Nick Carroll's 3 Ways To Get The Best Position In The Line-Up Every Time

22 Dec 2017 1 Share

COASTALWATCH | SURF COACH SERIES

Hosted by Nick Carroll

Additional footage provided by Craig Halstead & Rob Johnson.

In this series, Nick Carroll will walk you through crucial elements that will help you learn how to relax while surfing as well as rid yourself of anxiety-born habits that you adopted when you were learning to surf.

These tips and drills are guaranteed to change how you think about and approach your surfing and are exclusive Coastalwatch Plus subscribers!

Check out last week's feature on How To Paddle Stronger and Smarter

Video Overview: Positioning & Reducing Line-Up Anxiety

DO YOU:

  • Miss more waves than you catch?
  • Follow other surfers around the line-up without meaning to?
  • Regularly get caught inside — either while paddling out or waiting for waves? (This might be at one particular spot or it might happen at a range of spots)

Line-up anxiety often places us incorrectly both for moving through broken water and positioning for a wave. We either rush things or freeze in place. Make positioning a priority, and lessen the workload.

TIPS:

  1. OBSERVE
    Just watch the surf zone for a while before entering the water. Don’t watch for anything in particular, but just see what you see. You’ll naturally begin picking up on key things that’ll help you during your surf: who’s sitting where, the paths people take through the surf zone and into the lineup, wave frequency, waves you like and waves you don’t.

    This is one of surfing’s great hidden glories, you have permission to stare vacantly at something for quite a long time! There’s no clock on it but here’s a good rule of thumb, watch for 10 minutes any surf to four feet, then add another 10 minutes for every additional two foot of swell. (ie if it’s 10 feet, watch for 40 minutes.)
     
  2. TRIANGULATE 
    Find some markers on land that you can use to orientate yourself in the water. Buildings, trees, whatever as long as they’re staying in one place. You’ll probably need at least two, so they and you form the points of a triangle. Lineup markers are deep secret surfing shit. At some spots on the global surfing map, they’re guarded by a handful of obsessive humans. Guaranteed, the person you see getting the highest volume of good waves at any location has it triangulated better than the rest.
     
  3. CHOOSE
    Either you’re in position, or you’re not. Use your observation time to make a choice about where you want to be in the line-up, before you paddle out. Go to that place, triangulate it, go back to it. If it’s not working, come in and have another look — you’re totally allowed to do that!

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