Everyone who has very tried surfing before knows how difficult it is – even if the professionals make it look so easy. It takes many early mornings, hour upon hour of paddling against currents, uncountable wipeouts and simply a lot of blood sweat and sometimes even tears. On top of that, very few of us are actually lucky enough to live close to the sea to good surf to go surfing regularly. That’s what we have to come up with alternatives to improve our surfing without waves.
The board sport is most similar to surfing. Longboarding and skateboarding evolved from surfers wanting to ride waves on land. If your riding a longboard, carving and generally riding around will help improve balance, core strength, leg muscles and also be the closest recreation of moving on a surfboard that you can get without water.
Lots of professional surfers also skateboard these days, practicing manoeuvres such as aerials on ramps before trying them in the surf. Skate parks with bowls, half pipes and quarter pipes are the best place for skateboarding if you want to skate with surfing style, with the shape of the ramp being the most similar to that of a wave.
How does skating improve my surfing?
Skating can be described as surfing on dry land, and it helps you practise surf manoeuvres slowly and consciously. Slow your surfing right down and practise it on dry land with skateboarding. In surfing, all manoeuvres happen super quickly. You spot a wave you want to surf, you get yourself in the right position, you paddle, paddle, paddle, pop up, down the face of the wave, you manage a wobbly bottom turn before the wave closes out and you’re back bobbing on your surfboard waiting for the next set to roll in.
When starting out as a surfer, most beginners simply focus on staying on their surfboards. There’s rarely time to even think about what position your body is – or parts of your body are – in when you catch a wave. This is where skating comes in as it helps you slow your manoeuvres right down and break them into their individual components.
5 ways skating improves your surfing
1. Skating allows you to correct your position on the board in movement on the dry land.
2. Skating helps with your balance on the board.
3. Skating helps to learn the right movements to control your board: slowing down and getting speed, as well as cut backs, turns (and even aerials for some of us)
4. Analysing your skating videos and photos is often much easier than your surfing ones.
5. Skating is an exercise that keeps you fit and more confident in the water.