Beau Young talks CONTEST SURFING
When it comes to sport Australia is one of the most passionate and competitive nations in the world. Whether it’s grassroots local competition, or nation versus nation, Australians are loyal and committed both as fans and competitors. Competitive surfing is as popular as ever and many young surfers dream of one day competing on the world tour and living the life of a professional surfer. However, this involves an epic amount of hard work and dedication, as well as a commitment to your fitness and an emotional toughness.
It’s been a few years since Beau Young was surfing on the world tour, but as a 2 x world champion longboarder he has some awesome advice to get your head in the game. Here are his top 5 tips for surfing contests.
For me this is the most important thing in the search for success in competition. I used to surf before and after school every day, regardless of the wave conditions. My mother said there will always be someone spending more time in the ocean and practise really does make perfect.
Unlike sports such as tennis or football, surfing conditions are always changing and no wave is the same. I think surfing every day, in every kind of wind and wave condition is the best advice and it shows your love and commitment to the sport.
Ensure you have the correct board/boards for the conditions and your favourite board, as well as the correct fins and wax etc. Early preparation for an event and being aware of the type of wave you will be surfing is essential.
I always got to the beach long before my heat and found a quiet place to assess the conditions.
Knowing what the exact tide will be when your heat is on and surfing the bank the day before at the exact same time will give you a greater understanding of the wave. As waves come in sets you can pretty much time the sets and assess which one/ones in the set (be it wave 2 and 3) will have the best shape and size.
This is a funny one, but you will find lots of athletes have some kind of superstition. During the coarse of an event you will develop little rituals that make you feel more comfortable, at ease and get you in the right mindset.
For me, if I won or made a heat in a certain pair of shorts I would wear the same shorts for the entire event so as not to break the hoodoo.
I would always listen to a couple of songs right before I went in the water, be it a mellow relaxing tune or a song that gets you pumped up both mentally and physically. Music can really get you in the right frame of mind.
So you’ve put in the prior preparation in the surf, you're on your magic board with the perfect fins, you know how often the sets come, which wave in that set is the best one and you are in position to catch it. Now it's time to breathe.
Breathe, let those nerves go and be patient. In my opinion patience is the key, patience and knowing the correct wave to catch. With 20 minutes in a heat it can feel like a lot of time or very little, but with the need for only 2 or 3 best waves scores there is no real pressure. Just relax, sit tight and wait for that wave. Believe in your ability, trust your equipment and the preparation you have put in.