Intermediate Surf Tips from Our North Shore Surf School
If you’re an intermediate surfer who has mastered the basics of popping up, riding cleanly down the line, and understands lineup dynamics, then it’s time to take your surfing to the next level with an Advanced Surf Lesson. During an Advanced Surf Lesson at Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience, our professional surf instructors act as surf coaches and surf guides to help you better navigate the powerful surf on the North Shore. Our professional surf guides will ensure you’re surfing the best waves for your skill level while helping you progress towards your surfing goals. Our Advanced Surf Lessons are perfect for surfers who have mastered the basics or intermediate and advanced surfers visiting Hawaii for the first time. So, whether you’re working on a cutback, generating speed, or just want to feel more comfortable in the water, continue reading below for Intermediate Surf Tips from Our North Shore Surf School.
Make sure you’re on the right board
While it may be tempting to ditch your longboard as soon as you feel confident catching waves on your own and riding down the line, longboarding is vital to learning to surf. New surfers should continue to ride longboards well into their intermediate learning phase. After you master popping up and riding down the line, work on generating speed and even turning on a longboard. If you can turn a longboard effectively, you will have no problem maneuvering on a shorter board. Once you feel confident on a longboard, downsize to a mid-length, then a fish or groveler, before trying out a proper high-performance shortboard. Our North Shore surf school surf coaches will be sure you’re on the right board for your skill level.
Look down the line
As we mentioned in our Beginner Surf Tips post, in surfing, your board follows your gaze. So, if you’re trying to ride backside or want to maintain a higher line, turn your head to look down the line as you pop up, and your shoulders, hips, and board will follow.
Generate speed with your whole body
Pumping and generating speed can be difficult for new surfers who are just transitioning to smaller boards. Many new surfers try to pump by shifting their weight on and off their front foot, which can help get you through slow sections of the wave but is ineffective for generating a lot of speed to set up a turn. Instead, surfers should generate speed with their whole bodies. As you round out your bottom turn, extend your body towards the wave’s face and throw your arms upwards. This movement will help you rise up the wave’s face. As you feel yourself move upwards, start to compress by bending your knees and point your board diagonally down the wave to gain speed as you descend.
There’s more to surfing than just the act of wave riding. There’s a whole system of unwritten rules that keep surfers safe and out of each other’s way while in the water. Part of that rule system dictates who takes off on what wave. While it can differ from place to place depending on who has surfed there the longest, for the most part, priority will be the same anywhere you surf. When paddling for a wave, the surfer on the inside (meaning closest to the peak) has priority. So, if you’re paddling next to a surfer who is closer to the peak, yield to them and let them have the wave. During our Advanced Surf Lessons at our North Shore surf school, our surf coaches will make sure you understand priority before paddling out to the lineup.
Lead your turns
In surfing, when you turn, you need to utilize your whole body, just like when you generate speed. A turn begins with the front hand. Lead your turn by beginning to rotate your front hand in the direction you aim to turn, then follow through with your shoulders, head, and hips. Our surf coaches at our North Shore surf school will help you work on your turns or any other skill you want to master during your Advanced Surf Lesson.
Don’t take yourself too seriously
Progressing in surfing can be overwhelmingly technical and often frustrating. At Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience, we like to remind our students that surfing should be fun, regardless of their skill level. Whether you’re learning to surf or have been surfing for years, our North Shore surf coaches will make sure you have a great time in the water. Book your Advanced surf lessons and surf guiding here!