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31 December, 2014

Bringing in the New Year  

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet of late working on a new project.

But as this new year welcomes us over the horizon once again have you considered what your 2015 resolutions might be?

Mine always involve a couple of surfing objectives. This year I promise at least once to drop everything when the charts are perfect and get on a plane and go surf somewhere pumping.

Many of you may already be considering stepping up your surfing and progressing to some ‘next level’ stuff.

But what is ‘next level’ anyhow?

Here’s a very brief overview of a ten-level teaching system that I use. It may help you calibrate your personal performance into the big picture and consider some areas you need to look at to become a better surfer.

Level 1 – (Kook). Beginner with lots to learn. Master a range of board control skills – initially in calm water. Safety. Knowledge. Technique. Balance. Efficiency. Progress to a confident stand-up in gentle white wash.

Level 2 – (Whitewasher). Master a clean stand-up, balanced ride and controlled turn in white wash. Surf and exit safely with controlled board handling. Turn-stand-traverse the white wash to simulate level 3 green drops.

Level 3 – (Face rider).Ride your first green faces. A complex but exciting achievement that requires your instructor to assist you with positioning, wave selection, timing and push-ins. Set a line, trim up and down, adjust and exit safely at will.

Level 4 – (Independent). You paddle strongly into your own green waves with no instructor push-ins. Improve your vision, timing, wave sense, angles and pop-up using lots of verbal cues from your coach. Your objective is independence.

Level 5 – (Intermediate). You’re an independent and capable surfer who can trim, cutback and surf top to bottom with control. It may not look pretty yet so we’ll work on style, speed and economical turning. Learn a functional bottom turn to step up a level.

Level 6 – (Frother).Capable surfer doing basic re-entries, floaters and trying to get radical. Sometimes a little busy so you’ll focus on holding a rail, weight transfer, rotation and acceleration. Fine tune your duck-dive, trim technique and prepare for tubes.

Level 7 – (Carver). Perform with speed, carving top turns and a decent roundhouse. Not consistent so we’ll focus on vision, timing, sequencing of rotations and extension. Learn about counter rotation and performing snaps. Get barreled.

Level 8 – (Shredder). Comprehensive variety of radical maneuvers including a high-level bottom turn that precedes your majors. Time to check your bio-mechanics, increase power, fine-tune counter-rotation and try to punt a little air.

Level 9 – (Schralper). You go big and make it look easy but still could perfect some new school innovation such as slide, airs, wafts and reverses. It’s time to add more power in the pocket as well as improve finesse and spontaneity.

Level 10 – (Kelly). Your name could be Kelly or John John. You rip on any board in any wave type or size. Your surfing is innovative and inspiring. However you can still seek perfection using lots of video analysis and fine-tuning small details and efficiencies.

No matter where you are now, I hope this gives you a basic road map as to some of the areas you may need to address in order to end up where you’d ultimately like to be.

Hopefully I can help to answer a few of the question marks for you in 2015.

Oh … and happy new year !!!


rp nihi

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