We all want to know, what makes the best surfers in the world tick, especially when it comes to taking your surfing to the next level. Caio had an epic WSL contest in Peniche, Portugal MEO Rip Curl Pro and we caught up with him (for some insights) before he surfs the Triple Crown in Hawaii.
‘Seeing’ it before it has happened has been a successful technique used by coaches across sports codes for many years. In surfing, this applies both to the competitive side of things, as well as improving your surfing.
“This is one of my secrets,” explains Ciao. “When I have a big, potentially career-changing heat, coming up, I go full focus, mentally. The night before I think about everything I want to happen in the heat. Down to little details such as what turns to do which sections. This way, everything that is happening is not a surprise to you, as you’ve prepared yourself for it,” he says.
This applies to improve your surfing too. Visualize how you will do a bottom turn - top turn combo and then make it happen just that way in your next session.
Surf in all conditions
“Surfing is a tough sport because we never have a set court to play,” says Ciao, alluding to how golf or tennis is played on a standard playing field that is unmoving. “That's why we train in all kinds of conditions. When we are confronted with those conditions in competition, we are ready,” he says.
You can apply this to your own surfing too. Each time you go out, whether it be offshore and perfect (as we always hope it is where you are) or onshore, sloppy and freezing, you will come out of the session a better surfer, with a better understanding of the ocean and your equipment. That old saying always applies here: ‘When in doubt, paddle out…’
Don’t take it too seriously
Of course, we all want to improve and get better and perhaps even do well in a competition, but never forget why you started riding waves in the first place. “I think this is (fun) the most important word. Always,” says Caio. “If you’re not having fun it’s because you might not be surfing…!”
This may seem self-explanatory, but it is the one aspect many recreational surfers neglect. The simple fact is that if you are fitter, you WILL surf better. “We always try to keep ourselves fit for the events,” Caio says, explaining that it is not always easy on the road. “Pilates and plyometric gymnastics are my favorite workouts to do when I’m on the road.”
Have full confidence in your gear
“Choosing the gear is key,” Caio says. “Especially when you are on a surf trip or competition - you have to trust that gear can save your life and help you perform better. That’s why I use RYD,” he says. This applies to your weekend warrior surfers too. The more trust you have in your gear (from boards, to traction, fins, and leg ropes) you will have the confidence to push your surfing.
May the Waves Be Good where YOU are today!