Meet Jason.  Jason is software developer and web marketer from Santa Monica.  He started kite surfing in 2007 and in 2011 found paddle surfing.  About a year ago he stumbled across paddlewoo, listening to the podcast and reading the journal he decided that for his 40th birthday he’d like to come train at Blue Zone in Costa Rica.

Jason is an intermediate paddle surfer with a high degree of comfort in the ocean.  He catches a ton of waves, gets down the line easily and is working on more advanced turns.  He’s a great representative for the passionate paddle surfer who has more love than time, but is driven to progress.

His goal for the trip – to progress “a few years of California surfing in a week.”  A lofty goal, but one he thinks he achieved.

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Jason’s progression on the Backside Slingshot Bottom Turn in 5 days.  Notice shoulders, head, paddle, hand position, paddle position and weighting.

I’ve wanted to do a podcast with a guest for a while now, and Jason proved to be the right person.  His approach to learning and ability to articulate what he’s feeling will resonate with a lot of you reading.  I highly recommend that you listen to the whole podcast and I believe it to be the most valuable I’ve recorded for the intermediate surfer who listens for tips to improve.

There is also value for the industry guys that listen as Jason is your ideal customer.  In fact we are now in a discussion about what board is next in Jason’s race down in volume, and he’s ordering a 27 North Paddle, and getting the 20% paddlewoo discount.  You can too.

Here’s some notes about the show:

  • We discuss the book Peak, by Anders Ericsson, at great length.  I might make this mandatory reading for anyone coming down to train.  Jason read it on the trip and we spent mornings over bulletproof coffee discussing its application in paddle surfing.  Peak is about the journey to mastery though deliberate practice.  It’s why I started the progression journal – to stay focused on deliberate practice in my surfing, and it’s paying massive dividends.
  • Backside Slingshot Bottom Turn – Living in Santa Monica, Jason surfs a lot of rights.  His main goal was to improve his backside surfing.
  • Seated Pop-up – Jason credits learning the seated pop-up as a massive energy saver.  We surf a lot and you want to save your energy for surfing, not just paddling around waiting for waves, but if you’re not efficient in transition between sitting and standing you’ll miss waves and burn energy.
  • Stroke Technique and Paddle Length – Jason brought his own paddle down.  Probably a 95 sq. in. blade, and cut at 4 inches over height.  He used it once then dropped down to forehead height, 85 sq. in. blade, and never went back.  On the show he discusses the paddle, changing his stoke and the net affect on wave count and fatigue.
  • Jason tells a story about surfing in crowds and not realizing the impact he was having riding a bigger board.  He was on a voluminous 8.6 and taking off way out the back, thinking no one else could catch the waves.  Then, after dropping down to the Rawson 7.10 he had to take off inside, where the longboarders sat, and other paddle surfers were taking off farther out on waves he wanted.  He realized that until he dropped down in size he was taking waves that others could have caught and didn’t realize it.  It changed his mindset about surfing in crowds.  Here’s a piece I wrote with my strategies for surfing in lineups.

If you liked this post, you’ll love coming down to train in Costa Rica with Oscar and I.  Inquire below for fall/winter dates.

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