When can I go out surfing without assistance, lessons or a surf coach?

June 21, 2018

When can I go out surfing without assistance, lessons or a surf coach?

Be taught the correct procedure, then you won’t have to recorrect bad ones!

Everyone is different in how they retain information and how they put that information into action!

So if you have had a lesson at a surf school that has taught you the basics (safety, proper technique and surf etiquette) sometimes it is best to practice what has been taught (trial & error).

There is so much to learn with surfing, as each day the conditions change. We recommend that It is always best to have a follow up lesson or continuous lessons to keep learning new things, and more so, the most important aspect of having a surf coach is that the coach can clean out any bad habits you inevitably will pick up.


What is the right surfboard for you? Thoughts by former Pro Surfer, Michael 'Munga' Barry

April 29, 2016

What is the right surfboard for you?

Here are my thoughts on buying the right surfboard:

Buying the wrong Surfboard for your experience, weight and style can be both expensive and frustrating.

I find many surfers asking why they have difficulties with not catching waves or trimming across them.

Most often the cause is they have simply purchased the wrong type/shape of board. Each surfer is different in size, weight & experience level, and what suits them can only be determined from trial & error or some knowledgeable experience. So ensure you have the correct board under your feet, not forgetting what is most important - the sheer enjoyment of surfing!

Not every surfboard is the correct size, thickness, width or has a good rocker, even if it looks good!

a)     Size: Depending on your ability & measurements depends on which board is correct for you. For total beginners, the “BIGGER the EASIER” policy. Something that is buoyant enough to make paddling, catching waves & standing up easy for you to achieve the correct process. Intermediates

b)     Thickness: to be able to float the surfer and trim on a wave will determine what thickness you will need. The rail volume should be a semi to full rail to make the surfboard cut through the water with ease. Low or pinched rails will cut through the wave easier when you start turning. Foam distributed evenly through the nose and tail will make the board trim easily in small waves

c)     Width: from the centre, nose & tail will give more planning area, thus the easier it is to catch & ride a wave. This doesn’t mean you have to get a Mini Mal or Malibu, you can still get width in a fun shape or what I call “Progression Surfboards” (A board that you can learn on while you are progressing and something that you will not have to upgrade or change till you are ready for something smaller when you get better)

d)     Rocker: The curve of the surfboard from the nose through to the tail needs to fit in with the type of wave you are riding. When you have a flat mid-section with a flip in the nose & tail makes the board push water & trim very well. Having an even rocker curve will be what you are looking for to achieve that sweet feeling of the surfboard becoming part of a wave.

(These measurements are only an indication and should always consult your surf coach or retailer.)

Surfer  3 - 4 ½ ft & 20 - 30 kilo= Approx 5’0 – 6’0 x 17” x 2”

Surfer  4 ½ - 5 ft & 30 - 40 kilo= Approx 6’0 - 6’6 x 18 ½ x 2 ¼

Surfer  4 ½ - 5 ft & 40 - 50 kilo= Approx 6’6 - 7’6 x 19 ½ x 2 ¾

Surfer  5 - 5 ½ ft & 50 - 60 kilo= Approx 7’0 - 8’0 x 20 ½ x 2 ¾

Surfer  5 - 6 ½  ft & 60 - 80 kilo= Approx 7’6 - 8’6 x 21 ½  x 3”

Surfer  5 ½ - 6 ½ ft & 80 – 100 kilo= Approx 8’6 - 9/6 x 22 ½ x 3 ¼

You get what you pay for!

a)     Most surfboards are made by surfers/shapers that have pride in their product. Made to last and do the job that it was expected of them.

b)     Be aware that you may be buying a ‘POP OUT’ (made from inferior materials & or from a production line overseas.)They look great but sometimes don’t last or ride very good.

c)     Great art designs or a nice glossy finish does not mean the board will go good and or is manufactured to be structurally sound.

I recommend OzoBoard Cross-Over Boards, a great learner board with added bonus of performing as a SUP and fun for the whole family. Other soft construction beginner surfboards are safe and easy to learn on as well!

Firewire Surfboards have an array of designs that can accommodate all levels of surfers; their website can show the volume in litres from your measurements & experience to match the board recommended.

I also recommend you invest in a consultation to ensure you purchase the best board for your personal needs, you can link through to our consutlation page at http://www.godfathersoftheocean.com/shop/surfboards for a telephone, skype or email discussion, or ultimately book into a lesson to get firsthand knowledge for the right surfboard.

Best of luck and Safe Surfing,

Michael 'Munga' Barry




On the eve of the World Surf League in South Africa, Former Pro Surfer Michael 'Munga' Barry remembers his WCT wins at Jefferies Bay

July 07, 2015

Munga's Memories: Billabong J’Bay 22 years ago

With the upcoming World Surf League/ Billabong Pro surf event at Jefferies Bay in South Africa starting Jul 08 – 19 2015, got me thinking of all of those great times, awesome surfs and journeys I have encountered travelling around the world whilst on the world surfing tour.

I would have to say that Jefferies bay rates in the top 5 best surf breaks for me, very close to Burleigh Heads as being similar point breaking wave which allows you to get long tubes, fast carves, cutbacks, snaps and then after all of that get barrel again for the longest tube you will find around the place. Pretty amazing!

I was fortunate enough to travel to Jefferies Bay in my early years starting out as a rookie professional and had some great results winning the Country Feeling/Billabong Pro Classic in 1993 with Kelly in the final, coming a close second in the dying minutes against Seth Huley and then winning the 1995 and 1998 WCT Billabong Pro against Sunny Garcia.

1998 was my last WCT win, an event I knew in myself I was going to win, training hard, totally focused and positively on track weeks before I even got to Jefferies Bay. It was a feeling I had only two or three times in my surfing career when you know and believe without a doubt you are going to win.

