Stab Magazine | Kolohe Andino's 12 Step Program Towards Improving Your Surfing

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Kolohe Andino’s 12 Step Program Towards Improving Your Surfing

Hurley Surf Club anonymous. 

style // Mar 1, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Want to become a well-oiled machine that traverses any wave face without a glitch? Unfortunately, there’s no roadmap to flawlessness. With this in mind, we tapped into the brain of Kolohe Andino to bring about 12 simple steps to improve your surfing. It’s not all trick tips and in the water how-tos. Surfing–like anything worth adoration–is a multi-faceted entity; so in association with the Hurley Surf Club, here are 12 rational tips designed to make a difference. 

1. Surf on an empty stomach.
In the morning, I think it’s best to have a big cup of Bullet Coffee. That’s about it. It’s hard to surf with food in my stomach; I like to keep it all liquid. I do know a couple of people who can eat breakfast burritos and go out and surf a heat, but when you’re paddling, you’re rolling around on whatever you just ate–it bogs you down and feels weird.  

2. Have a warm up routine.
It’s best to hit the water feeling warm and loose. I have a nice routine before I surf at home where I use my pilates reformer and do stretches with rubber bands. The last 15 months I’ve been dealing with some injuries and stretching before I surf helps me loosen up quickly. On the road, I do stretches with the rubber band and roll out on a fitness ball.  

3. Hydrate, refill and relax after long sun-bleached days. 
I drink a lot of water, eat a big meal and just melt into a couch. I’m sure a lot of people would say a cold beer is the way to go, but I don’t drink so I just stick with water. 

4. No wax? Rub some sand on it. 
If I forget wax and have an old layer on my board, I usually just ask somebody if I can borrow some. But if I can’t find anybody and want to avoid slippage, I go to the water’s end and rub as much sand and goop on my feet and my wax until I feel comfortable surfing on it. 

5. Got a soggy suit? Throw it in the dryer. 
Before every session, I throw my suit in the dryer for 30 minutes and just nuke the thing. Afterwards, it feels brand new and ready to go. Sometimes if I’m going for two sessions I’ll throw two suits in there. You could wrap it in a towel but I usually just throw it in solo.

Kolohe HSC2

Fluidity relies on a body that’s loose and steady as a bow and arrow.


Domenic Mosqueira

6. Don’t think too much.  
The best way to approach a wave is to surf it laterally and go where it will give the most speed. Overthinking what you’re going to do on a wave never goes the way you want. Surf the wave section to section. Surf with it rather than trying to force it. 

7. Always keep your head in line with where you want to go. 
The most helpful thing to concentrate on is looking the direction you want to go. Keep your head in line with the turn you want to draw. If you’re doing a round house and feel the wave is speeding up in front of you, you still want to focus on the white wash you’re going to rebound off before heading back down the line. This goes back to not overthinking it. 

8. Wait your turn. 
That’s a rule of thumb for anywhere I’d say. If there’s an eggy Lowers crowd I usually just wait my turn for a good one then go. If I was somewhere up North at a localised spot, it’s smart to do the same thing. 

9. Don’t paddle out at an unfamiliar spot with more than two people. 
I’ve never paddled out to a localised spot with more than two people, but if I were to, the best way to do it (if there were four of you) would be, go in groups of two, then have the other two come out a half hour or so later. Don’t paddle around the locals, drop in on them or act like a kook. 

10. Keep your hands in front of you in the tube. 
If you’re going frontside it helps to keep your hands in front of your body. That’s a little tip that’s always worked well for me and gives you a better chance of coming out of the barrel. But also, Christian Fletcher once said, “If you came out you weren’t deep enough,” which is a good one for when you don’t make it. Then you can just be like, ‘I was in the perfect spot’. 

11. Stay low while doing airs. 
For airs, the best way to keep your body over your board is to stay low. That’s the most important thing; it keeps you closer to the board and more centred. 

12. Learn the double-loop technique for your leash string.
You don’t need a separate leash string for every surfboard. I do the classic leash string knot, but I tie it before I put it into the plug. Once it’s tied, I slip the looped side (the one without a knot) into the plug, then I half it so there is one loop on each side. I feed my leash through the two. When you velcro the leash, it holds it all together. 

For more information on how to join the Hurley Surf Club and become a better surfer, head here.


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