Catching a wave and the ability to read waves is a key component in becoming a strong surfer. The waves and also the conditions are always going to be different, which is something that can take beginning surfers a long time to get acclimated to. Luckily, you can understand and practice all that is needed to catch a wave in surfing easily.
Sounds good? Let’s begin:
1. Understanding the Anatomy of a Wave
The below wave shows you the different parts of the wave:
A typical mistake made by many surfers is the habit of trying to paddle in on the wave face, aka shoulder. This usually doesn’t work out. The person paddles but the wave rolls out under them because they arent’ close enough to its breaking section. Coincidentally, this also happens to be where plenty of other people are sitting and waiting for waves as well.
2. Find the Peak
You can catch the wave at its peak and then slide down into the pocket to keep riding. Simply put, position yourself on the peak because the closer you are to it, the higher chances you have of catching any wave. At the same time, the closer you are to that peak, the more people you are likely to fight for a wave.
You need to be close to where the wave actually breaks. Most surfers tend to sit 5-10 meters away from this point. It is safer there.
It is worth being more on the inside (closer to the break), which can dramatically increase the number of waves caught in each session.
If you want to practice the above with drills that you can do in your home, click here.