Notes on foot position for speed and turn placement

Notes on foot position for speed and turn placement

Here’s a simple cheatsheet for foot position in surfing.

You can break maneuvers into two categories.  Speed conserving/generating and speed killing.

Foot position for speed conserving/generating maneuvers is generally on top of or right in front of (towards the nose) the front fin on the inside (in the water) rail.

Foot position for speed killing turns, sharper snaps and cutbacks, is on the back fin, inside rail.

Front foot position should almost always be on the stringer (center) and in a vertical location where you have access without moving it to the tail.

Spray signature is a good way to tell what type of turn is happening.  Conserving turns,  done off the front fin, use the rail and spray is smaller and thicker.  These turns aren’t your best photos normally. (weak wave, wrapping back into the pocket.  Below)

Big sprays come from turning velocity into force and throw water off the tail.  Fins out turns, tight snaps. (Steep section, sliding tail, killing speed, but lots of potential energy.  Below)

Placement of turns –

Speed conserving turns are done in areas of low potential energy on the wave.  The bottom of the wave for bottom turns, the weak shoulder for cutbacks.  (Rail buried, weight forward, back foot over larger front fin.  Below)

 

Speed burning turns should be done in areas of high potential energy where you can burn your speed and then “drop” back into the wave regaining velocity.  Think a skater stalling at the top of a vert ramp.  He can rest for a second and then redrop.  Same holds true for surfing, tail throwing turns off the lip kill the majority of your speed, but you’re high on a steep section of the wave, so regain velocity on the drop.

(Lots of spray show that the top turn killed speed, but all the speed you need is in the wave, all potential energy.  Below)

 

Hope that helps… E

Hello Jacksonville Beach! – Some big life changes…

Hello Jacksonville Beach! – Some big life changes…

My whole world is different since my last post.

On April 4th, after 6 months of my wife having strange symptoms, many trips to the states and specialists, I took her for a brain MRI in San Jose. All the doctors we’d seen said that wasn’t necessary, but a feeling I couldn’t shake made me say, “why not, it’s only 4 hours, we’ll be back at midnight, and I’ll be coaching in the morning.”

That MRI showed a large tumor.  We flew back to the states with the clothes on our backs 14 hours later, and 24 hours after that she had her first of three surgeries. These past 5 weeks have been the most difficult and most beautiful of our lives. Sarah is doing great, and the outpouring of love and support from family and friends has been amazing.

She is pushing me to write about the experience, and I might do that in the future, but I’m not sure how to do that yet.  We’ve learned a lifetime of lessons, I know they would be more beneficial than anything I’ve shared about surfing, but it’s still too fresh.

Our need to be close to exceptional neuro care and desire to be close to family has forced a move back to the states.  We decided on Jacksonville Beach and just bought a beautiful little house right next to a new skatepark.  Damo is frothing on it.

I wasn’t sure if I’d continue to coach paddle surfing, but it turns out my love of coaching is almost as deep as my love of surfing.  I’ve found myself training family in the gym, helping a good friend navigate a career change with perspective on quality life and family, and now, in Jax working on stroke technique with new friends in the neighborhood.  I guess coaching has become a part of me in these past few years.

And actually, after surfing here for a few days, small surf is much better for fundamental learning.  Growth edge can only be pushed in one direction, and these small conditions are perfect for stroke, footwork, and opening turn game – and that’s where 80% of my coaching has been focused.

I’m not sure of the format yet, but I’ll probably take on a few clients in the area.  I’ve had some offers over the past year to coach in amazing locations and I’ll be thinking about that when the dust settles for our family, so maybe Fall/Winter trips.  If you’re interested, reach out.

Much love from Florida!  Erik

Evelyn O’Doherty – Standup Journal’s new Online Editor talks Paddle Surfing, Coaching and Giving Back

Evelyn O’Doherty – Standup Journal’s new Online Editor talks Paddle Surfing, Coaching and Giving Back

Standup Journal’s online editor Evelyn O’Doherty

 

 

Hey guys and gals, on the podcast, I mentioned that Evelyn O’doherty has taken over for Adam Champagne.  Evelyn is actually an addition to the team as Standup Journal is growing the online side of things and is helping Adam as an Online Editor and Contributor.  Adam is still with the company as an Online Director and Social Media Director.

Standup Journal’s new Online Editor joins Erik on the podcast.

Evelyn O’Doherty is a former school teacher gone rogue.  Her transformation happened when she learned to surf.  After the bug bit, she was no longer able to be contained to the walls of a classroom, so Ev followed her instincts to recreate herself and left a successful career of teaching in order to spend more time on the water.  Today, she is a stand up paddle racer,  surfer and yoga teacher.  She instructs and offers retreats around the world in order to inspire others to follow their passions, live their dreams and, she hopes, spend more time on the water.  Evelyn believes wholeheartedly that we will protect what we love; therefore, her on-the-water coaching includes special attention to the state of our waterways and oceans in order to inspire her students to become stewards for the planet and take care of each other and the ocean so that we may live and respect in it’s presence for a long time to come.  You can check out her Stand Up Paddle Clinics and Retreats on her website:   www.evelynodoherty.com

 

 

 

Rincon Beach Boy SUP Race. Raises money for children with autism.
https://rinconbeachboy.com/

Evelyn’s retreat with Chuck Patterson:
http://www.evelynodoherty.com/travel.php

Rell Sunn Surf Contest Benefit. Raises money for East End families struggling due to hardship and disease.
http://www.eastendfoundationmtk.org/

Why I Paddle Surf 90% of the Time

Why I Paddle Surf 90% of the Time

After my last post, Dropping Volume – Better have some solid processes, we got a nasty comment on facebook about the logic of riding small paddle boards as opposed to just shortboarding.


