This past week's discovery was that I still have not been paddling hard enough to catch waves. Among many things that need to be done during take-off, I am now truly realizing that the importance of out-running the waves from the get-go.
Like any other surfing discoveries I have made, this dashing-the-last strokes approach has helped me so much. And a small day like today has been a big chance to try it.
I have been noticing that on some smaller days, it was actually more difficult to take off because the waves are actually going down rather faster. Previously, I have pearled on these conditions. But now I know enough about this to (1) Take out a short board rather than a long board, and (2) Try to pull really hard with take-off paddling.
Initially, of course, I was not very successful at it, but the more I tried, the number of success rate started to go up and now there are a few occasions when I had to say to myself "Wow! I can catch that?" Like the ones that just crests and explodes at a shoulder level high... Of course that's not a big one by any standards.
Another change in take-off style that is happening to me is this. With a much more power in overcoming the power of the wave, I am often now getting a Jumping off the Cliff type feeling when flicking up. After negotiatiating the initial take-off, the board is already ahead of me, and when I flick up, there is so much momentum from the behind that my body is being thrown forward, and my feet are swinging through my arms, and then I literally land on the board from the air that is going down. Of course, this is still a small chest or shoulder high stuff, and I am excited about. But I am now starting to see the potential that I can actually start riding short boards for real!
Stoke 7 due to some good progresses.