To teach surfers what to think when they wipe-out in a heat situation.


The surfers should be taught that a wipe-out in a heat is bad enough, without the surfer chastising themselves and thinking negative thoughts.

Poor thinking when a wipe-out occurs only compounds the error.


  • Ask the surfers to surf a twenty minute heat and attack the first wave of the heat. If a wipe-out occurs, the surfer is instructed to follow the strategy below.


When an error occurs surfers should:

  • Acknowledge that the mistake has been made.
  • Follow this acknowledgement with positive thoughts. “next time I’ll
    make it if I........”
  • If a novice competitive surfer – Think: on the next wave I’ll go for
    length of ride – toning down the manoeuvre quality to ride the next wave successfully.

If an experienced surfer – Think: why did I wipe-out? Once a cause has been found, remind themselves of the technical components of the manoeuvre.

For example: “I need to centre over the surfboard on vertical -re-entires”, or “I need to hold my crouched body stance for a longer time on cutbacks”.

Then go and attempt to do what is appropriate on the next wave.

Following a strategy like the one outlined above helps to stop the downward spiral which so often happens in competitive heats (one wipe-out followed by another).

This is a sure sign the surfer is thinking negatively about their performance. 

Ride the next wave in a successful fashion and the chances of advancing are enhanced.