In 1965 California-born Rusty Miller was the top surfer in the United States. The US Surfing Champion was also a finalist in the famous Duke Kahanamoku Invitational in Sunset Beach. While studying at San Diego State, Miller went on a Seven Seas trip twice and discovered Australia, he eventually moved to picturesque Byron Bay, where he still surfs regularly while teaching one-on-one and group sessions on surfing. We took a lesson from him, and out of all the surf lessons we’ve had, Miller’s was definitely our favorite. If you’re ever out in Byron Bay, one of the best places in the world to learn to surf, we suggest you look up Miller. “You’re out there riding waves,” Miller told the Manual. “You don’t make the wave, they don’t know your name. You just fit in with them, so maybe. look at the wave as your companion.” Here are six tips from Miller:
You want to learn about the ocean. You want to observe what’s going on in the ocean because you have to have respect for the ocean if you want to surf. You want to surf safely. Find an instructor. Have good manners and spirit in the water, and everybody will get along because you have to share waves, especially in a place like Byron, it gets really crowded.
Don’t think too hard. Just look at surfing like a dance. It’s something you practice and don’t think too much and go along with the flow.
Learn how to paddle really good to get your paddling strength up. Paddling is the key to surfing good, developing your paddling skills.
Find a surfboard that floats you in the water good. Don’t find a tiny little board and think you’re going to be Kelly Slater in five minutes. It’s easier when you start with a long board, then what you do is develop your skills so you can surf something a little bit shorter.
Learn how to trim on the surfboard. Keep the board nice and flat, and learn how to fit into the wave.
Stand up in one sweeping motion so your feet land at the same time on the surfboard, and then you can center yourself. You have to be prompt.
For more information, visit rustymillersurf.com.