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BeachGrit TV: “How to Game the Tour!”

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

With the noted surf coach and former world #1 Brad Gerlach!

Three weeks ago, the noted surf coach Brad Gerlach publicly processed his thoughts on Conner Coffin (“technically and intellectually ready to be the best surfer in the world”), Kelly Slater (“He’s fucking shredding!”) and the tendency in pro surfing circles to “work” on your surfing.

The work-play conundrum formed the hub of the piece, even if it was superficially contradictory given Bradley’s work with Conner. Still, it raised a good point. “There’s work and there’s play. What you tend to hear from a lot of these surfers is, ‘I’ve been working really hard.’ Working, working, working, working, working. Have they ever considered that watching someone…work…isn’t that much fun?

Watch that episode here. 

Today, Gerr examines what it takes to game the tour, how it feels to be “surfing better than everybody else at certain spots and knowing it,” the advantage of having an Olympian father from a sport that’s “beautiful, judged, acrobatic, smooth, powerful” as a coach, why the new generation excites the hell out him, how “safe” everything feels and why young surfers, who should be getting better as they grow, actually start to plateau.

“Is it fear?” says Gerr, who posits that competitors are so terrified of not making the quarters, of being relegated to the WQS, of losing a bonus, that it bites into their surfing.

“All that thinking is the worst thing you could be doing,” he says. “The worst!”

So, how…do… you succeed? Watch!