How To Win The Mental Game Of Surfing

Learn The Reset Technique.

The mental aspect of surfing may be invisible, but it’s there all right. Sometimes, you get a surf session that feels like it got up on the wrong side of the bed.  Learning  how to win the mental game of surfing is just as important as learning to duck dive, how to paddle through the whitewater or how to do a grab rail turn. It actually might be more important because when your self-esteem takes a dive, expect your surf ability to follow. Pureline Surf shows you how to win the mental game of surfing with what they call the “reset technique.”

Here’s an overview of this “shake it off and start over so the surf session isn’t a waste” technique. 

Regardless of your surfing ability you will have, no doubt, had a session where nothing seems to be going your way. The good waves are not coming to you, every attempt at a turn ends in a bogged rail and simple skills, like the timing of your take-offs, end in a head-first trip over the falls. We’ve all been there. And when you’re having an absolutely terrible surf it’s hard to escape the anger, frustration, and negative attitude that inevitably sets in.

This is when you need to be able to find your reset button and salvage the session. The goal is to try to wash away the frustration you’re feeling so you are in a better mental state for the rest of your surf.



When you realize your surf is going downhill try to take a couple of minutes to yourself. Sit on your board a long way out the back, take some deep breaths and let your muscles relax.


Try to take your thoughts away from the nightmare session it’s been so far. Be aware of how this negativity is affecting your session and if you can, let go of it. In the regroup phase your task is to take your mind off of what has just happened, if you can do this you will have achieved the biggest step in the reset process. You can train your brain to get faster at this over time once you find the right trigger.


Think of the rest of your surf as a completely new event that you have the power to make into a positive experience. There are many factors in surfing that we do not have any control over – conditions, crowds etc. So for the rest of your session try to focus only on what you can control, like your wave selection and the choice of maneuvers to suit the conditions.

But If All Else Fails, Get Out!!

If you continue to have a bad session and you can’t let go of the stress and frustration, it might be time to get out of the water.

Read the complete story here.