Currently 13, broken clouds, at Bells Beach Victoria

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4 steps that will improve your surfing today

Most surfers want the quickest and easiest path to improve your surfing. There are plenty of videos out there providing tips and tricks and it’s important to remember that every surfer is different! However there are key elements that are vital to ensuring surfers of all ages and abilities can surf better now.

We went to the Surf Better Now coaching team to get their four steps that you can take today to quickly improve your surfing!

These key areas are the building blocks for improving performances. Individual style aside, these areas are almost always evident in elite athletes.


Compression is bending at the knees, activating the power held in the legs, core and glutes. The biggest mistake that is made when compressing is having a bent back and tipping forward at the hips.

The key to compression is this bum down position centred over your board. From this stable platform, a surf can then lean and drive from that compact and centred position.

Looking at Italo Ferreira above, he compresses incredibly low whilst making sure he doesn’t bend forward at the hips. This is critical when improving the bottom turn, either Forehand or Backhand.

Entry speed

Entry Speed is referring to the speed of a surfer at the point of takeoff. The only way to improve entry speed is to paddle with commitment and intent.

By having a higher entry speed, you will make wave entry more efficient and buy yourself some precious seconds at the start of the ride. This extra time results in less errors on take off, setting you up for a complete ride.

Kelly Slater paddling at Trestles in California
Photo: WSL / Rowland

We believe that entry speed is one of the most overlooked elements of a ride, especially at Wave Pools like URBNSURF where the wave is guaranteed and point of takeoff is predictable.  With rides at URBNSURF being short, effective wave entry sets up speed into the first turn. Nail that and your overall ride quality will improve.

For more information on entry speed check out our blog: Wave Entry at URBNSURF is everything.


Twisting from the waist provides an open and free flowing style. Think about surfers like Mick Fanning, Liam O’Brien (below), Steph Glimore, Lakey Peterson, John John Florence – they all twist their bodies when performing turns and maximise rotation.

Liam OBrien Surf Better Now

By ensuring you have a correct twist, it will free your body and board, reducing rail catching and enabling tighter turns.

In the context of URBNSURF, less catching and tighter turning circles is critical as it increases the overall speed through a ride and reduces your number of wipeouts.

The floor is LAVA!

Have you ever seen the show, Floor is Lava? Apart from being one of SBN head coach Adam Robertson’s favourite shows, it is also a great way to think about the time you spend at the bottom of the wave.

Italo Ferreira of Brazil won the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach, 2018.
Photo: WSL / Sloane

The power of the wave is greatest in the top third and decreases massively as you move lower on the face. There is no power to be harnessed in the bottom of the wave.

When surfing, your goal should be to spend as little time as possible in the bottom half of the wave. We only go there for short visits to bottom turn and rise back up the face.

Bonus power is found closer to the pocket; so a combination of top third close to the pocket must be a focus.

The above four points are relevant for everyone, from a beginner to a boardriders club ripper. If you can nail staying compressed, entry speed, twisting and “the floor is lava”, then you will start to improve your surfing straight away!

Want more information on URBNSURF specific technique? View the following exclusive Surf Better Now member blog entries below.

What can skateboarding do to help your surfing?

Tightening the backhand at URBNSURF BLOG.

Critical Backside Surfing with Connor O’Leary VLOG.

Speed In Artificial Waves BLOG.

Loading Up the Backside Bottom Turn with Connor O’Leary VLOG.

Wave Entry at URBNSURF is everything BLOG.

Got a question? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to follow up on socials to stay up to date with what we are up to and who we are working with!

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