Train robbers ride horses because they know that the train isn't slowing down for them.
We have all seen the classic Western movie scene where the train robbers are galloping on horses alongside a moving train, waiting for the opportunity to jump aboard. It's hard work, but if the goal is to catch the speeding train, that's the only way to do it.
They have to match the speed of the train they wish to catch, otherwise they'll end up getting tossed and tumbled—and fail in their pursuit.
Catching a wave in the ocean is no different. The wave isn't slowing down for you, so it's up to you to match the speed of the wave you wish to catch. We talk regularly about the importance of catching earlier. Equipment is one way to help ensure the best odds of regular success, but the other factor is FREE—dig deeper and paddle faster.
The same way those horses are working hard to keep up with the train, you'll be amazed at how much your surfing will improve if you really make it a point to paddle powerfully and efficiently into waves. Learn how to match the speed of the wave you wish to catch.
If you want to start surfing a smaller board, the difference between success and getting tossed and tumbled over the falls will lie heavily on your ability to make that smaller surfboard paddle fast.
Tomorrow is International Surfing Day, and my charge to you is to start catching waves one or two strokes earlier than you are currently. Whether its effort or form, figure out what it will take to shave off those final 1-2 strokes, and get to your feet just a bit earlier.