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Not only is this fun, but it could improve your surfing. Photo: Dan

Not only is this fun, but it could improve your surfing. Photo: Dan LeMaitre.

The Inertia

Growing up, I was obsessed with skateboarding. A large chunk of my childhood memories involve  cruising around on boards, landing  new tricks, and hanging out with mates at skateparks.

I was then introduced to surfing and became instantly addicted. It provided many of the things I loved about skateboarding and was also done at the beach, which is my favorite place to be. For a while, the addiction was so strong I neglected skating. It wasn’t until I moved into a place with concrete floors that I remembered my old love. We made a ramp, had a rail and a box, and we skated. I was, needless to say, super rusty. But over a few weeks of solid skating it (mostly) came back, as did the courage.

The next time I paddled out, I surfed better than I ever had, despite spending a good chunk of time out of the water. When you’re living in the city, 45 minutes from the beach, this can easily (and sadly) happen. But what I realized was just how much skateboarding can help your surfing.

Here are a few reasons:


Surfing can be scary, but skateboarding is more frequently terrifying. Just rolling around on concrete presents an element of risk not often found in surfing, so when you start trying tricks on a skateboard, you are constantly dealing with your own fear. Getting used to dealing with this makes you far more willing to go for tricks in surfing. You may well find yourself going for that floater on a heavy closeout section or going for an air when you may have just previously just pulled off the back of the wave.


Skateboarding has the benefit of easy access to repetition. If you want to practice a trick in surfing, you are at the mercy of the wave. You need the wave to offer you that section to try what you want to try. With skateboarding, the elements stay the same, meaning you can try a trick over and over again without hassle. You also don’t have to paddle around hunting for waves amongst others, all competing with you to get the next “good one.” In skateboarding, you can practice similar tricks to surfing over and over again – so by the time you find yourself on that perfect section, you’ll be far better equipped to pull off that air/carve/floater.


Skateboarding and surfing are almost identical in stance, so they are very similar in the type of balance that is required. If you can’t frequently get in the water, riding a skateboard is the perfect way to keep your balance intact for the next surf.

The pros are doing it

While none of us surf like pros, most of us would like to. When thinking about how to surf better, it is useful to replicate what they do. They’re the pros, after all. Take John John Florence and Julian Wilson, for example. Both known to be great on a skateboard, and this can be seen in their surfing. The two biggest airs ever in competition were completed last year by these two. That no fear approach to landing  these types of tricks has got to be helped by the commitment, repetition, and balance skateboarding offers.

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