Are you joining your first surf competition and are unsure of what to expect?
Whether you have been surfing for a while or are still relatively new, if you’ve decided to join a competition, there are a few things that you will want to have in mind to prepare yourself.
Before The Competition
Here are some tips to prepare before the day of the competition.
Grab Your Gear, Throw On A Surf Hoodie, And Head To The Beach
Obviously, one thing that you will want to do is surf every day to practice the moves you want to do. Even better, you can put on your favourite surf hoodie and head out to the spot where the surf competition will be held.
By surfing and practicing where the competition is taking place, you’ll get to know the conditions there and it may help you predict the behaviour of the ocean and the waves on the day of the competition.
Surf In A Mock Surf Zone
While practicing, establish a mock surf zone for your practice. During competition, you will likely be surfing in a defined area that is easy to observe and score. Forcing yourself to practice in this limited zone will help you develop the ability to maximize whatever that space gives you to work with.
Work With A Timer
Most contests have heats of 15-25 minutes, though this can vary by the contest and how far you have progressed, with finals typically running longer than earlier heats.
Set a timer on your surf watch, starting with 15 minutes. In most contests, the timer will start as soon as you touch the water, so start the timer before paddling out. Practicing with the timer can help you form an idea of how many waves you should be able to catch in a heat, which will in turn help you decide how aggressively to surf.
On contest day, if your practice has indicated that you should expect to catch 5 waves in a heat, you will know how to pace yourself. If your first few don’t go well, you’ll know approximately how many you have left to improve your scoring.
Know Your Strengths
What are your strengths? What can you focus on to make yourself stand out from the other competitors? Figure out what you do best and practice until you perfect it. This also gives you the opportunity to add a little flourish to differentiate yourself even more.
Have The Right Workout Routine To Get Yourself Ready
You’ll want to be in top form for your competition. Build up your leg strength for powerful turns and include some weight training to maximize your paddle strength. No edge is too small, as it all helps in the end.
Work on your cardio and boost your endurance too. You don’t want to waste time stopping to rest when you should be on the move.
Know The Format Of The Contest
To do your absolute best, you will also need to understand how the competition is being run and, more importantly, how it is going to be scored. Understanding the scoring will give you insight as to how to surf your waves. Some other information to look for includes the number of surfers per heat, the length of each heat, and how many waves you are allowed to catch.
The Day Of The Competition
Even though you have been readying yourself for some time, there are a few things that you can do the day of your competition.
Get An Early Start
Get up early to prepare for your day. While most of your preparation can and should be done the night before, getting up early gives you a chance to take care of any last-minute concerns.
Have A Good Breakfast
Drink a lot of water and enjoy a breakfast that includes fibre and potassium. You’ll need to fuel up for the work ahead.
Check The Waves, Upon Arrival
When you get to the beach, check the waves and wind directions. You can ask a lifeguard for additional information if you need it.
Test The Water
Once you’ve warmed up, paddle around and test the waters so that when the competition starts, you’ll know where to find the best breaks.
Find Out About Your Heat
Check the time of your heat so that you’ll be prepared. Use the time before your heat to observe the other surfers so you can form an idea of what manoeuvres work in different break locations.
This one should be obvious, but don’t let nerves get to you. Just enjoy yourself.
After the competition, you may want to reward yourself or a friend who also competed.