 

For starters, I don’t tolerate haters here, so if you post anything negative in a mean spirited way, the comment will be deleted, and you’ll be blocked.  I can’t do anything about shitty mindsets for the greater world, but if you choose to play here, you’ve got to be cordial.

That doesn’t mean we can’t disagree, in fact I love a good argument, but not haters.  Constructive criticism is always welcome and encouraged.  I’m a work in progress, as are we all.

I do look at negativity,  especially from haters, as an excuse to reflect on what you’re doing and to make sure you’re on the right path.  Everyone has their own opinion, and in their mind, they’re correct.  I try on that hat, whatever it is, to make sure I’m not suffering from cognitive dissonance.

Through that lens I asked myself, “Why not just shortboard?”  Here’s where I landed.

screenshot-20

  1. It’s just more fun on more days.  My surf session to fun surf session ratio is about 100% since I started paddling.  It sounds terrible, but shortboarding my ratio was probably 50%, and I left the water less happy when I arrived 25% of the time.  Surfing is all about riding waves, so if the waves aren’t on it’s difficult to feel fulfilled.
  2. The Challenge.  Riding small boards is one of the hardest things I’ve done in sport.  I enjoy the challenge.  I look forward to the challenge.  It’s fun to feel like a kook, and all you have to do to get back to that place is drop a few liters.
  3. Forced Mindfulness.  If you’re pushing your volume limits, you’re using 100% of your focus to balance.  That focus translates to being fully present in the moment.  Yes, you do get that same zen moment in shortboarding, but only when riding waves.  In paddling small boards you can extend the active meditation.
  4. The workout.  Going to the gym is a thing of the past.  Maybe I do a few sets of kettlebells each week, but I used to workout for an hour a day while shortboarding.  Now, I just paddle surf, and I stay in better shape.  It is the total body workout that swimming wishes it was.
  5. Body Type.  I’m 6.1 at 183 today.  I’m built more like a free safety than a pro surfer.  In surfing my weight has always worked against me, there is no added value in being strong.  Not true in paddle surfing.  In paddle surfing you can leverage strength through the paddle with an exponential effect.
  6. Peer group.  I like paddlers.  The commonalities we all share are solid traits.  I’ve met many of my best friends through paddling.
  7. Steep Innovation Curve.  Paddle surfing is still in its infancy.  It’s fun being a paddle surfer now, just as I assume it was amazing to be a surfer in the 60’s and 70’s.  With each new innovation you get to experience surf in a new way.  Shortboarding’s been stagnant for a long while, but paddle surfing is evolving every day.  I have no idea what shape I’ll be riding next year.  Or what kind of paddle.  Innovation and change are fun places to be.
  8. Paddle surfing is a complete sport.  Fun.  Exercise.  Challenge.  Comradery.

After looking in the hater mirror, I don’t doubt my path for a second.

What do you love about paddle surfing?

Gorilla Butt – Immediately Improve Your Style!

Gorilla Butt – Immediately Improve Your Style!

Today we’re announcing the official dates for our Foundation Training and Paddle Surfing retreat!  February 25th to March 4th!  email sarah @ progressionproject.com  for details and pricing.

And celebrating Foundation Training, today I’m going to apply one of Eric’s principles of proper movement to paddle surfing.  Gorilla Butt

If you watch any top paddle surfer you’ll notice that they have incredible posture while paddling and surfing.  And while it can be difficult to define everything that goes into proper posture in paddle surfing I’ve found that using the mental model of Gorilla Butt will get you 98% of the way there.

Gorilla Butt is flat back posture (look at the photo above).  If you’ve learned Foundation Training, it’s also the Founder position.  The idea is that your spine says long even when you bend over.  You maintain a long torso/stomach.  Get up, walk around and try it.

Now bend over, maintaining that long spine.  Now crouch down.  Move around your house, pick stuff up off the ground with one hand, with two hands.  Maintain Gorilla Butt.

Now that you’ve tried it, and can feel it, look at the bottom turn from Kelly Slater below.  Watch Julian Wilson surf.  Watch Mo Freitas paddle.

kelly slater bottom turn.jpg

Here’s a video of some of the guys on the progression project doing bottom turns. (even of of yours truly in there 🙂

If you remember to use Gorilla Butt and couple that with keeping vertical change in your knees instead of your waist you’re paddle surfing level immediately improve.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about level changes.