How it Works

Learn the steps to help you exploit the surfbetter100 teaching system to your maximum benefit

There is no right or wrong way to use the surfbetter100 program. Your ideal approach depends on how detailed you wish to go with it. You can simply watch a few videos for a quick shot of learning, or you can immerse yourself deep and learn as much detail as you possibly can.

Surfbetter100 is the result of over 30 years of coaching real surfers, of all abilities, all over the planet. People just like you!

If we are offering particular advice or ways of learning, then that’s because they have proven to work. It’s not just theory. We’ve tested and refined all of this knowledge at the coal-face over decades with real-life people. We offer up our experience for your benefit and the rest is up to you.

We suggest you also read About to understand the philosophy of the program. Once you understand the 'why', then you’ll better understand the 'how'.


  1. Choose your level - watch the brief overviews. Choose your level from 10 ability levels (beginner to advanced)

  2. Get started - select the membership option that suits you best

  3. Learn the 10 Concepts - discover the lifetime threads of never-ending progress

  4. Watch. Listen. Learn - watch quick-view, full lesson and practice videos. Then listen to your pre-surf audios as potent reminders

  5. Discover your strengths and weaknesses - pinpoint what's holding you back using the online Strength-finder tool

  6. Surf, Surf, Surf - rip it up following practice summaries and take it to the next level!

Read your relevant Essentials guidelines for basic advice on:

  • selecting the right type of board

  • choosing a suitable break

  • getting fit

  • keeping a productive mindset

  • surfing safely

  • getting a fair wave count applying appropriate surf etiquette

Go to our Community page to uncover some helpful tips in our regular articles and blog posts.

Our goal is to extract key information from what the world’s best surfers are doing and share these insights with you in a relatable context. On our Community page, we also encourage everyone to openly share their stories, ask questions and provide constructive comments with other like-minded surfers wanting to learn and progress their surfing as much as you!

If you prefer to delve more deeply into your learning and give yourself the maximum chance to improve, go to your Toolkit for some very useful hints and tips on the following topics, including;

  • Safety

  • Dream

  • Perfect practice

  • Imagine

  • Skill Progression

  • Observations

  • Style

  • Big 5

Read on below for an expanded explanation on each of the steps of How It Works.


Watch the Choose Your Level overview videos in order to choose the level which best matches where you’re currently at.

As a general rule, you’ll probably be about 60-80% competent in your chosen level. But typically you’ll be dabbling in some of the skills one level above and there’s probably also a handful of skills one level below that you still struggle with and typically, are the areas currently holding you back.

If you’re uncertain which level to choose, we suggest choose on the lower side because if you rush ahead, you might just miss out on important foundational concepts.

You know what they say about the dodgy house built on a poor foundation right? You’ll progress faster if you build a stronger house with deeper foundations and then consolidate on top of that. In other words, having a firm grasp of the core concepts below your skill level is highly beneficial to you.

Think of the fable of 'the hare and the tortoise'. Fastest doesn’t always win! It can be far better to be realistic about your ability and develop a strong base of foundation skills first until they become good habits. So don’t be afraid of going back to basics and building from there.


You can choose from 3 membership options.

Simply choose the membership option that suits you best and get started immediately. Your membership options include;

  1. FULL ACCESS (MONTHLY) - includes access to ALL 10 levels. Cost $29.00USD p/month (billed monthly)

  2. FULL ACCESS (YEARLY) - includes access to ALL 10 Levels. Cost $20.00USD p/month (billed annually)

  3. PREMIUM (MENTORING) - includes access to ALL 10 Levels, plus a monthly Zoom call with an expert coach. Cost $139.0USD p/month (billed annually)



Watch the 10 Concepts videos. These are the pillars of surf technique.

Learn all about them and keep them as your consistent threads of progress throughout your entire surfing life.

Understand that they are in a sequence of priority. Ideally they all work hand in hand together to form a complete performance. However some are definitely more critical than others.

Here are the 10 Concepts and their order of priority:

  1. Control

  2. Wavesense

  3. Judgement

  4. Takeoff

  5. Trim

  6. Weight

  7. Rails

  8. Rotation

  9. Extension

  10. Criteria

Sticking to this system of priorities is how you will determine what is most important for you to focus on.

For instance, don’t focus on your take-off skills (4) unless you’re applying good judgement into the situation (3). And judgement won’t even help you if your wave sense (2) is poor. Therefore better to choose the right wave fist and then judgement and take-off will consequently become easier. Or another example would be don’t focus on rotation (8) if your rail (7) work is not sound. But don’t focus on your rail (7) work unless you know how to distribute your weight (6).

This system of prioritisation brings clarity. You work out what’s most important. You pinpoint your lowest hanging weaknesses and then fix them one at a time. Being overwhelmed with too many different skills to work on is the enemy of progress. Therefore work out your priorities and focus on them one or two at a time.