That belief can come to anyone, anywhere and at anytime if they wish. It is something everybody should learn and understand how to do; to focus, be positive, and believe in themselves. 

As I teach to the beginners in my surf school, trust yourself, close your eyes and see yourself riding a wave, flying like a bird and let your instinct take over because you have been standing up since your were young. 95% of the time, the very next wave they catch they will achieve what they came to do and ride a wave of their life.  


Michael 'Munga' Barry

More images on our news page 

We love - Kelly Slaters' appreciation of surfing quote!

June 09, 2014


Not to sound too deep or weird, but I think that the times when you really appreciate surfing are the times you’re really sort of becoming one with nature. Surfing’s as raw of a sport as it gets.
Kelly Slater

Article from How you measure wave heights http://www.surfforsanity.com/how-do-you-measure-wave-heights/

January 29, 2014

But the icing on the cake is this photo of Munga Barry at Sunset in which Kelly Slater remarks about his favourite surf photo. “It is Munga taking off on a 12ft peak at Sunset”

Hey, even I would call this way bigger than 12 feet. This wave requires balls of steel, but do you hear people telling Kelly he under calls waves? Well, who knows, but lets listen to the rest of Kelly’s story about this wave.

“I was about 10 feet farther out from him when he turned to catch it, He really needed to get through this heat and was prepared to take a risk, but this was a heavy wave. The wind was blowing about 25 knots offshore and I thought I was way to late to take it, so I paddled over it looking for the next one. Munga was right behind me and he flipped around and took off. I couldn’t believe it, I thought for sure he had just killed himself, but that drop turned out to be one of the great surf photos of all time.”

So, do we really know any more about how to call wave heights? No, probably not, just call them as you see them, argue, then payout your over calling mates and have some fun.

I would love to hear your comments and give your calls on how big the waves are in some of the photos….let’s keep this argument going.


Munga vs the Late Andy Irons in the Pipe Masters 1998 - memories in 18secondmag

January 15, 2014

Godfathers of the Ocean Like - 'HOW TO SURF PIPE WITH KELLY SLATER'

December 20, 2013



One of Life's Lessons through the eyes of Legendary Big Wave rider Laird Hamilton

December 06, 2013


Surfing for Health Benefits!

December 04, 2013

Surfing for health

Surfing has many benefits both physically and mentally, surfing is empowering and a great workout and you have to have patients!

Surfing develops the upper and lower body strength, balance and flexibility and it is a great cardio workout. Surfing also is great for your emotional and mental health, it requires focusing in the present moment, timing and catching the wave.


Here are some great tips from Former Professional Surfer Michael ‘Munga’ Barry

The 8 keys to advancing and becoming a better surfer

  1. Patience: Taking your time and waiting for that correct wave will make your surf much more enjoyable as you will achieve your goal of making more waves, fitting in with the rhythm of the ocean & lowering your dumping rate.
  2. Position: Having the correct position on your board and in the water will also help in achieving your goal in making more waves, it is also so you do not endanger yourself or others from nose diving and even breaking your board. Sitting 10-15 feet outside where the waves break will give you enough time to paddle 5-10 feet (3 to five strokes) and catch the wave before it starts to break or dump on your head.
  3. Breath: Proper breathing from when you paddle out to paddling & catching a wave is so important. I recommend, In through the nose & out through the mouth technique, you will get oxygen throughout the whole body and your power will come from your lower abdominals needed for that extra paddle.
  4. Vision: Where you look you will go. How many times have you looked down only to fall either exactly where you were looking, or your concience tells you to push away from where you are looking at and fall backwards. When you are paddling for a wave, keep an eye on the wave, on your left and right side as waves are always moving they will always change.
  5. Equipment: Choosing the correct surfboard, boardshorts, wetshirt, wetsuit, legrope, wax, tail pad & fins can all help make your surfing easier or make things harder. Ask someone who works with you in the water, your coach or mentor, do not just rely on what the surf store assistant recommends, they have not seen you surf!
  6. Goals: Setting yourself goals in life should be taught at an early stage of life. Keep setting goals in all areas of life & especially in your dreams, by writing them, reading them, sticking with them & believing in them & yourself, they will come to fruition. As the best slogan in the world states, “JUST DO IT” from Nike the shoe company which has come from professional athletes setting their goals, practicing and on game day doing exactly that, “JUST DOING IT” If you don’t know how to do it, ask, find out, then practice. Keep to your goals and learn from your mistakes and from what you have conquered. I teach students as they paddle back out to catch another wave to visually go through what you instinctually did correct, so you give yourself a pat on the back, then visually go through what your mistakes where and on your next wave concentrate on bettering your mistakes. Every wave & every surf you should be trying to get better.
  7. Technique: Everybody knows how to stand up from the ground so why change the procedure when you are standing on the board, everybody knows how to walk, so why try a new way to walk. With my procedure form learning through to elite surfing it is the same, it all comes down to timing. If you catch a faster wave then you will have to stand up quicker.
  8. Style: Every body will have their own style, that is why surfing is like art. Each individual will draw a different line on the wave. Standing up correctly, paddling properly, breathing easily, knowing where you are going, having the right equipment & believing in yourself will make you a better surfer, better person, healthier & happier in life. Let me help you in your journey of becoming a better surfer and enjoying the energy of surfing where ever you may be in the four corners of this beautiful planet.


Why do you want to learn to surf?

November 15, 2013

Is it on your bucket list?
Is it because it’s ‘cool’ and your friends are doing it?
Is it your way of getting fit rather than going to the gym?
Are you an adrenaline junky?
Is it your way of getting out there with nature and being one with all of creation?
Or, do you just want to know what the big deal is when they say ‘only a surfer
knows the feeling’.

Let us know why you want to learn!