This weekend, model-slash-designer Ashley Smith took to the waves with other RVCA advocates and Artist Network Programmers (ANP) as part of their #BabesinMTK venture. And when we say Smith totally dominated Montauk’s Ditch Plains Beach surf, we mean it. So, post-shredding some solo waves and then taking her instructor tandem, we asked her to spill all her surf tips because it’s harder than it looks. Trust us.
1. Stay low to the board. When you pop up to ride the wave it’s really important you keep your knees bent. If you straighten your legs, you will lose your ability to maneuver and steer the board.
2. If you’re a beginner, start with a bigger board. It’s easier to keep your balance because you have more surface to work with. Also consider getting a softboard or epoxy board, which is made with foam or consists of a foam core, so it has more buoyancy compared to other boards.
3. This may sound like a no brainer, but when you’re out in the water looking for your waves or just heading out from the beach, don’t tire yourself out by paddling against waves and wind. Be observant about the direction of the waves and try paddling at an angle over the waves, almost parallel.
4. Surfing is a full body workout. Staying fit and working out can really help your performance out on your board. “Popping up” (what gets you from flat paddling position to standing position) takes core strength, paddling takes arm strength, and having good balance won’t hurt either. Do exercises that improve these areas like squats, crunches, and lifting 10-20 lb. arm weights. I used to skateboard when I was younger and this really prepared me for the balance needed on a surf board. If your friend has a skateboard you can borrow, try just standing on it in place to practice your balance.
5. Dress accordingly. Before heading out to the beach, look up the water temperature so you know whether you need a full head-to-toe wetsuit or something short-sleeved. And also make it a really cute wet suit! RVCA has one I really love with ANP artist Margaux Arramon-Tucoo’s art.
Check out the trailer for RVCA’s #BabesinMTK short film below and be sure to head back over to rvca.com next Thursday to see the entire thing!