So if you’re still waiting to take that first step or feel like you’re needing a push to get to the next level? Here’s some advice from SurfGirl and Errant surf coach Nat Fox.
– Don’t be too scared to take the first step – because the first step is always the hardest.
– Look deep inside and find that inner confidence, if you can’t find it; simply pretend – just take a leap of faith and give it a go!
– The only way you build on confidence is by putting yourself through a challenge and proving to yourself that you can do it. 90% of the time if you think you can do it; you do… and if you happen mess up you realise that is isn’t that hard after all so are much more inclined to give it another go.
On my first day in Morocco, everybody was surfing Anchors, the infamous pointbreak in Morocco where you want to avoid rocks and locals at all costs (although I thought the locals were lovely!)
However I didn’t have time to hesitate, and certainly couldn’t come across nervous as I was the new surf coach! I paddled straight out and managed to get some nice rides. I had to swallow the lump in my throat several times, but the persoal reward for going out there was priceless and that session took me to the next level of confidence in my surfing. I love Ankas now!
Try to take a different approach; instead of checking the waves for how big they are check out how small it is…. Instead of being intimidated by crowds tell yourself to go out there and dominate…..if the conditions are crap use the session to remind yourself to appreciate it when it’s good. See situations as a challenge, a lesson waiting to be learnt rather than something fearful or uninspiring
Everyone has their own path so try not to compare yourself to anyone else, just focus on trying to do your best, seeing how your own natural style develops and embracing it.
Surfing is trying to make you a better surfer; a better person; unfortunately this takes perseverance…so just keep trying. There will be a point when you get the next breakthrough; whether it’s getting a green wave, connecting your turns or getting barrelled off your tits! And that’s when all your hard work becomes worthwhile, you just have faith that you’ll get there eventually.
It’s not hard to draw on the similarities between surfing and life, and for me it’s been as much about a philosophical and spiritual journey as a progression of my surfing skills. Surfing has a way of breaking you down, to a point where you really doubt yourself and your existence. When you’re ‘this close’ to jacking it all in or you feel like the sea REALLY has it in for you it can seem like it’s you versus nature…but I can tell you now, it’s not. It’s you AND nature, coming together to move forward, to grow, to evolve. Nature is simply testing you, trying you make you stronger, more committed, more focussed.
There’s a lesson in every single step of your surfing, when you fall off or go over the falls it’s just the water teaching you to concentrate on what you’re doing, not to hesitate, making you learn from your mistakes, making sure you improve. Don’t be scared you have to go through the process to get better.
So when things go wrong; and if you make mistakes; Don’t get disheartened. Don’t think about the surfer you want to be, be proud of the surfer you are already, of the hard work you’ve already put in and know deep down that you will get to where you’re going…. Its just a case of focusing on the current situation and being patient until you reach the next one.
Nat Fox surf coaches on our Surf Girl Surfing & Pilates week’s in Spain.