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Uh, It’s Still Okay To Want To Improve Your Surfing

Morgan Williamson’s Hurley Surf Club Redux or the worst surfing you’ll see here this week!

style // Apr 1, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’ve never thrown buckets… shot glasses, maybe.

Earlier this year, I publicly descended into trying to improve my surfing. With a RED camera in the hands of Stab‘s filmer Mike Pagan, we drove to the beach and recorded some unexceptional surfing in onshore sub-standard waves. What transpired was my first ever–albeit awkward–edit. I submitted it into the Hurley Surf Club (see below) for critique. Shaun Ward became my honorary digital surf coach and in his response, he “found something in my backside.” Which when taken out of context is cause for alarm.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/192058562

I received the feedback and shuddered when I saw they lined me up with John John (see below). However, I did take the liberty to pair our names in a title and stitch us side by side in a photograph. The last time either will happen, presumably.

If my gas station coffee of a backhand attack/defence ever looked less energetic, it’s placed below JJF wiping the horizon clean in the tropics. In short, the most valuable piece of advice was to keep my back leg bent off my bottom turn. The result is more speed and a sharper projection towards the lip. I was able to feel it immediately, and try to consciously work on it. The other instruction was to reach for my rail while coming off the bottom. But, I hardly have the wherewithal to figure out whether to do a snap, cutback, floater or botch an air attempt when a section is presented, let alone think to reach for my rail. Baby steps. Also, I assume when I bend my back leg more and square my shoulders my arm will drift and the rail reach will naturally occur.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1jDbi25mIZ4

Yesterday, we went down and filmed the follow-up piece to see if I’ve improved. The results are above. If I feel like I’m surfing better, does that mean I am? Being followed down the beach with a camera doesn’t feel natural, and knowing it’ll be posted on here for anyone to criticise inclines me to go at each section with voracity (my version of it at least). However, when reviewing the clips, the turns that feel good don’t translate to tape. If you’ve ever seen footage of yourself, and are not an amateur or professional surfer, this is a shared experience.

After the feedback provided by my HSC crash course, I’m going to continue submitting my surfing for analysis and perpetuate the sense of improvement in my head. And I’ll maintain the hope of someday ridding myself of those alligator hands – they’re quite effeminate but then again, so is my middle-aged lesbian hairdo. 

If you’d like to have your surfing analysed by the likes of Barton Lynch, Mike Parsons, Shaun Ward and more, submit your clips here.

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