Morning folks and Happy Mother’s Day. We’re headed up the coast in a bit with the family to hang on the beach for the day. The wave where we’re going is a nice little right point break, but it can be pretty soft. We surfed it on the film trip with Kalama, Colin and Boehne (it gets good when it’s pumping) and I had a terrible session riding the starboard, that board doesn’t go well in flatter sections, but my plan for today is to try and figure it out. What I’m specifically going to try to work on is to see if doing a slingshot frontside cutback and focusing on using the tail for the turn will hold better. The problem is that the front rails are fat and they dig if you bury them, and slow down the turn.
On to the daily… Since we discussed surf stance in such depth over the past 4 days, I thought giving you a compelling reason to work on it might help get you there… In coaching I continuously see folks not getting down the line on good waves because they are getting situated on their boards while the wave is running away from them. Or, the latter, and very ugly, is when folks paddle into the wave in parallel stance and then realize the wave will run away and “ski” down the line. The stance that looks like snow skiing, but with only one pole. In that case, you might make the wave, but you’re not going to be able to maneuver. You’ll see a lot of heel rail digs from skiers and some pretty bad wipeouts.
Now that you’ve learned surf stance, the big advantage is being able to set your rail right off the drop. As you’re paddling into the wave (let’s focus on frontside right now) you should be gauging how fast the wave is going to peel down the line. With that data you can then decide at what angle you need to set your rail. Setting your rail is engaging your toe side rail by leaning on it, bracing on your paddle for balance, which will turn your board in the toe side direction. This is the beginning of the bottom turn, but done high up on the wave to conserve potential energy. The higher you stay on a wave, the more energy because the wave is steeper in that area and the more potential energy (acceleration) you have when you decide to come down. So, you gauge how fast the wave is going to run, set your rail and run down the line. And being in surf stance means that that’s all you have to think about when your catching the wave. You move up or back on your board depending on the speed you need or how much you want to turn. Turning comes off the tail, and speed comes farther up on the board.