Thursday, April 01, 2010

Surf Tip 49: Go See a Pro Surfing Competition Live!

Novice Surfer Tip 49
Go See a Pro Surfing Competition Live!

I find that going to see a live professional competition is a part of the essentials all new surfers should experience. As a budding surfer, you owe it to yourself. Whether you agree with the principal of competing or not, you can get a lot out of it from just one day of attending.

You might say, you can see all that on a Fuel TV or DVD, but here are some of the things you may be missing out of:
  • On the TV (especially DVDs), you are only seeing what they want you to see. Mostly pictures of the top people just surfing on the waves. As a person learning how to surf, you get a whole lot more out by watching how the real professional surfers take off, from the wave spot selection to the direction to which they take off. Then how they set up for the initial turn. Most videos won't be able to capture that phase of surfing; they want to cut directly to them catching some air or getting tubed. But to me the initial 5 seconds of surfing is the most critical part of succesful surfing.
  • By being there, you will also get to see everyone, from the top notch competitor to the ones that do not have the right day. Again, videos tend to capture only the top people. You should watch and compare among all competitors.
  • Also, you can see all different sorts of styles how people surf and compete.
  • The excitement of being among the live audience is also just something you cannot experience even if you have a 500w surround and 1080p HD television system.
For the people in Bay Area we got many top international level professional competitions that hapen at Steamer Lane or Pleasure Point, among few others, so it is worthwhile checking the calendar and plan on spending a day.

One of the most amazing things about going to Santa Cruz is that due to the configuration of the cliffs, you can see the surfers often from all the anges of the wave, from the front, side or even from the back. This is something that would be difficult to do at beach break compeitions unless you can get on the pier.


Nic said...

Definitely agree! And Steamer Lane is an amazing place to watch a contest, how you can get that fishbowl perspective.

Hope you're doing well and getting some good waves!

Cynthia said...

Good tip! It always annoys me that they never show the takeoff. Most movies just cut right to the on-the-wave moves too.

Unknown said...

Nic, Cynthia: So let's try to get together and spectate on a next major SC competition.