Surfing School - Surfing - Developing Style
As your technique develops, and you think your style needs a change, first be sure of which way you need to go. Look at some films of yourself on an average day and determine if you are too jerky, overly uncontrolled or radical, or simply not flashy enough. A lot of quick turns from the tail, stiff legs, too wide a stance, or swinging your arms a lot are all indications of unnatural balance and jerkiness. One turn and then a lot of cruising in a safe spot on the face is a sign of sluggishness. Never losing your board is a sign of overly conservative surfing, while losing your board nearly every wave in a difficult spot is a sign of over aggressiveness.
The fastest way to improve style is to have a special board designed for a specific purpose, and not necessarily one you will be able to sell easily once you are done with it. This is why many professionals wait until they have access to special boards before they improve dramatically. When turns need to be smoothed out and slowed down, get a large slow board, slightly wide and thick, with rounded or egg rails. A rounded diamond or rounded square tail is preferred with a good size larger fin. If more power needs to be developed, the same board could be used but with a pin tail.
The final way to improve style is with lots of practice in various conditions. Surf big Hawaiian waves in the winter, point breaks, quick reef breaks, beach breaks, and close beach breaks or shore breaks. Each break type will contribute its own characteristics to your overall style.