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Pro Tip

Maximize your wave count

Sometimes, when the surf is absolutely pumping, I tend to lose my shit. When the adrenaline starts pumping, it seems that my ability to think rationally goes out the window. So, without considering the factors at hand I paddle out blindly and end up having an an unproductive session. This is mostly because I am constantly out of position, regardless of how many other surfers are in the water. Meanwhile everyone else is catching wave after wave while I flail away. I know better, but sometimes my level of stoke gets the better of me. If you have a similar problem, check out the tips below. 


Pro Tip #1  Don't step in P.O.O.P.

P.O.O.P. is an acronym for Perpetually Out Of Position

P.O.O.P. is caused by a lack of understanding of the lineup, the swell direction, the rips within the spot you're surfing (and how they affect the wave). It's also caused by disregarding the constant changes that are happening during that particular time you're in the water. 


Pro Tip #2  Be a keen observer. 

It's a good idea to spend at least 5-10 minutes closely watching the conditions. Even if you surf a particular spot every swell, things change. Sandbars move, fill in or completely disappear. Rip currents change in position or strength with the tide or swell direction and thus their affect on the shape of the wave (or where you paddle out) is affected. Note the size, consistency of the wave and the consistency of the sets. Take a mental picture of where the waves are breaking.   

Pro Tip #3  Triangulation. While you're checking the conditions, take note of at least two landmarks on land that you can use to mark where the waves are breaking. After paddling out, watch a set break then align yourself within those landmarks. Then, using those landmarks, triangulate yourself in the best takeoff position. 

Pro Tip #4  Adjust accordingly. As the variables change, so must your position.

Strong wind or rip currents will constantly move you out of position. Rising or dropping swell, swell direction changes will force you to move to a different spot in the lineup. Sometimes being just a few feet out of position can cut your wave count significantly. So, be vigilant with the changes and adjust your position as necessary.

However, sometimes conditions change drastically. In that case, get out of the water, re-evaluate your position, then paddle back out.


Hope this helps.

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