Rate Yourself

This quiz has been designed to give you feedback on your surfing performance.

Answer the questions honestly, either 'yes' or 'no', for an accurate insight into your performance strengths and weaknesses. If your answer is more like 'sometimes', then select 'no' because we will make recommendations on how you can improve your performance in that area.

Comments for each of your answers are displayed as you progress through the quiz. Once you have answered all questions, click Submit to get your score.

By answering yes you obviously know where to sit, when to begin paddling for a wave, and are committed at the takeoff. Just remember that if you do paddle for, and miss a wave, invariably the wave behind will break on your head, making your surf less enjoyable.

There's nothing more frustrating than paddling for and missing those waves paddled for. This problem indicates either you:

  1. are not recognising which waves you are able to physically catch.
  2. are misjudging when to begin paddling for the wave
  3. are attempting to stand before you have actually caught the wave
  4. are not totally committed to taking-off, especially in hollow waves.

To fix this problem you should try:

  1. spending about 10 minutes assessing the surf before paddling out each day
  2. pick a spot where you want to sit and go there
  3. when you see a wave approaching, get onto your surfboard earlier and paddle with more aggression than normal[ kick with your feet if you have to ]
  4. Be committed on the take-off

Having a fast standing action allows you to make the drop in hollow surf and gives you more options as you take-off. For example you are able to choose either:

  1. to drop to the bottom
  2. turn halfway down the wave face
  3. or turn immediately at the top of the wave to create maximum speed if taking-off deep

If your standing action is slow, your only choice is to drop straight down the wave face in most situations.

A slow standing action results in two main negative effects.

  1. It creates poor balance as the surfer climbs to their feet. The faster the hands leave the surfboard's rails, the sooner the body's natural balance mechanism can be activated, and the more chance of staying on the surfboard.
  2. It limits the choices you can make as you drop down the wave face. A fast standing action allows the surfer to choose to drop straight down, turn halfway down, or to turn at the top of the wave, depending on the section faced. The slow action only allows the surfer to drop straight down the face, a poor choice in fast breaking waves.

The best way to fix this problem is to practice the standing action repeatedly on dry land. Your goal is to:

  1. jump to your feet in one action with your front foot landing between where your hands were to push up
  2. attempt to throw your hands into the air as your feet land onto the ground / surfboard's deck

Remember - the faster your hands leave the surfboard, the sooner your body's balance mechanism can activated.

Taking-off on or behind the peak, allows the surfer to perform a quality 1st manoeuvre. A deep peak position at take-off is the first ingredient necessary for a radically surfed wave. It displays a committed surfing style appreciated by fellow surfers, and in competition, by the judging panel.

Taking-off on the shoulder of a wave has two main negative impacts.

  1. The shoulder surfer can't accelerate as fast as the peak surfer. Therefore they are going slower into their 1st manoeuvre of the ride, resulting in the likelihood of it being poorly performed.

  2. The surfer is faced with a less critical 1st manoeuvre opportunity; therefore they are unable to display a committed surfing style at the wave's beginning.

Both of these results, lack of speed and poor manoeuvre opportunities, make the start of waves ridden in this fashion unexciting for the surfer and uninteresting to the viewer.

To improve this aspect of your performance, check out surfcoach.com's training card-Peak Take-offs

Simply positioning yourself deep on the peak is no guarantee that you will make the first section. By answering yes to this question you suggest to me that you make good decisions at the initial point of take-off, paddle aggressively into the peak, and most likely use your arms correctly to create maximum speed and acceleration once standing. This is a huge advantage in crowded surf and during the heat of battle in competitions.

Simply positioning yourself deep on the peak is no guarantee that you will make the section, and if you don't make the section, it's just like having taken off on a closeout wave. There are three major reasons for not making the section once having taken-off deep:

  1. you simply made the wrong decision at the peak. You were too deep, with no physical way of making the section
  2. you didn't paddle hard enough into the peak or you were hesitant when you looked over the ledge on the peak
  3. you don't throw your arms at take-off to generate maximum acceleration

To improve this aspect of your performance, check out surfcoach.com's training cards, Peak Take-off and Arm Surfing

The drop in hollow waves is one of the most exciting aspects of surfing, especially in large surf. Making the drop generally leads to 'tube time' or a cover-up of some description. Being able to perform this skill makes it likely you can take-off deep with confidence.

Making the drop in hollow waves is usually a major hurdle for novice surfers. Surfers get pitched from the lip, nose dive, or fall backwards due to the increased acceleration experienced.

To improve this aspect of your performance.

