Stab Magazine | Uh, It's Still Okay To Want To Improve Your Surfing

And The Winners Of The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Are... Watch The Pick-Up Episode 5, Presented by Vans, To Find Out


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.

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.

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.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners

Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence

Jan 28, 2023

Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth

A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.

Jan 27, 2023

Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions 

They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.

Jan 27, 2023


The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5

Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.

Jan 27, 2023

Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise

Can you guess who?

Jan 26, 2023

Surf Community Rallies To Raise Funds For Eddie Winner And On-Duty Hawaiian Lifeguard Luke Shepardson

Because it's the right thing to do, of course.

Jan 26, 2023

Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content. 

A toast to ‘Toasted.’

Jan 25, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: Creed McTaggart, Albee Layer, Laura Enever, Dane Guduaskas, and Selema Masekela

Day 8: "65 years young and charging just as hard as ever at Pipe, Backdoor,…

Jan 25, 2023

“I’m Not A Big Wave Guy”

How Kai Paula accidentally made his mark at Jaws three weeks after surfing it for…

Jan 24, 2023

Everyone Went.

A toes in the sand, phone in the lagoon account of the 10th Eddie Aikau…

Jan 24, 2023

Breaking: Another CT Rookie Injured Before First Event

Sophie McCulloch pulls out of Pipeline due to Snapper Rocks snafu.

Jan 23, 2023


Watch: ‘Toasted,’ By Caity Simmers

Your favorite surfer directs, edits, and stars in her first feature film. 

Jan 23, 2023

On-Duty North Shore Lifeguard Luke Shepardson Wins The Eddie Aikau

Local man prevails over 39 big-wave heavyweights at 29ft @ 19 seconds Waimea.

Jan 23, 2023

The Eddie Aikau Invitational Is On

Grab a beverage and enjoy surfing's Super Bowl Sunday

Jan 22, 2023

The Women’s CT Is About To See A Generational Shift 

Only three women have won a Title in the past 15 years. Here's why that's…

Jan 22, 2023


“One For Marcio” – Albee Layer’s Tribute To Mad Dog

Imagine treating 30ft Jaws like Backdoor.

Jan 22, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: Noa Deane, Jamie O’Brien, Parker Coffin, Cliff Kapono, and Brendan Buckley

Day 7: "It's like he feels more comfortable when it’s as gnarly as it gets."…

Jan 21, 2023

Five Reasons Why The Eddie Still Matters

With better waves around the world and likely no prize money, why is The Eddie…

Jan 20, 2023