I might look a bit startled in this pic, but I’m focussing on the wave ahead.
When people learn to surf, a lot of the time their eyes are fixed down at what their feet are doing, or the water immediately around their board, in the mistaken belief that if they don’t, they’ll fall off. Trouble is like this, you can’t see where you are going – and that actually will cause you to fall off (I used to do this too).
We spend so long looking at flat screens and static objects that it can take a conscious effort to look ahead – so remind yourself next wave you get, to really focus on the detail of the part of the wave you want to get to next. Is it clear? Is it crumbling? Is it moving quickly? How is it changing shape? Lock onto it with your binocular vision, it’s why our eyes are at the front of our heads.
One of the first bits of great surfing advice I heard was ‘where the eyes go, the body follows’. Whether you are starting out and your goal is surfing to the beach, or making a turn, or smashing the lip, the fundamentals are the same.