We can be hard on ourselves sometimes and I find that it can be easy to get frustrated when things don't go our way out in the surf.
Maybe the waves have been wild for a few weeks, you haven't nailed that cutback yet or you just don't have time.
As soon as I start to feel that frustration, I like to try different things in and out of the water, so I'm still getting in the water (my happy place and probably yours!) but going in with no expectations, except to have fun!
Here's 5 ways we like to mix things up:
Dawn Patrol Watergate Bay / Photo Clare James
1) Belly Boarding
Say goodbye to the pressure of having to stand up!
Belly boards are small wooden planks, with a little rocker in the nose to ride along waves. They don't usually have leashes, but can feel really easy to manage out in the water.
Belly boarding is SO much fun, it's almost hard to describe. You can do it in the white water or paddle it out the back wearing a pair of fins and it is a great way of building ocean confidence.
When you get a good one, it feels like you're going 100 mph and it definitely brings out the inner child!
Our ocean confidence belly board workshops / Photo Ben Hartly
2) Try A Different Surfboard
You may often wonder why surfers have so many boards and it's usually because we like to have boards for different conditions or ones that just feel fun to ride!
For me, I discovered longboarding and foam boards when I became repeatedly frustrated with shortboarding, especially when the waves were small.
I found that by riding something completely different, it allowed me to wipe the slate clean and it took a lot of pressure away and put me in a better mindset, I was having fun again!
If you only have 1 board, maybe ask a friend to borrow one or swap boards in the water for a couple of waves!
Trying new boards is fun! / Photo Bella Bunce
3) Cold Water Dipping
Grab your swimmers and get out there!
When I don't have time to surf or the waves are blown out, I like to get my daily ocean fix by going for a quick dunk.
The cold water hitting your body fills you with adrenaline and endorphins, giving you an instant energy boost!
There's also been a lot of research that says that cold water dips can improve your mental health, blood circulation, metabolism and may reduce pain and inflammation.
Sunset dip with the crew! / Photo @myeyeswontdry
No board, just you and some fins.
If you're new to bodysurfing, try it first in the white water (best without fins) or small green waves before swimming out into the line up to build confidence and to get used to the energy in the waves without having a board with you.
Bodysurfing is amazing, it's so good to be able to duck and swim under waves and to just pop out the other side, rather than having to battle your board through them.
We catch waves like we would on a surfboard, except we kick and use our arms to catch it, riding across the face or straight down the wave, keeping our body streamlined to illuminate drag for a smooth ride.
A fun nugget!
5) On Land Training
If you don't have time to surf or you're not feeling it, keep moving and wake up some new muscles that will benefit your surfing!
By putting time into our bodies, it helps us to reach new potentials out in the water, also giving us a confidence boost because we know we have been putting the work in.
You don't have to go to a gym and pump weights, there's lots of things out there that you can do, from home workouts, surf skating, rock climbing, basically anything that involves a board and using your body weight.
Check out home workout and yoga tutorials on SurfGirl Premium.
Or join a fitness class in your local area.
Empower Fitness here in Newquay run Surf Fitness classes every week, designed to level up your fitness and surfing all at the same time!
Empower coaches Paddy & Mandy
See you in the water!