Going into my next series of surfing I had 10 days of surfing under my belt in the previous 2 years.
How were the conditions in Gran Canaria?
- The first 2 days were small and good to get started again.
- Day 3 to 5 were really windy with very unpredictable waves, so I could sometimes only practice in the white water.
My learning log
Day 1: La Cicer
- Look straight, not on your feed.
- Have your torso over your legs – don’t lean forward.
- Always paddle 2 strokes more than you think you should.
- Put more weight on the front food (you tend to lean back).
- For turns:
- 1. Look into the direction that you want to turn to
- 2. Arms follow
- 3. Torso follows
Day 2: La Cicer
- Get up early when the wave is steep (2/3s) to get momentum.
- Take more recovery time between waves. Especially after the first 20min in the water, as you are getting tired.
- You have to paddle with power! My strokes are too shallow.
Day 3: La Cicer
- Keep a low stance. This will give you more balance (especially in white water). Currently, you have a tendency to get up and stand very straight.
- If you correct your weight balance as you are on the wave – do it with your back foot.
Day 4: La Laja
- Keep the legs more together. You are not spiderman.
- Don’t stand too much upfront at the board. Especially with your front foot.
Day 5: Beach unknwon
- Paddle with deep strokes. Your elbows must be totally in the water.
- Paddle more. Always 2 strokes more than you think.
- Angle the back leg to get low stance.
- Don’t turn the body too much upfront. Always turn it where you are going.
- Dont lift back leg in stance when you go down. The back leg is what you gives you a solid stance on the board. You can tilt it a bit to get lower with the knee.
- Keep arms relaxed.
Condition is everything to advance your surf skills as well as to not get frustrated.
- My biggest bottleneck is that I don’t have the stamina to paddle. For the next trip, I definitely have to train the paddling via exercises and swimming beforehand.
- When I get tired a chain reaction kicks off: My paddling suffers, my form suffers and ultimately I get frustrated. In those cases, get out the water and take a break for 5min.
- Advice from the surf teacher on the mindset: When I surf, usually only the first 30min arew great as I also get tired. This is a good mindset to have when generally approach the sessions.
Plan in at least 9-10 days for a proper surf trip to advance your skills
- It takes roughly 2 days to get into the rhythm again. This means getting roughly to your previous shape, plus building basic paddling condition.
- You cant control the weather, so having 5 days is not enough. The best case is to go for 2 weeks, so you have enough leeway and can do recovery days + sit out a bad day.
- Try to go early in the morning and in the evening again with rather shorter sessions, so you can get in more sessions and thus more muscle memory.
- A few green waves caught by myself with going front side or backside.
- Learning to read a forecast 😉