Watch your corresponding video lessons one at a time. Watch them in their sequenced order.

The quick-view videos are short and move swiftly with a lot of information. You’ll need to watch them many times in order to enjoy the maximum benefit.

The full lessons are longer in duration and provide more detailed explanations of each skill. The start of each video explains WHY this skill is important to you. The first rule of learning anything at all is that if you understand 'why' you are asked to do something, then it’s more likely that you will learn and apply it.

As you watch each video, try to remember the key words that are floating on the screen. These are the best summary of the message.

Imagine yourself performing those same techniques. See yourself in your mind and feel it in your body. If you understand neuroplosticity and how your brain functions, then you would watch a video over and over hundreds of times over a minimum course of one month. This is how long it takes for new neural pathways to form in your brain. So embrace repetition and watch your videos as often as you can.

Listen to your audio lessons. These expanded explanations flesh out the lesson in maximum detail. What is your objective with this skill? Why is this important to your progress? When is the best time to practice this? How do you do it? How does this skill apply to particular maneuvers? What would success look and feel like for you? What are the main points to remember? 

These spoken word lessons offer detailed explanations that are designed to complement the videos. The average length of each audio is around 10 minutes.


Unique to surfbetter100 is our online Strength-finder tool which allows you to calculate your strongest and weakest skills.

Answer each question by selecting your most accurate response. Your scores will be automatically tallied and your strengths and weakness revealed to you by email.

Once you discover what you naturally do best, then you can start surfing to your strengths. But the bigger objective here is to pinpoint your specific weaknesses. You might not know it yet, but these are the areas that are currently holding you back.

Once identified, you can then target these weaknesses as your first priority by watching their corresponding videos over and over and putting in the time in the ocean to practice them.

If you came to us and paid for an expensive one-on-one lesson in the water, our primary objective would be to uncover your 3 lowest weaknesses and arm you with an action plan to go away and fix them. Our Strength-finder tool does exactly that. It’s arguably the most beneficial aspect of the surfbetter100 program.


Now the fun part comes...lots of surfing!

You should surf as much as you can. It all helps. Surf a range of conditions – big, small, fat, closing out … there are so many varied aspects that can be nuanced in different conditions. Try different boards. Go as often as you can. It all helps.

As well as having some fun it's also crucial that you do your practice homework. We encourage you to watch the practice video lessons and read your practice summaries.

You will be prompted to go and practice very specific skills during your surf sessions. Certainly it’s fun to just forget everything, surf and goof off (and for sure … this does have its place). However unless you practice very specific skills with a mindful focus, then your progress will be slower than it could be.

We suggest concentrating for 15-20 minutes on just one of your specific weaknesses, giving it all of your attention. Then move onto the next skill for another 15-20 minutes and practice that in isolation. And then the next and so on. Perhaps then after this, you might enjoy some free-surf time towards the end of your session as a reward for your discipline.

The more targeted and focused your surf time is, the sooner you will progress. So there is surfing and then there is practice – and they are similar in some ways but different in others. You should do both.

The following topics provide a brief overview of further useful hints and tips that can be found within your Toolkit items;


Safe surfing is a fundamental skill that needs to be understood from the beginner surfer entering the break for the very first time right through to the advanced level surfer.

Whilst the core safety skills and considerations relating to all levels are showcased in the Safety video in your Toolkit, a unique set of safety guidelines can also be found in your Essentials. These guidelines will relate specifically to that level and will vary in complexity from Level 1 (simple) to Level 10 (complex).


Set yourself some Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (BHAG) today! The kind that get you psyched to step out of comfort zones and persevere through flat spells.

With credit to author Jim Collins, a BHAG (pronounced “Bee-Hag,” short for Big Hairy Audacious Goal), is a powerful way to stimulate progress. A BHAG is clear and compelling, needs little explanation and motivates you with a relentless sense of urgency.

When you have goals that motivate you in a powerful way, these can be what drives you to push through dis-comforts, fears, injuries, frustrations, distractions and barriers.

It's good to write or print your goals and keep them highly visible. Stick them on your wall in your bedroom, office or bathroom. To help with this process read the Dream Overview and download both your Dream Vision Board. All 3 can be found in the Resources section of this Toolkit item.


When you practice, it’s critically important that you’re actually practicing the right things and also practicing with a maximum degree of potency. Otherwise you may just be reinforcing bad habits which makes things worse. This is actually what most people do and it’s how you get stuck in a rut.

Perfect Practice contains many tips to create the art of perfect practice. The tips in this read will drastically accelerate your learning curve.


There’s tremendous benefit if you use the surfbetter100 lesson videos as a visualisation tool.

Visualisation is another way of building mileage. In fact mental mileage can be just as productive as physical mileage because at least in your mind, you’re able to perform the skills precisely and without fault.

