Turning beginners into surfers faster &
Unleashing the potential of the average surfer

Private Surf Lessons in Raglan

Let me create you a program that will unleash your surfing potential so you can meet your personal goals or just have more fun.

Raglan surf lessons for average surfers.

Who these Surf Lessons are for:

If you’re not a beginner surfer and you’re not a pro-surfer, you will probably be a member of the biggest group of surfers, those who fall somewhere in the middle – the average surfers.

Beginner surfers and Pro surfers are both well aware of the benefits of surf coaching or training and most of them take advantage of it in their quest to surf better. You won’t find a pro surfer who hasn’t worked hard at improving. Even guys who are celebrated for their lack of training, like Dane Reynolds, admit that they spend hours and hours studying technique on surf videos as well as regularly studying their own footage to correct errors.

As an average surfer you probably have an equal desire to surf better, but have you considered how surf lessons and training could help you improve?

For some reason surfers have a mindset that surfing can’t be taught and you’ve just got to surf a lot. It’s true you need to surf a lot, but plenty of guys surf everyday and never seem to improve.

I saw this quote in surfer mag a while back:

An entire lifetime could be spent in the lineup with nothing more to show for it than a mediocre cutback and an awkward top turn.

There are a number of reasons why just surfing more isn’t the answer to quick improvement – for a start your surfing feels different to how it looks, you get limited opportunities for repetition, you have to have good posture and range of motion and that’s just the beginning.

You have to address these problems first and then you will progress.

Rather than spending thousands on new boards hoping they’ll make you rip, consider whether a little coaching might be more effective (and cheaper).

Why Surf Better?

The goal of surfing better isn’t about being serious and taking the fun out of surfing. I actually think it’s important to be as relaxed as possible in the waves.

But you can have even more fun when you step outside your usual zone and take things to the next level.

When your surfing improves more options become available to you. For example, you learn how to handle late take-offs and now you can surf reef breaks and find yourself getting barreled more often.

Surfing the Ledge, Raglan New Zealand.

Get the confidence to take on heavier waves. Image by Jun Kaneko

Surfing’s fun from the day you start, but it’s kind of like the better you get the deeper the whole experience becomes. Imagine how it would feel to have the abilities of someone like Shane Dorian, no wave is off limits and you have the skills required to clock up minutes of barrel time on every surf trip you take.

The Problems us Average Surfers Face

Average surfers often compare themselves to rippers at their local break and conclude that they simply lack talent.

This ‘fixed talent mindset’ can be quite limiting and often stops people from taking the necessary steps to improvement.

What they’ve failed to ask is ‘why is that ripper so much better than me?’. If they asked that question they would see that the ripper has worked much harder at their surfing and had many more opportunities.

Here are some of the problems average surfers face that rippers/pros often don’t:

  • body not ready for good surfing – your body adapts to what you do most so if you’ve been sitting all day every day you won’t be anywhere near as ready to rip as some kid or pro that has been at the beach every day since age 5. Many of the surfers I coach have postural issues that make their take-offs awkward or their stances unbalanced.
  • lack of awareness and sometimes in delusion – any time you see your own surfing footage you realise that it looks completely different to how it feels. If you don’t get regular feedback either from a coach or video footage you will be unaware of the errors you are making and therefore will never fix them. Pros on the other hand watch nearly every wave they ride and tweak their technique regularly. I could produce a book of quotes from the likes of Taj, Julian and Dane on how important this feedback is.
  • lack of mentoring and advice – rippers often have surfing parents, get sponsored young, go on training camps and get lots of tips and advice all along the way. It’s like they are being coached all the time by knowledgeable experts. Average surfers often lack good advice and have to figure things out the hard way by trail and error.
  • limited opportunities for repetition – I think there’s a quote that says repetition is the mother of all skill. That’s why surfing is so hard to master, the waves aren’t always good, the lineups are crowded and no two waves are the same ever. The average surfer generally has to work full-time and surfs with the weekend crowds whereas the pros surf all week, are fitter and catch more waves plus they spend whole seasons in Indo and Hawaii. Just another disadvantage.
  • over thinking while surfing – average surfers who started as adults will often put a lot of pressure on themselves and try and think their way to surfing better. Kids don’t really think when they surf, it’s all about fun and feel. Rippers often started at a very young age, had that feel not thought approach and continued with it.
  • aversion to mistakes – mistakes are vital to learning and rippers understand this. They will sacrifice good waves in the name of progression. Average surfers often view mistakes as a sign of weakness, they’ll try a new move a few times and then give up.
  • aversion to coaching – trying too hard is thought of as uncool in surfing. A lot of average guys say things like “Dane Reynolds doesn’t train or get coached”. But have you had a surfing lifestyle with as much opportunity as Dane? I would say you haven’t had anywhere near as much practice, feedback, or mentoring as him. If you want to progress you need to make up for that lack of opportunity and it’s highly likely you’ll need to do lots of physical corrective exercise to undo the effects of your non surf focussed lifestyle.

