Saturday was Australia Day. Regardless on where you stand on the politics of the day, everyone pretty much agrees that if it’s at all possible, the thing to do on Australia Day is head to the beach. Unsurprisingly, Bondi is a popular choice and even early the beach was full of punters.

There was no Can Too session because of the public holiday, and just the one 4SEASons session….but we had invited along a bunch of our friends in orange and it was a pretty massive group that weaved its way between the sunbathers down the to the edge of the water.

After last Saturday’s run in with big waves, a few people were keen to work a bit more on that aspect of their swimming, and the weather helped out by providing some reasonable surf.

At the end of the session, quite a lot of people hung around. My friend Steph and sister had come down again, and we were joined by a few extras as we played in the waves and generally had a bit of fun. Such a nice thing to be able to do to celebrate a holiday!

I did a couple of wave-catching 1-on-1 sessions with Steph and Sonja who were still getting the hang of it. Seems they were both struggling with the same sorts of things.

My advice if you’re struggling with catching waves is that there are 2 key things.

  1. Timing. Get some practice somewhere you can stand, and watch the waves coming in towards you. Try a fraction earlier or later. See if you can pick how fast the waves are coming and get a feel for how the undertow tugs back just before the wave hits. These are all cues you can use to figure out the right timing to get on the wave. To early and you lose momentum, too late and you’ve missed it. Just right and you’ll be smiling all the way to the sand!
  2. Speed. Ideally you want to be going about the same speed as the wave. No point lifting your feet at the last second and hoping it’s going to be a sweet ride straight in. You need to really throw yourself into it. Dive horizontally as you jump on the wave. Push-off hard. And keep kicking, and stroking (one-handed works for me) while you’re on that wave to really make the most of it.

There are plenty of other tips and tricks once you’re on a wave, but if you’re really struggling I’d start with these. Getting there is a good part of the battle! Once you get it right, you can feel it working and running you all the way to the shore. It’s pretty amazing….for me pretty much always followed by wanting to do it all over again!

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