04 Aug Top 5 Surf Tips from Pro Surfer Erin Brooks
Erin Brooks is the name to know when it comes to the progression of women’s performance surfing. Originally hailing from Texas, she now lives on Hawaii’s legendary North Shore and travels the world scoring epic barrels and landing insane airs. She ranked at number 12 in her first season as a pro junior in 2019 on the Women’s World Junior Tour, she’s signed with Rip Curl and she gives Bethany Hamilton a run for her money at Waco Wave Pool in Texas. Oh, and she’s just 14 years old. We don’t know about you, but when we were 14 years old we definitely weren’t pulling off effortless air-reverses like this one.
We caught up with Erin to get some awesome tips to help you up your surfing game!
How do you keep your mind and body in good condition for surfing?
I usually surf 4-6 hours a day so I spend a lot of time in the water. I also love to workout so I do some form of workout everyday to keep my body strong and flexible. If the surf isn’t good I usually head to a skatepark or spend time on a trampoline. The combination of surfing, skating, and working out keeps my body in good shape. If I’m not doing physical activity then I’m usually doing homeschool or watching videos of other surfers. You can learn a lot from watching and analyzing videos of pro surfers.
What makes the perfect cutback?
The key to a good cutback is having enough speed to stay on your rail during the entire manoeuvre. If you get too far on the shoulder and are outside the power source of the wave it’s hard to keep your speed and stay on the rail.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to practise airs?
To learn airs you have to be willing to fall a lot. It can take 100’s if not 1,000’s of attempts to land airs successfully the first time. People think wave pools are key to learning airs and they are a great tool, but I really think practising on skateboards and trampolines is better. I don’t get to skate as often as I would like, but I love it and think it’s a great way to improve your aerial surfing.
What’s your top tip for landing airs?
Landing airs takes a lot of practice. The most important things for me are to attack a section with speed, stay over my board, and lastly commit to the landing. I try to make sure my head and eyes are looking where I want to land. This helps me project towards the beach instead of out the back of the wave and really increases the amount of airs I land successfully.
How do you stay calm in big waves?
Big waves can be very intimidating and if you’re not careful you can get hurt. I’ve worked really hard on my strength and breath hold training and I trust my equipment. I’d be lying if I said I don’t get nervous at times but I know I’ve done everything I can to prepare myself so I just say a quick prayer and paddle out. The waves that scare me the most are usually the most rewarding to ride.
Check out Erin surfing an epic wave at Pipe here!
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By Lily Plume