Tips from the Tower
Part 1: Quality Over Quantity
By: Brandon Russell
Fresh off the road and back from judging another surf contest (ESA Mid-Atlantic Regionals in Nags Head, NC), I thought it would be a good time to start writing a small series of articles focused on improving heat strategies for competing amateur surfers. Here's the first installment of "Tips from the Tower".
When judges say "Quality over Quantity", we are referring to wave selection. After all, only your two best rides will count once the final horn sounds. So, you could potentially only ride two waves in your heat and still win. Granted, the amateur surfer is permitted to ride up to 10 waves per 15 minute heat, and 12 waves per 20 minute heat, but it is not necessary to fill up your entire score card.
Once you have caught and ridden two waves in your heat, then look to improve on those scored. If a wave coming in doesn't offer the scoring opportunity to better one of your scores, there is no point in catching the wave (unless you're playing defense).
Instead, conserve your energy and hold your position out-the-back. Wait for a wave to come in that has the scoring potential on offer that you require to 'up' your total heat score.
"Two 10's beat ten 2's", is a good saying to remember. It means that two 10-point rides will beat ten 2-point rides when all is said and done, at the end of the heat. Don't be overly busy catching unnecessary waves. You just might miss a good one that you may have needed.
Until next time, surf smarter, go harder.