The Progression Journal 2 – Bottom Turning & Getting Out
Waves were super fun this morning. Head high, SW swell. Our beach loves the SW. Amazing how much more swell we get from a 215 than a 190. It’s almost 2x.
Focus this morning was on bottom turning. Riding the 7.9 is giving me more carry at the bottom of waves which is allowing more time in front of the wave and a bigger bottom turn. Feels great, but it’s blown my timing. 2 waves today I had perfect setups, tons of speed and came out too far on the bottom turn and then got stuck in no-man’s land coming up then face. That feeling when you’re 2/3 the way up the face and the lip is throwing. You know you won’t get there in time and your nose is under the lip so you can’t float the section. Both times I just bailed out the back.
What separates good surfing from great surfing is all in reading the wave. Good surfers understand and can do the maneuver… Great surfers know when do do what maneuver. If you look at the turns that the B guys (I’m in this category) are doing vs. the A, A+ guys, in photos they aren’t that different. The difference is in watching video and seeing how many times A guys get it right. And watching where they miss. The misses are smaller and they see them coming. Breaking down Mo video from the PP (Progression Project), he’ll know when he’s missed the section and just kick out. I’ll still try to hit the section and generally halfway through realize I had no chance. All I’ve done by trying to hit the blown section is waste time and energy and lowered my wave count.
So, bottom turning is all about when to bottom turn. Strange how a few inches of board can throw off that timing enough to be noticeable. Bigger boards make surfing more predictive and less reactive.
Bigger boards also make getting out a bit tougher. Today’s swell was very consistent. 2-3ft at 15sec. Seems like the storm was close though, as there were a ton of waves coming through. As much as I hate being stuck inside, it’s probably good for me. Teaches a bit of patience. There really isn’t much you can do with 2ft lines of whitewater coming in one after another. If I’ve learned anything it’s just to relax, conserve energy and wait for a break. So much in surfing is about timing, and knowing when to make your break. I don’t think that shortboarders understand how much work it is to surf a paddle board in beach breaks. Just another one of those humbling aspects of choosing to be a paddle surfer… and every time I’m stuck inside taking them on the head and am super frustrated I’m not catching waves, I remind myself I chose to ride this board. And to relax.