Visualisation is the practice of imagining yourself surfing perfectly in great detail with the aim of imprinting your muscles with this clear blueprint. You can imagine an entire session, ride, or just one specific aspect of your ride. Visualise how it looks both from the perspective of an outsider-watching, as well as how it viscerally feels within your own body.

When you watch yourself surfing, you must see and feel perfect technique. Sit or lie somewhere quiet and practice this regularly. You can even do it in the water between sets. And you should definitely watch one or two specific videos on your phone or tablet just before you paddle out. Watch the video/s and imagine yourself performing the exact same way. This is powerful! It’s an ideal mental warm-up which sharpens your focus onto how you want to be riding and improves your chance of replicating the movements out in the water.

To make this exercise even more powerful, listen to the Imagine visualisation audio tools. Choose the right audio for your ability level, lie down in a quiet place and be guided through the process of seeing yourself surfing flawlessly in your mind. We cannot stress enough the infinite potentiality that comes through vivid imagination.


In essence, skill progression is the act of getting one small skill right before you move onto the next. This approach underpins surfbetter100's unique teaching system.

We want you to focus on conquering the smaller more manageable 'part skills' first. These many small parts will then add up and the desired results will take care of themselves. Success is derived from taking one small step at a time. Patience, application and repetition will be the 3 key drivers of your skill progression. While improving your part skills, it can be helpful to understand the learning cycle and the important art of recognising improvement.

Read more about Skill Progression in your Toolkit.


Now that you have an understanding of the 10 Concepts use the Observations tool to cross check your progression against a set of specific performance criteria. These metrics provide you with a tangible means of effectively measuring your progress and ensure that you have truly mastered each skill set before moving onto the next.


We have all heard the old adage, 'less is more'. This phrase couldn't be more true when it comes to stylish surfing. Surfers with impeccable style make difficult maneuvers look easy.

In simple terms, style is economy in motion. This means that your body moves dis-proportionally compared to its output on the board. When your body moves, it does so with smooth, graceful movements which are technically so efficient as to produce a maximised or leveraged effect on your board.

Style certainly allows for personal flair. You'll probably already have your own individual style that's characteristically you. That's great and what its all about but there is always room for improvement. There is no one single recipe for everyone. However if you wanting to smooth out your style, go to the Style tool for some simple tips to improve. The good news is that you can quite easily and rapidly work on improving your style in small ways.


Any great turn is comprised of 5 fundamental pillars - Compress, Heels or Toes, Look & Twist and Extend. Each pillar relates to another and all work in unison. The 5 pillars are the foundations for excellent surfing at all levels. Mastering all 5 in any situation will benchmark your surfing progression.

Watch the Big 5 video in your Toolkit to understand the key principles and when to apply them.


"Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford. So true! In the ocean, getting your headspace right is critical.

In surfing you’ll always have challenges here and that’s part of the attraction. (If it was an easy sport you probably wouldn’t bother right?) But good athletes are the ones who can take a negative situation or mindset and turn the situation around quickly.

Direct your focus mostly to the things within your control. If you do make mistakes and get frustrated, try to pivot by focusing on what you did well and using positive self-talk to suggest what you will do right on your next ride.

When it comes to confidence in bigger surf, do stay within your limits – but know what those limits are. To help with this, you can start to differentiate between real danger and perceived danger. Perceived danger might feel scary but it won’t really hurt you. Real danger will though. So if you can differentiate the two, this will help you navigate your personal boundaries. Stay calm by relaxing underwater and counting to 10 before you panic un-necessarily. Everyone can hold their breath for 10 seconds and it’s rare that your hold-downs will be any longer than that.

Read Believe in your Toolkit for more detailed information on how to avoid fears and mental barriers and instead develop a positive mindset that will help you perform better and more consistently.


“Little strokes fell giant oaks.” Benjamin Franklin.

Improvement takes time. But if you persevere with consistent, step by step action, then you can achieve great things. Be patient. Understand the power of putting one foot in front of the other on your long voyage to upward progress. Embrace the long haul. Enjoy the journey. Some of the most memorable rides of your life might actually be at the lower levels when everything is exciting.

Surfbetter100 is about striving to be the best you can be. However please don’t forget to smell the roses along the way.


Consider your goal-setting and create milestones for yourself. A milestone is any significant stage in your progress.

If you’ve been practicing and putting in the work to achieve something, then rewarding yourself for success is an important part of your journey. It doesn’t matter if the reward is big or small. Be it a pint or a plane ticket, anything that incentivises your success can be a powerful leader to your subconscious thought process.

In summary, we’ve briefly outlined the varied strategies that can contribute to your progress if you’re willing to explore them and put in the time. Surfbetter100 is designed to help you whether you want some quick advice or you’re wanting to immerse yourself into a life-long journey.

These learning strategies are all explored in further detail within your Toolkit.

Good luck on your journey!