Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Technical Update

I think I am over due for my technical progress update section, so this one is just about the technical update.

At some time or another I have mentioned about how waves looks good when a bunch of semi-pros show up on local breaks. I have seen this happen just going to the HMB surfing classic competitions in the past few years. Normally when I go to our local breaks, most people are so-so, even the ones that I surf regularly with, if we compared to some of these professional surfers. When the competition is on, no matter what the condition is some of these competitors know how to make the best out of the condition, and if you watch them surf, you'd not realize how "good" the condition was. Of course, the next day, basically the same condition, same tide, a bunch of "regular" surfers get out again, the surf look just like every-day.

One of the things that I have been paying a lot of attention to lately is about the speed, and if you have the speed, and hence the momentum, you can do a whole lot to your surfing than just plain trimming across the wave or just going straight down, and then stalling. Most of us, and especially me, just stall too quickly but pros do not seem to; they obviously have other skills like picking the right wave and also reading the waves once they are on the waves, but one thing they have is the speed.

Well, one of the issues might be is in the take off period and just a short period after the flick up. This is when I slow down when the pros continue to gain the speed. And that makes it a bit of challenge to me, but here are some things that I am starting to either understand of experiment more.

1. In order to get up on the board, I tend to jump up on the board. This is actually bad in several reasons. First, I am not continuing to transfer my weight on the board, that means that the board, for a short moment, is just floating on its own and not getting much power from the water, and secondly as a result of this the board is not being controlled during this very critical state in stetting up the initial speed. So, to fix this issue, I am trying to transition the posture change more smoothly, and bit slowly. I know I can get up on the board but I think I do that too much in haste.
2. Once I am up on the board I am still not applying the weight to the right place and not set up to the turn number 1 for the proper weight transfer. Turn #1 is usually the bottom turn. I should be working on more determined weight transfer rather than just simply relying on the rail to do the turn. I am setting up for the turn correctly in most cases but the speed is not increasing significantly more after the first bottom turn finishes. This is also bad to the point that I may not have gained enough speed and power to get back up to the wave, and of course, that means that I cannot extract more power out of the wave on the turn number 2 and subsequent ones.

So if you see me struggling to rip next time, that's what I will be working on for the next 10-20 hours in the water. If you spot me, check me out, and let me know if I am missing something.

Thank you!

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