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How to go from 2 waves per hour to 5+ waves per hour
I will show you the exact TECHNIQUES and DRILLS you can use to quickly improve your surfing and:

- Ride waves for 15 seconds, or longer
- Avoid nosedives (it is counter intuitive, but very easy)
- Stop falling in the water after you pop up
- Be more confident on the board
No spam - we hate spam as much as you do.

Actionable advice that you can use at home to make your next surfing session more enjoyable.

Latest from the blog - Catch more waves series
How to fix nosedive while surfing, aka Superman vs Chicken Wing

Why your fear of falling forward prevents you from standing up more on the surfboard and what to do about it - Posted Nov 13,2016 by Gershon

This short article is about correcting one of the common mistakes of beginner surfers, the nosedive. 

Don’t be the average beginner

Most beginner surfers, who already stood up on a board a couple of times start to know what to do in theory, or at least they think they do. Paddle, pop up, surf to the shore. Sounds so easy.  But when the wave comes, their board nosedives while they are trying to stand up. They get washed out and they paddle back. Then they repeat this many more times until they give up exhausted. They may catch a lucky break here or there, but they are not consistently getting up and staying up on the board. There is a simple and counterintuitive reason why these nosedives happen so often.

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Looks familiar? Don't worry, we all started like this.

The classic nosedive situation

Quick analysis: Why you are a nosediving “Superman”

Here is what is happening when you are trying to get up on a wave: 

  1. Riding a wave requires that your board must first slide down the face of the wave. This means you will be sliding down a steep wave, head first. 
  2. You will instinctively place your hands near your face on the surfboard to protect getting punched when you wipeout. 
  3. The surfboard (which is now sliding down the wave) will already be about an arm’s length away from your face. 
  4. Thus, your arms would already be fully extended, giving you zero leverage to push yourself up. This is what we call the “Superman posture”

Fight your natural instinct and stand up more with “chicken wings”

So what you need to fight is your natural instinct of protecting your face. To do this, you need to position your hand by your lower ribs

That's it. By simply lowering the position of your hands away from your face or chest during your pop-up, it will physically make it possible and easier for you to stand up on your surfboard. They also call this the “chicken wings posture”. If you place your hands right by your lower ribs on your surfboard, your arms would be at right angles, allowing you to push yourself up to a lunge position, and create room for your leg to slide under your body.

Superman vs Chicken Wing

To drill this in, you can do this simple exercise at home:

1, Lie down in a push-up position on the floor

Use a broom, or masking tape to make a straight line that helps you position your hands.
Exaggerate the movement of placing your hands right below your lower ribs. 
Stuck your elbows up in the air (like chicken wings). 

2, Push yourself up to a cobra position 

Extend your arms so you are in the cobra position. Notice how much easier it is to do this, as your hands are below your shoulders and not in front (this is the only circumstance when you should be happy that you are not Superman anymore! :)

3, Pop up

As you push up yourself, slide your leading leg underneath you into a pop-up position. (we will deal with the right pop up position in a later post)

If you do this 15-30 consecutive days before your next surf trip, you can commit this to your muscle memory. This way it will be pretty automatic next time you will try to get up on your surfboard.

So, overcome your automatic fear of falling by putting your hands by your lower ribs. You should be riding double the amount of waves in no time.

Using this simple drill, my students usually more than double the number of waves caught per hour from 2 to up to 5 waves per hour. Once you fix this, you will ride more waves and have more fun surfing. And that is what matters.

Because fun in surfing = catching the most waves during your session.

Enjoy and let me know if this was helpful. You can send me comments here.

About Boost Your Surf

Hey, what's up? My name is Gershon Borlai, and I am the founder of Boost Your Surf. If you ever asked yourself:

  • "How can I spend more time on the board and less time in the water?"
  • "How can I catch more green waves?"
  • "How can I get fit for my next surf trip in 30/60 days?"
  • "How can I improve my technique to catch 10+ waves per hour?"
  • "What should I eat to become a better surfer?"

Then you probably care enough about your surfing to benefit from what we do here at boostyoursurf.com. 

Here is the deal: my goal is that you have the most fun out there. 

Because fun in surfing = catching the most waves during your session.

It is really that simple. That is how you make progress, not by sitting pretty in the water with the others. It is about standing up on your board and staying on it for longer than a few seconds. The sense of achievement . The ability to catch any wave. It is about riding out on waves after waves with a huge grin on your face. This is what we are working for.

Catch more waves

Want to really improve your surfing?

Instead of you just reading article after article about surfing and never doing anything, sign up on the left and I will help you make PROGRESS:

  • You will learn how to catch more waves and stay on them longer. We will go step by step, keep it simple and get you more confident on the waves.
  • I will show you exactly what WORKS and help you to TRACK IT. Everything what I show you is simply and easy to implement. Because it is one thing to read and talk about it, and a completely other thing to put in the time and do it right.
  • I will keep motivating you, so next time you are paddling out, you will be more prepared both mentally and physically to ride more waves than last time. Because that is how you will enjoy yourself more and develop your surfing skills.. .. 

...so subscribe to Boost Your Surf and you'll get PROVEN techniques and drills from pro surfers, certified fitness instructors and of course me, Gershon Borlai.

About Gershon 

Gershon Borlai is a certified fitness coach and lead surf instructor at boostyoursurf.com. After playing professional water polo and earning his university degree in Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Gershon traveled around the world and learnt surfing in the Dominican Republic. He fell in love with the sport for the rest of his life.

Gershon's professional background in health prevention, sport science and fitness & wellness helps him to understand the human body in a totally different way (among others, he is an IIFA Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage and Manual Therapist). 

Apart from helping you to become the best possible surfer you can be, Gershon's primary intention is to help you become more injury resistant in surfing, sport and life. There is no point to destroy your body with your favourite hobby. While you strengthen your fundamentals in surfing, you can also improve your performance and athleticism. And above all not get hurt while surfing and be able to get back into the water for more epic surf sessions.

Gershon at his recent surf trip to Portugal (Oct 2016)

Testimonials

Hey Gershon, just checking in after the first day of the trip. The popup drills made a HUGE difference, I can actually pop up, not just climb up on the board. I come to my senses much quicker on the wave, keep my hands up and feel more in control. The drill we did the last time helps to control the board and also speed up. Thanks again! :)

- Lucia, 24 years old

Whoaa, I never thought I could paddle this much. Those drills really helped! Finally I can get behind the break quicker and I am actually spending more time on the board and less sitting in the water trying to regain my strength.. thanks for pushing me!

- Gabe, 32 years old

My daughter signed me up for this book before a surf trip to Costa Rica. I had never surfed before and am not a "spring chicken". After doing the exercises that Gershon recommended, I was more fit than I've ever been and at age 50 learned to surf. I can't say enough good things about this course

- Ricky, 50 years old

Copyright Boost Your Surf LLC, 2016

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