Surfing is so goddamn difficult. Damnit!
It’s not like skateboarding where the conditions are always the same, where you can practice the same tricks over and over again until you get it. In surfing, the conditions are never the same. And this is one of the factors that makes it so challenging and time-consuming to learn.
Granted, there are days when everything just clicks and you find yourself riding some of the best waves of your life. Meanwhile, the very next day you’re in complete shock. You have no idea why you can’t even get to your feet all of the sudden, kooking it the whole time, and wondering if you completely forgot to surf overnight.
If you aren’t lucky enough to surf every day and keep that consistency up, you’ll need to find some way to keep improving your skills.
This is where skateboards should become your new best friend. Why’s that? Well, skating shares many of the fundamental elements of surfing, allowing you to practice over and over, regardless what the surf conditions are doing.
Here are 11 reasons why skateboarding can be so beneficial to your surfing:
There aren’t too many sports where you can practice flow.Skateboarding happens to be one where you can. Flow is something that’s initiated in the body, performed by gentle movements between your upper and low body, generating speed and forward momentum.
Practicing this on a skateboard is an easy way to learn the mechanics of surfing while having complete control of your surroundings. With repetition, you’ll understand the effects of moving your body in relation to the way your board responds. Practicing this will teach you the principles for generating your own speed when you get back in the water.
Skating allows to try out and experiment with new carves, helps you visualize new lines, and mimics some movements simiar to surfing. The major bonus to all of this is that unlike with surfing, you can practice all these things whenever and as often as you like. On a skateboard, you aren’t dependent on the wind, the tides, or fickle swells.
Everything in surfing happens very fast. Most often, your ride is over in the blink of an eye.
As a beginner all your focus and attention is given to simply staying on your board. You rarely spend any time on style in the early stages of learning to ride waves. And let’s face it, everything just looks so much better with a bit of style. A bend of the knees, a flick of the hair; skating is something you can use to fine tune your style and get rid of that poo man style once and for all.
4. Functional Fitness
Skateboarding uses very similar lower body muscle groups to surfing. Strengthening and building endurance in these muscles will improve your surf fitness drastically. I am a firm believer that fitness should be fun, and what better way to get an all-around workout than skateboarding?
Timing is everything in surfing. There are so many variables you have to deal with in surfing that your timing and decision making has to be on point. Skating regularly will keep your timing honed in even when the surf is flat.
Both skating and surfing require focus. Without focus, you’re going to eat it quite often. There won’t be too many comparisons to surfing when it comes to your reaction time but skating comes pretty close. Skating the bowl requires a very similar focus to surfing. Make one wrong move and there’s going to be some serious pain.
Skating is all about commitment. If you go into any trick half-heartedly you’ll fall and find yourself in a world of pain. This translates perfectly to surfing. Approaching a late drop, hitting a steep section, or doing a big floater all require commitment.
Hold back at your peril.
The key to consistency is repetition, repetition, repetition.
Apparently, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master at anything. Unless you have an open invite to Kelly’s wave pool then skating is going to be your next best option to getting those reps. You can replicate and repeat the same movements time and time again, making them second nature.
Surfing requires a unique type of balance that’s hard to replicate out of the water. Skating just happens to be pretty damn close. By skating regularly you’ll notice a significant improvement in your balance once you’re back in the water.
If it’s not fun, what’s the point?
Skating is so much fun and opens you up to a whole other crew of likeminded frothers. So stop procrastinating. Get yourself a skateboard and go tear it up. You’ll be thanking me next time you hit the water. Yew!
Note:Before you head to the skatepark, download the skateboarding challenge worksheet here. And you can find more surfing tips and tricks for beginners and intermediates here.