Whattup guys, I was wondering if any of yall have some experience with competitive surfing? I am pretty interested in giving it a shot, just to see what its like and if I enjoy it... Im probably ganna enter a few contest this year and see how things play out. Any advice? Pros Cons? Experiences or stories? Thanks guys:o
Done a few...enough to find out I didn't really enjoy that aspect of surfing. Not a negative experience all the way around...just didn't feel the time format and wave jockeying was the best showcase for a generally non-agro surfer... that and my mediocre talent...afraid good isn't good enough anymore...you gotta be the total package... carves, airs, and flow...finishing waves with big maneuvers... and do it all consistently with good wave selection...I found I either was in form or not and couldn't turn a heat around if I was the latter...too often let contestants hassle me out of waves or couldn't pick a good one to save my life when the pressure was on... That said I made some friends and surfing with good surfers makes you surf better...everyone should give it a shot if they are curious just to see what its like...it might be your thing...Good luck!
oh yea...some contests are more low key than others...maybe start with those first to get your feet wet
I think the phrase "free surfing" just sounds good.
I competed from when I was in 4th grade through high school and absolutely loved it. The ESA is a great organization and I feel sort of bad for not sticking with it at least in a supportive roll. AND, contrary to general belief, you don't need to be a pro to do well or especially have fun. Sure, you will have some paddle battles and it does require you to surf in terms of strategy instead of free form, but it will help you progress your surfing in ways you may not realize. Plus, you get the entire lineup to yourself and three other people for your heat, which is golden on the off chance the surf is epic. Each division is divided up by skill level to keep competition close and so no one really gets blown out. Or that's at least how I remember it.
I miss competing and plan on starting a "campaign" in 2013 for old time's sake and to make me train harder.
Originally Posted by Erock
What he said. One thing though. Competitive surfing isn't like ripping with your buds at the local break. You have better be in SHAPE since you paddle a ton in a heat.
I'm def ganna try getting involved! I'm not to worried about being in shape, I work out quite a bit. What age did you guys start? I'm 16 now and I was wondering if it's ganna pretty difficult being able to compete with bruddas that have been competing for a few years? Thanks for the comments I appreciate it bruhh.
Also any strategies about competing? How do they judge? I mean are you getting better scores with an air, but wasting the rest of the wave or having flow and smacking the lip a few times?
I'm listening in because I decided to compete in like 3 of the south jersey ESA competitions just to see how it goes and have fun
a couple of things you can do:
Surf practice 'heats' on your own. Start from the beach and paddle out and see how many waves you can catch within the time period. do you get tired, are they quality waves?
Practice jockeying for position on a crowded day. this will simulate paddle battles you will have during a heat.
Read the ESA comp rules.
Go watch a few comps and see what the judges like.
Find out the minimums they have for holding a comp and surf those types of conditions (not every comp is in perfect conditions)
Get to know the people in ESA. In many districts, an unknown has to work harder to score points than somebody the judges know. its not fair but it IS reality.
Everything Pumpmaster said plus:
The key to scoring waves in a comp is the same as it has always been, thus the old saying: "Three to da beach." This means you should get in three good, unique maneuvers and ride the wave until there is no more wave.... otherwise known as GROVELING. It's not always photogenic and pretty, but you're out there for SCORES anyway.
Airs: Either your first maneuver or your closing maneuver, never your only maneuver unless your heat is in closeouts or your ESA division runs an Air Show heat. Just remember, you don't need to do airs to win a heat
Enter every division you can. At 16 you will be in Junior Men short board, Jr. Men's Longboard, Open short board, Open Longboard and whatever else they are offering at the comp for your gender and age group.
Paddling: You may think you are in shape, but...... A heat is 95% paddling and 5% surfing.
Judging: Watch every heat you can then go check the heat sheets afterwards and see what the judges actually thought about each wave caught. The best thing to do, though, is to take the Judging Classes and become a Judge yourself.
Helping Out: Help the folks set up and/or break down the contest sites when you can. Be available to help out while you are at the site if someone looks like they need help. Some stuff you can't do if you are not a contest official, like posting and tabulating heat sheets, but there is always plenty of grunt work to do at the comp anyway.
Conditions: Surf every day no matter the conditions. Murphy's law is always palpable at surf contests, only about .0000001% of ESA contests are held in ideal conditions. The day AFTER a contest is often EPIC! ;)
Pacing: Don't spend a lot of time in the practice area. You should only do a 2-wave warmup before a heat, if any. Depending on your division, you could be surfing 3+ times in one day. Often the surfer with the best endurance wins in these situations.
Man, I want to go surf a heat now.