Find Your Sweet Spot
I touched on this last week, in our Tips for Getting Your Very First Barrel, but the point is so crucial that it is worth repeating—and expanding upon—here.
Success in surfing is determined primarily by your ability to find the pocket of the wave and stay there.
Whether the goal is to get covered up, hang-5, or surf all the way down the beach, finding the "sweet spot" of the wave—also known as the pocket—should be your primary focus.
Don't for a moment disregard this advice as being aimed solely at beginners. Intermediate and advanced surfers can be the worst offenders of this law of surfing.
- How often do you see a shortboarder with their eyes fixed down the line on an oncoming ramp section, pumping furiously to generate speed to get there sooner, when they have left the best part of the wave long-behind.
- Or the overly eager longboarder who wants to get to their feet and immediately run to the nose for the glory of the hang-5, having ignored the laws of physics that make noseriding possible.
Look at Neil Messmer above, firmly locked in the pocket with a low center-of-gravity, eyes down the line.
Master the ability to find the pocket, and all of those glorious moments in surfing that you seek will come to you—in time.