always a natural progression as we practice any new skill. ALWAYS, even if you don't see itso don't be discouraged.
The next phase in developing a skill or goal is to get to that point where you reach a high point or a peak in your performance. Technically speaking it is reaching the maximum level of your current skill. They are specifically those moments when you are in the water with your chest inflated, saying with your posture "look at me" that this is how you surf, you feel very good with your surf whatever your level, and you are really proud that you have progressed after much and suffered practice.
What you have surely already noticed is that, regardless of the skill you are developing, you will have a series of peaks or very high points along the way. In each of those peaks you find one or two knowledge or "insights" that will cause an exponential increase in your abilities. The position of your hips, bending your knees, looking where you want to go are examples of these newly acquired knowledge. I tell you, they are VERY VALUABLE, and no matter how many times someone explains them to you, you will only learn them by having acquired them on your own through practice and progress.
The important thing, and what I personally have always done, is to write them in a diary to remember them periodically, I personally wrote them in the bathroom mirror, to read and remember them every day, especially in the stage that follows.
4. PLATEAUS OR VALLEYS.
The Plateaus are interesting and frustrating at the same time. We often find ourselves wanting to give it all up because we just aren't making any progress. The main difference between those who achieve their goal and those who don't, is persistence precisely in these moments when you want to give up the most and leave everything. Sometimes you come out of the water frustrated, angry, embarrassed, and sometimes even beaten. Sound familiar? The Plateaus are the lowest points in your performance as a surfer.
The strangest thing about a plateau is that apparently it is a period where you are not making any progress, but what is actually happening is that you are honing the skills that you have learned during the previous peak stages. It can be seen that you are immobile in your situation and that days and weeks go by without leaving there; but believe me, you are slowly moving towards perfecting your moves and crowning them with a great new peak.
Read your diary with the knowledge you acquired during the peak stage, if necessary write them down somewhere in your table, practice, in and above all out of the water, do not worry or pressure yourself. ENJOY every minute that you are in the line-up, that alone and without realizing it, all that knot will untie and your surf will slowly begin to flow again.
By nature, the human being is impatient, we want everything, and fast. We want success sooner rather than later, we want it today. What you have to know is that the success achieved through a few moments of gratification is nothing more than a house of cards, unstable and immaterial. That's why enjoy every moment of frustration, getting wet with cold and wanting to leave everything, that without realizing you are on the way to achieve the long-awaited dream of surfing with skill, speed and fluidity.
I would like to know about your own experiences, phases and times. Write us to share if these phases of learning to surf coincide with your experience and make this guide a collection of all our memories.
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