Monday, 15 February 2010

Surf coaching

The British Junior Surfing team, ended up in a respectable 11th place in the ISA world Junior Championships which was held in Piha, New Zealand over the 21st – 28th January.

The team, 9 of whom had never been to a world championships, put in solid performances and raised their game to end up 11th in the league table, beating Brazil, Indonesia and Spain, all of which have a strong surfing heritage

Jo Hillman, team manager told us “I am proud of the team, they went to Piha as underdogs, but all the team members rose to the challenge and surfed their best, to produce a very respectable result. The conditions at Piha were very tricky and changeable, but our 5 days training prior to the event really paid off”

Tassy Swallow, from St Ives, progressed the furthest, reaching the quarter finals of the qualifying rounds, being knocked out by the eventual winner Tyler Wright. Jobe Harris from Bude and Alex Baker, Croyde also showed some excellent, strategic competition surfing to progress the furthest for the under 16s and under 18s respectively.

Mike Young, Head Coach “we concentrated our training schedule whilst at Piha on heat strategy, and mental preparation, and this really paid off for some of our guys. They surfed intelligently and to the best of their ability, and I’m happy with 11th place, especially as this team was a young development team, many of which had never been to a world champs before”

Australia very nearly had a clean sweep, taking the team title, Aloha cup tag team and both the boys under 16s and girls under 18s title, however the highlight of the finals was the boys under 18s, with Brazilian Gabriel Medina blowing away his competitors with a near-perfect final, netting the highest individual wave score (10) and two-wave combined total (19.90) of the event. He used the final as a showcase of his exceptional talent of solid surfing style and high flying aerial moves

The GB team are now back in the UK to begin training for the upcoming competition season and hopefully a place in the team next year for the 2011 GB champs.

Our thanks go out to Calypso soft drinks, the Great Britain team sponsors, as well as New Zealand for putting on such an excellent World Championships

Great Britain Junior Surfing Team 2010

Under 18 Boys:

Alex Baker (Croyde)

Matt Chapman (Jersey)

Nathan Elms (Jersey)

Beau Bromham (Croyde)

Under 16 Boys

Harry Timson (Newquay)

Jobe Harris (Bude)

Luke Dillon (Newquay)

Miles Lee Hargreaves (Bournemouth)

Under 18s Girls

Tassy Swallow (St Ives)

Gabi Rowe (Looe)

Lucy Campbell (Croyde)

Laura Crane (Croyde)

Advanced Surf Coaching.

Surfing is a sport where you can reach a performance plateau and get stuck at any level, unable to progress. Certain skills can not be learned through experience alone. Both intermediate and advanced surfers can greatly benefit from additional coaching.

The fact that all the established and up and coming world class surfers have constant coaching speaks volumes for its essential benefits to a surfer’s performance. Having a professional coach analyse your style, techniques, and waterman ship skills can have a dramatic effect on your surfing and produce quick results. If you are looking to step up your performance then Outer REef Surf Centre has the program and coach for you!

Every winter you hear about the travels of the top British male surfers training for the next years competitions and trying to escape the ever colder winters. This year after finishing work with the Billabong International Surfing Centre,and the schools programs had wrapped up for the winter. I was lucky enough to plan a big trip in preparation for my determination to take some big names down in some World Qualifying events in 2010.

The first place on my list was the south of France so I could visit one of Europe’s best shapers, Robert Vaughn, and pick up some new surf boards. I ordered three new boards; a 5’11 small wave board, a 6’1 for the good days and a 6’3 for when it’s a little bigger. Once the hype of the ASP in France had died down, it was easy to find a quality sand bank to season. I spent most of my time in Les Estagnots and some of the busiest waters that I have ever experienced in Capbreton.

As the winter swells pick up and the golden sand banks starts to get washed away I cruised down to northern Spain. Here there are some reef breaks or bigger wave spots, which hold the swell better. One of which being Mundaka. Being a goofy footer, I was very excited about testing this spot out that is deemed to be ‘one of the heaviest waves in Europe’. I was not disappointed! Rumour was in France that it was going to be really good, so lots of surfers headed down.

Highly excited, I woke up really early to check it all out. I knew there where waves; I could hear them, but thick fog covered the whole sea. As I stared into the mist I could finally see what I thought was a five foot wave, as I looked closer I saw someone being towed into a very sizable wave. That day turned out to be one of the best days they had seen all year. I saw some of the biggest barrels and the most broken boards that I have ever seen. The next day was far more fun and I meet up with Rebecca Woods for surf before she headed down to Peniche in Portugal for an ASP event.

Nearing the end of November, by which point I had lived in a van for too long, it was time to head somewhere warmer. The Canneries have been described as the ‘Hawaii of Europe’ and situated close to the continent of Africa, this seems like a good place to go and check out. I spent 6 weeks on the island of Fuerteventura. It’s a volcanic island so there where reef breaks everywhere. I don’t think I have ever surfed so much in my life.

The waves where really consistent and we only had a couple of small and on sure days. I had some video coaching from Outerreef Surf School ( I think that my surfing defiantly improved from this, it helps to fine tune your surfing. I not only worked on my improving surfing, but I also concentrated on my diet and fitness. This was my favourite spot a right hand point break, Los Lobos.

Sometimes I could spend six or seven hours in the water with no break, just because the waves where so much fun. The last few days I was physically exhausted, the forecast was looking a little dull so I could not have timed it any better. Time to go Home to chilly Wales for a well earned rest and a cooked dinner.