Improve your Surfing

A few ideas for beginner surfers to build on a basic level of surfing.

Surf group

Join or start your own surf group. Convince some friends to start surfing with you, share rides to the beach together, or just meet regularly for surf related activities. Groups can be awesome!

Why? A collection of different people with a variety of strengths encourages up-skilling in different areas. For example the skills of the more experienced surfers can be shared with the less experienced. In a group environment we tend to push and encourage each other as well as share ideas and resources.


Swimming is a great sport to practise. Start slow and gradually build your swim strength. It is a full body, low impact work out.

Why? Swimming increases confidence in and under the water. Swimming builds elements crucial for surfing like the core, arms and legs, and it improves breathing. This sport especially relates to surfing when you loose your surfboard and have to swim in, or when you experience hold-downs.


Yes, you heard right. I started long board skating at the age of 26 as a way to get some board riding in during my concrete jungle workweek. What a sweet way to commute to work!

Why? Long board skating improves your balance; it is a great way to practice executing turns and generating speed, and these skills are directly transferable to surfing. Fantastic if you want to keep the momemtum of your surfing experience when you are in a big city away from the ocean.

Balance board

The new phase in surf training. Think skate deck/skim board hybrid placed over a cylinder in your lounge room. The goal is to balance on it as long as you can and roll up and down on the cylinder.

Why? Good for balance, strengthening legs and developing core strength. Something you can do in the comfort of your home.

Get Adventurous

Try a different surf location from your local spot. Find a small town where the wave to person ratio is good. The smaller and more isolated the surf town, the higher your chance for uncrowded awesome waves!! Try GISBORNE!

Take a mate or two and get off the beaten track. Do your research and align the break with your level of surfing, but get some variety in there.

Why? We all know that our frame of mind can often affect our performance in the surf. New breaks are like stepping stones in your confidence level. You will find that variety and small challenges will help you become more confident. After a few sessions away, you might find that you are approaching your local break with more gusto.

Surf Documentaries and Magazines

Fill your world with inspiration, learn about other people that rip and gain from their stories.

A few of my favorite surf DVDs are as follows:

  • Dear & Yonder
  • The Present
  • Step into Liquid
  • Heart of a Soul Surfer

Why? It motivates us to go that little bit further; we see things we didn’t know were possible, therefore expanding our knowledge of surfing, locations and people.

Surf Coaching

Surf Schools are not only a great way to learn to surf, but also an awesome way to improve whatever level your surfing is at. Surf coaches offer personalised advice on how to progress or correct technique.

Why? This is a solid way to have your surfing strengths and weaknesses identified quickly and painlessly so that you can move forward as a much stronger surfer.


Whatever stage of surfing you are at, enjoy it! Celebrate the small steps, have fun, enjoy the environment. The ocean is a magic place to be.

Developing surfing skills is often a slow process, there are many variables in surfing compared with other sports therefore it takes time and practice. Whether your current stage feels like an improvement, a plateau or even regression, the joy of the surfing experience helps you keep coming back and pushing forward.

Walking on Water Surf School

Walking on Water Surf School operates year round. Liz takes personalised surf lessons, camps and tours around the East Coast of the North Island.

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