  1. There is usually a 'ledge'at the top of hollow waves which surfers must get in front of to make the drop. Paddle aggressively [ kick with your feet if you need to] into the peak to get in front of this 'ledge'.
  2. Be committed. Any hesitancy or pulling-back by the surfer usually results in the surfer being pitched out or sucked over with the lip.
  3. Get to your feet quickly. A slow standing action results in the surfer nose diving the surfboard. The faster the standing action, the more control and balance the surfer can achieve.

Performing a committed manoeuvre at the start of your rides is known as the 'Halo effect'.

Halo moves create a positive impression in the minds of people viewing your performance, because of the commitment and risk shown. In competition, the performance of a 'Halo' move at the start of a ride is the 1st ingredient in an excellent scoring wave.

Performing a committed manoeuvre at the start of your rides is known as the 'Halo effect'. The successful performance of a Halo move demonstrates a committed surfing style appreciated by all that view your performance.

If you are currently not performing a committed 1st move you are probably:

  1. not thinking about performing the Halo move
  2. not targeting the critical section of the lip
  3. are taking off on the shoulder of the wave
  4. are not generating enough speed and power from your bottom turns

To improve this aspect of your performance, check out surfcoach.com's training cards: 'Halo Moves', 'Peak Take-offs', 'Forehand Bottom turn', 'Backhand Bottom turn'

Speed and power are essential to great surfing. What they do is give the surfer more control, creating a high success rate, and allowing them to incorporate their full creativity into their surfing performances. A yes answer indicates that you have:

  1. a great bottom turn
  2. you are committed to hitting the top of the wave hard
  3. you most likely rotate your upper body and turn your head to look where you want the surfboard to go.

Running out of speed as you hit the top of the wave, or half way through a manoeuvre results in a high error rate, and diminishes the fun of the sport. The more speed and power you can produce the more control you are able to achieve. Answering no to this question indicates that you either:

  1. have problems with your bottom turns. Bottom turns are the most important manoeuvre in surfing, as they generate the speed necessary to perform radical manoeuvres off the top of the wave. A good bottom turn is the foundation to good surfing
  2. have technical problems when performing your top turns. This may be poor rotation of your trunk, or where you are looking at the top of the wave, or simply the movements of your arms as you perform your top turns To improve this aspect of your performance, check out surfcoach.com's training cards:
    • 'Forehand Bottom turn' 'Backhand Bottom turn'
    • 'Forehand Re-entry' 'Backhand Re-entry'
    • 'Forehand Snap' 'Backhand Snap'
    • 'Layback Snap'

Sticking the surfboard up high above the lip is one of the great sights in surfing, and the higher the better. A yes answer indicates that you look for the vertical manoeuvre opportunity, have a great bottom turn which generates speed and power, and have an innate go-for-it surfing approach.

Surfing vertical with success is an advanced skill that requires speed, commitment, and timing. If this is a problem move for you, you either have:

  1. a bottom turn that isn't technically correct, resulting in poor speed out of the turn
  2. you don't target the lip well enough
  3. you haven't at this stage got a go-for-it surfing approach
  4. in some instances you don't use your arms to generate 'lift force'

To improve this aspect of your performance, check out surfcoach.com's training cards:

  • 'Forehand Bottom turn' 'Backhand Bottom turn'
  • 'Forehand Re-entry' 'Backhand Re-entry'
  • 'Forehand Arms-up Re-entry' 'Backhand Arms-up Re-entry'

The cutback in my opinion is the 2nd most important manoeuvre in surfing, after the bottom turn. The cutback's purpose generally, is to link the outside section of a wave with the inside. A cutback shouldn't be thought of as a complete and full manoeuvre until the surfer has hit the foam high on the rebound.

The cutback in my opinion is the 2nd most important manoeuvre in surfing, after the bottom turn. It is also the most technically complex to do well. The goal of a surfer when performing cutbacks is to complete them:

  • in one movement
  • with speed throughout
  • by successfully rebounding off the foam.

If your cutback is poorly executed you are probably making one or more of the following errors.

  1. You start the manoeuvre too close to the foam
  2. You don't compress at the start of the manoeuvre
  3. You don't hold this compression for the required distance
  4. You don't target the top of the foam
  5. You don't compress after the foam rebound

To improve this aspect of your performance, check out surfcoach.com's training cards:

  • 'forehand cutback'
  • 'backhand cutbacks'

Floaters are another manoeuvre that allows a surfer to link from one section to another. By linking in this way, the surfer demonstrates a committed surfing style appreciated by all those that view their performances. Going over a section or performing a huge floater to finish a ride scores high in competition, because of the risk and commitment shown.

Floaters are another linking manoeuvre as they allow a surfer to link from one section to another, by riding the top of the wave as it breaks. Surfers who struggle to perform this manoeuvre usually:

  1. Fall backwards as the surfboard accelerates as it goes from the waveface to riding the lip or foam
  2. Get flipped off their surfboard as it lands sideways at the bottom of the wave
  3. Get bounced off their surfboard on landing, because of the lack of compression of the body to absorb the forces of landing.

