3 ways to take a pounding

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Aaah…the good old pounding from the sea. One of the first things you’ll learn when surfing. At first I thought wiping out didn’t need any explanation, then I realized that like everything, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it, and someone else might benefit from what I’ve learned. We’ve all been there: the sea flips you around like a towel in a washing machine and you think you are holding your breath forever. After you’ve decided which side is up, and which one is down, you swim to the surface and then there is another wave hitting you in the face. A wipe-out isn’t the best thing that can happen during surfing, but what is the best way to wipe out? I have a bad habit of holding my nose when I feel I’m gonna fall, which probably makes me wipe-out even more. It’s really not a good thing to do. If the fall is hard, I might end up breaking my own nose instead of my board. Anyway, when your surfing and you wipe out the wrong way, you could really hurt yourself (or other surfers). Here are some wipe out tips.

1.Take the pounding
 When you feel like you’re falling, try to jump away from your board but not too much that it can hurt another surfer – a surfboard can be a dangerous thing when catapulted off a wave. Immediately try to find your board again and hold it close.
Most important protect your head. 

Curl into a ball, protecting your head and neck with your hands and arms.  Especially when surfing a reefbreak, or a spot with rocks. When you get back to the surface, try to look around and find your bearings, continuing to protect your head from other surfers/boards as you do so.
 
2.That ‘Uh, Sh*t..’ moment
 In that tiny second when you know you’re about to fall, take a deep breath and wait for the washing machine to calm down. It usually feels longer than it really is. Important: don’t panic! You will only use up oxygen faster. Just go through it and suck it up. Take the pounding and try to observe what’s happening: how many waves are passing? Were there surfers close by? If you’re a bit confused about where’s up and where’s down, try to find your leash and follow the line – a surfboard floats, so the line will always go up to the surface where your board is. 

3.Keep yourself fit and confident
 Swim and surf (a lot!). Get yourself into that sea as much as you can and get to know her. The more you experience the waves, the more you learn how to read them. This can give you some confidence and make you feel more at ease when you’re in the sea. It helped me – and I am a scaredy-cat.
Keep your body fit. A strong, fit body won’t get tired as easily as one that is untrained. Try out cardiovascular exercises like running and swimming (which is also great training for paddling), which improves your overall strength and stamina. You will be able to regain your breath faster, and be quicker on your board.
Yoga is another great practice for surfing, because it trains the body and the mind. Yoga teaches you how to stay calm and focused and to control your breath. 
One last thing, always remember that wipe outs are part of the deal; just keep on surfing!

How do you handle your wipe-outs?

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jonas says:

    Nicely writen. Beautiful photo’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rob. says:

    .i ve just started surfing and im trying not to sh… myself while getting wiped out.very helpful tips! thanks!

    Like

    1. Shana says:

      I hope they can come in handy! It’s all about getting out there and trying. 🙂 Good luck!

      Like

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