Online Surfing Instruction – Too Much “Fake News”

Online instruction for surfing is flourishing during these Covid times. But……not all of it is of any real value, with many presenters only creating content to expand their online presence, presenting information with multiple inaccuracies and half-truths. In fact…. much of it is “fake” news.

In the real world, when a new skill is being taught, a surf coach initially teaches an approximation of that skill so that a surfer gets a sense of what the skill should look and feel like. But as surfers develops, surfers need to be taught the full skill with all its technical attributes, to cement it into one that is performed effortlessly and with consistency.

What most online presenters do is present skills that are approximations of a targeted skill [instructions used with the new learner], but not the precise instructions required for the established surfer. But here’s the rub… most of the viewers of these instructional videos are established surfers. Surfers who are looking for accurate and useful information that can help them surf better, pull-off a new move, or just create consistency in their performances.

As an example, I recently saw two online instructional videos put out by an online surf fitness influencer and an international surfing federation. They had a combined viewership of over 150k Youtube views, but both had inaccuracies and were sloppy in their presentation. In effect, they were presenting information that potentially could make a surfing performance worse in the long term.

It makes me think – would a golfer wanting to lengthen their drive accept the advice from a golf coach who provides information that creates inconsistencies instead? Or would a tennis player accept advice that confused them on how to serve more consistently? Yet this is what is happening in our sport of surfing. So called surfing gurus trying to make a buck out of content creation and building an audience under the guise of instructing surfers.

Surfing & Golf - extremely technical sports

Performing well in both surfing & golf require learning the correct technical skills of both sports.

The thing is that surfing is a highly technical sport [much like golf or tennis], but its’ the addition of a wave’s power which masks the necessity of correct technique. The more powerful a wave, the less important is the necessity of perfect technique, whereas in small or weak waves, to surf well, technique is king. So it should be the goal of every surfer, to create the most perfect technique possible, so they can surf well in all surf conditions.

Motivated surfers should understand that not all online instruction is designed to help them surf better. In many cases it’s all about creating content to build a larger audience, pure and simple. Being aware of this fact is one step towards wading through the crap, to obtain the correct lessons on how to surf better .