The realisation of these deficiencies is very powerful because it points the way to improved performances. The average surfer, if he has the desire, can address each of these problems, replicate the pro-surfers approach and begin to make leaps in performance and enjoyment.

It all comes down to desire.

If you have the desire to surf better, I can show you the things you need to work on and you will progress.

The main thing to remember is you need to stop questioning your ‘talent’ and give yourself access to the right training methods – it’s all about the quality and quantity of your training.

A Solution

When pro-surfers are being coached, they generally benefit immediately from things like video analysis and advanced physical training methods involving exercise balls, wobble boards etc. But, as I pointed out earlier these guys and girls have been surfing their whole lives, are in good shape to surf and have high levels of body and movement awareness already.

I’ve realised that to help the average surfer get near their potential, any coaching needs to firstly address the problems listed in the previous section as well as integrating the coaching methods the pros use. This means the bigger picture needs to be looked at first – get the foundation of mind and body right, then move on to specific areas such as technique.

So I’ve designed a Surfing Program especially for the average surfer and it works by:

  • identifying a surfers goals
  • assessing their current posture and movement patterns, stance, surfing technique (using video analysis), mindset, and any methods they are using to improve
  • providing practical solutions they can use to get their mind and body ready for good surfing
  • outlining a process for improving surfing technique/manoeuvres using land based training methods and regular feedback

To carry out this program completely I meet up with you in Raglan. I will film you surfing and we will begin developing the program that you will use to meet your goals.

You will end up taking home:

  • your customised program in pdf format (focusing on 3 technique / manoeuvre goals in most cases)
  • if needed, additional information on physical training or mindset
  • All your raw surfing footage
  • video clips edited with coaching software to highlight aspects of technique for improvement

This diagram gives an overview of the program and how it addresses the problems faced by the average surfer:

Overview of surf lessons in Raglan.

About the Location

I run all these surf lessons in Raglan, New Zealand’s most famous surf town. Located 2 hours drive from Auckland on the west coast, Raglan has a number of different surf breaks to choose from.

Where we surf will depend on your ability, the waves on the day and what your goals are. We can time our surfs to avoid crowded conditions as much as possible.

How You’ll Benefit from these Private Surf Lessons in Raglan

  • You’ll understand all the things that have been holding your surfing back and what you can do to improve quickly
  • Gain awareness of what you’re currently doing right and wrong and take home video footage that highlights this for your future improvement
  • You’ll find out whether your body is limiting your surfing ability and learn about effective ways for you to fix your unique issues – improving posture, movement patterns, flexibility, range of motion and strength in the process
  • Understand how your mindset could be limiting your surfing performances and adopt methods used by top athletes to reach potential, avoid choking when it’s pumping, increase your confidence and overcome fear
  • Have manoeuvres you want to learn broken down into chunks and cue-words to make learning them easier
  • Find out ways to embed correct surfing techniques into your mind and body on land to overcome the problem of limited opportunities for practice and repetition
  • Learn how to find a state of “flow” more often = better surfing and relaxed, fun surfs
  • 100% customised to your goals. No heat drills, no dune sprints or funky warm-ups
  • Trying to learn a new move? Go from mental confusion to focus
  • Be ready for when the waves are firing!

Surf Lesson Packages

If you’re keen to give your surfing a boost, I’ve got 3 options for you to choose from:

1/2 Day Private Coaching
“give your surfing technique a quick tune-up”


  • goal setting and discuss your surfing background
  • video coaching session 2 hours
  • review footage and understand key aspects of technique to work on
  • identify any body movement or postural issues that need to be improved
  • discuss methods to improve your surfing
  • take home your footage
Full Day Private Coaching + Land-based Training Session
“identify everything that’s holding your surfing back – then leap forward”
full day surf coaching


  • goal setting and discuss your surfing background
  • video coaching session 2 hours
  • review footage and understand key aspects of technique to work on
  • identify any body movement or postural issues that need to be improved
  • a land based training session that could involve Smoothstar surf-skateboarding, learning exercises and stretches, working on improving stance – depending on your needs
  • video coaching session 2 that focuses on embedding the new techniques
  • final review and formulation of plan to improve your surfing
  • take home your footage
Full Day Private Coaching + Program Design + Edited Footage
“get a crystal clear understanding of key techniques”
full day coaching and edited footage


  • same program as the above plus:
  • a customised program (pdf document) that focuses on technique goals and provides practical actions you can take to get your mind and body ready to meet these goals
  • your footage edited with sports coaching software that uses split-screens, slow-mo and markups to highlight key aspects of technique. Great to watch before a surf.
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