To improve this aspect of your performance, check out surfcoach.com's training cards:

  • 'Forehand Floater' 'Backhand Floater'
  • 'Low Finishes'

Speed is the essence of good small wave surfing. A yes answer indicates that you are an aggressive surfer, who attacks the takeoff, uses your arms appropriately, and most likely surf rail-to-rail. If however, your surfing incorporates a lot of bouncing to get speed, I recommend that you change this to rail-to-rail surfing, as too much bouncing looks aesthetically ugly. With good speed the successful execution of radical manoeuvres in small waves is likely.

Speed is the essence of good small wave surfing. If you struggle to get speed in small wave conditions you need to:

  1. Attack the takeoff by paddling aggressively, kicking with your feet
  2. Have a fast standing action
  3. Throw your arms up to create acceleration at the start of the wave and after major manoeuvres
  4. Surf rail-to-rail instead of bouncing through sections [ bouncing is where a surfer energetically jumps up and down on their surfboard to create speed ]

To improve this aspect of your performance, check out surfcoach.com's training cards:

  • 'Arm Surfing' 'Rail-to-rail Surfing'

Any vertical surfing displays commitment. Climbing foam sections is difficult because of the extra turbulence that foam sections have. A yes answer suggests that you have a good bottom turn, use your arms to create ' lift forces', and are willing to attack vertically instead of taking the easy option of turning under the section.

The vertical foam climb is a different and more difficult manoeuvre to the vertical re-entry. Vertical foam climbs need extra 'lift' to allow the surfboard and surfer to climb together with control. Surfers who struggle to perform this manoeuvre successfully either:

  1. Have a weak bottom turn
  2. Don't use their arms appropriately
  3. They fall backwards as the surfboard climbs the foam section
  4. They don't re-centre over their surfboard correctly as they land the maneuvre

To improve this aspect of your performance, check out surfcoach.com's training cards:

  • 'Forehand Bottom turn' 'Backhand Bottom turn'
  • 'Forehand Arms-up Re-entry' 'Backhand Arms-up Re-entry'
  • 'Low Finishes'

Utilising the entire wave face is a basic but necessary skill in surfing. By answering yes, that you do set up manoeuvres off the top of the wave by performing quality bottom turns, you suggest to me that you are keen to hit every section high and hard, and enjoy the thrill of dropping vertically down the wave face as often as possible.

Surfing top-to-bottom gives the surfer the maximum power available from the waves they ride. Many surfers surf through the middle of the wave, effectively drawing a safe performance line. This safe approach causes the surfer to miss manoeuvre opportunities as they ride along a wave and diminishes the fun and excitement that a ride offers the surfer.

To improve this aspect of your performance, check out surfcoach.com's training cards:

  • 'Top-to-bottom Surfing' 'Forehand Bottom turn'
  • 'Backhand Bottom turn' 'Forehand Re-entry'
  • 'Backhand Re-entry'

The number 1 goal of a surfer when they take off on a wave should be to get to the end, perform a successful final manoeuvre, and flickout. This attitude underpins the rest of the performance, with the manoeuvres performed between the start and finish bonuses of the ride. The ability to perform this fundamental skill suggests that you understand its importance and are always keen to finish strongly.

The number 1 goal of a surfer when they take off on a wave should be to get to the end, perform a successful final manoeuvre, and flickout. This finishing style is like the dismount in gymnastics, or the entry into the pool in diving, demonstrating your concentration and enthusiasm at the end of your rides. If there are problems here it's either:

  • A poor entry turn into the final manoeuvre
  • Low hit off the foam or lip
  • Poor centreing over your surfboard on landing
  • Lack of compression of the body as you land

To improve this aspect of your performance, check out surfcoach.com's training cards:

  1. 'Finish off the Bottom' 'Hard and High Hits'
  2. 'Low Finishes' 'Forehand Lipline Re-entry'
  3. 'Backhand Lipline Re-entry'

Consistency of performance, forehand or backhand, is the hallmark of a confident surfer. Having this consistency in either direction you choose to surf makes surfing enjoyable every day that you go surfing because of the high success rate you experience.

Having one side of your surfing performance stronger than the other makes for mistakes when you are forced to surf on your weaker side. This is because of your lack of confidence and inferior technical ability. Your goal should be to surf both sides equally as well. To over come this problem try:

  1. Forcing yourself to surf your weaker side more often
  2. Watch waves of good surfers on video of your weaker side more intently
  3. Recognise this as a performance weakness and do something about it

To improve this aspect of your performance, check out surfcoach.com's training cards:

  • all cards of your weaker side, either forehand or backhand manoeuvres.