Friday, July 23, 2004

Reflections: Why Am I So Obsessed with the Roundhouse?

Even if you have been a select few fan of this BLOG who have been following my surfing stories that is unfolding, you might have been wondering why in the heck I am I so obsessed with this Roundhouse stuff? I have been wondering about this myself often to some extent too. So you are not along. Yes, I could have just forgotten about all that and just take relaxing fun days surfing without really challenging myself or endangering other surfers around me.

But today it became, once again, clearer to my mind why this is so.

This cutback is actually the culmination of basically all of the intermediate surfing techniques and if you do this, then this is essentially the milestone and the key to the door to the ultimate... The realm of the true advanced surfer.

Well, however, along the line, I have learned that there are some surfers, for for that matter on any activities, anyone who would argue why pressure myself to do anything. I just tend to run into those people who will lecture to the hell about why there are reasons not to do things rather than to actually do them. The question to those who ask the question is this. Then why would you do live? To me, to live is not to be buried and live the virtual deah until the true death hits you. I have learned from early on in my life that this is what other people want out of you. Most every one wanted me to live a "peaceful" life acting like most other average people not expressing or accomplishing anything significant in life and then die peacefully in the end. But accepting that is the same as accepting a virtual life-long death. But I have chosen not to be that way, and that's why I really love to surf and challenge myself to become a better surfer than every last damn session I get to do.  Unfortunately the gift of athletics is something that I was not given so it takes twice, three time or even more times to do what an average people might be able to accomplish in the same period of time. I have long accepted that so I actually even don't bother me that much. Besides it is not my goal, at least right now, to go to Wimea or Mavericks and do their thing, nor to compete in big professional contests, I am way way past the prime for any of those.

But, I also think that something like a Roundhouse Cutback is within a reach and and realm of a serious recreational surfer.

So what is it, and how this is accomplished and what should I need to get there?

What is a Roundhouse Cutback? It is a combination of bottom and top turns that will be performed on a wave face that will essentially allow you to look as if you are making a complete "U" turn on a wave back to where you came from in a big wide almost circular turn.  This is accomplished by a true mastery of both the bottom and top turns and various other skillful balancing and speed building technique.

To get there the following needs to be accomplished;
  • A very very solid take off in a powerful wave.
  • Then a very solid strong bottom turn.
  • A skillful top turn.
  • Then another good bottom turn.
It is actually as simple as that, but each of above move has to be executed perfectly in a smooth chain to execute a beautiful turn. Of course, I have not even mentioned about a wave selection etc. Also this is usually executed on a short board, though I would imagine a long board version is possible on a huge wave.

So where am I with it as of now?
  • Looks like I am starting to get to a more solid short-board take off.
  • I can bottom turn but I am not still strong to the extent that I feel that I am building up the speed. This will need some work.
  • That means that I am not getting to the top, so if I ever get to the top I can worry about the top turn part.
  • If I mastered the bottom turn then I ought be able to connect to the top turn.

Many of you may have noticed that I have also been stressing the bottom turn so much, but without a sold one of those the rest cannot exist as this requires a very powerful maneuver on the water. I am starting to realize that every element of this requires a much more power and speed to accomplish, and I am slowly getting there, but this is where I am fighting a bit of tendency within me, and of course that is a manifestation of nothing but a mental fear of succeeding. I have been down that path too many times, shooting myself in a retrospect.


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