The Mental Game

The mind is the most important aspect in surfing

The mental game it is what separates the great athletes from their peers, it is the edge Kelly or a Michael Jordan have always known. Your mind controls your mental state, your moods, your internal feedback loops, your awareness, your focus and arousal levels.

The mental game of advanced surfing

When you make a conscious decision to focus on your surfing, you need to focus your wandering mind and focus your full attention on what you want to achieve in the moment. When your surfing, it is a mental game as much it a physical sport, you need to be able to connect the all dots that the wave is offering and make a decision in the split seconds that you have available. No matter what turn you are planning on doing the wave will always determine your approach to the manoeuvre. The angles you can come out of your bottom turn will depend on how much speed you have. Similarly the type of arc you can envision of the top determines how deep your bottom turn will be. This mental decision making in a real time dynamic environment requires you to consciously remove all your other thoughts and focus on the job at hand.

Slow it down. Relax before you surf. Do not surf to relax.
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A lot of surfers surf to relax and de-stress from all the other distractions in their life. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, if your goal is to improve your ability, you need to commit your mind to the task. If your attention is in other places it can destroy your level of awareness and can slow your reaction times down. Thus it is important to try and relax before you even enter the ocean so you can free yourself up to the moment. When you relax before your surf, it means you can focus your conscious and subconscious awareness on surfing and not around your work, career, family, marriage, kids, money or health.

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