To teach surfers how to be flexible in their thinking and actions in competitive heats.


Write the different scenarios on cards from which the surfers choose a card to decide which scenario they will undertake in the heat.


  • Ask the surfers to surf a twenty minute heat. 
  • They are to attempt to advance through the heat but at the same time they must follow the scenario that they have chosen.


Scenario training attempts to simulate the competitive experience as realistically as possible.

Few competitive heats pan out perfectly, and the perfect heat is rare. So surfers must learn to face and adapt to the unexpected in their heats.

They also must be able to maintain a clear focus when faced with unexpected occurrences.

During this type of training the coach can advise the type of thinking that would be required to overcome the unexpected problems.

It is up to the surfer then to put the thinking into practise.

The suggested scenarios are only examples of scenarios that can occur in heats.

This is definitely not a complete list. It is up to the creativity of the coach to create more heat scenarios which challenge the surfers they coach.


Scenario 1

You can’t catch a wave in the 1st 5 minutes therefore you must catch your two scoring waves in the remaining 15 minutes.

Scenario 2

You catch a 6 point wave in the 1st 5 minutes of the heat, but can’t catch a wave in the next 8 minute segment [ return to the beach for this period].

Therefore you must catch 1 wave in the last 7 minutes. To advance you must score over 13 points for your two waves.

Scenario 3

Your surfboard breaks after your 2nd wave.

Return to the beach and change boards. You must score over 12 points to advance.

Scenario 4

Your surfboard broke in the free surf.

You must borrow a surfboard to contest your heat.

Scenario 5

After your 1st wave you are caught inside for 5minutes.

[Return to the beach for this period] Paddle back to the peak and attempt to advance through your heat.

A heat score over 12 is required to advance.

Scenario 6

The surf is hard to paddle through between waves.

You must return to the beach and run back along the beach to use the rip to paddle back to the peak.

This must be done after every wave ridden, no matter what the length of ride.

Scenario 7

The judges are scoring high for vertical surfing.

Try to surf this way during your heat.

Heat score over 14 is required to advance.

Scenario 8

Surfers who are goal directed are more committed to attack the surf.

Set 2 goals and let your coach know what they are.

Scenario 9

The waves have a certain manoeuvre potential.

Try to only catch waves with the optimum manoeuvre potential for today.

Scenario 10

The judges are scoring high for deep takeoffs.

Attempt to surf “deep” for the heats duration.