Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Session 8047-48: Technical Update, Pushing or Pulling The Board During Take-Off


Day 47-48
Technical Note: Pushing or Pulling the Board While Taking Off

OK... for those who are bored with my philosophical logs, let's get back to some technical note right here and right now!

Learning a skill set is an iterative process, and surfing especially is. I must have written about this some time ago, but every once in a while I notice that a certain aspect of surfing get more refinements and realizing I am revisiting many aspects of the technique.

On this log, I am going to talk about "Pushing or Pulling The Board Ahead During Take-Off." I have found that being conscious to this shift is very useful in getting up on the board at different wave forms.

Here is my description of what happens.
  • I see a wave starting to come. I turn around, paddle in the direction where the break is about to occur. This means that I look back left and right and actually paddle a bit to the left or right and adjusting the pace of paddling so that by the time the wave hits the board, I will be in the right place to give the last few strokes before getting up on the board.
  • At the starting point of when the wave starts to lift up, I would paddle with my body more towards the back of the board. This is so that if the wave jacks up faster than I thought, I can still salvage the wave.
  • As the wave lifts up the tail end of the board, I would feel how fast it is coming up, and I will adjust the paddling power accordingly. In general when the tail lifts up fast, I need to also paddle very strongly and leaving the weight more neutral (and not too forward) with respect to the board. If this happens I also try to get up fast and towards the back of the board. If I mistakenly get up too far forward, pearling is the inevitable result. In this case, I will push the board under me forward a bit just before I get up. This seems to accomplish two things. First while doing this, the board does not bear my body weight so it also feel less effect from the wave. Secondly, by doing this, I can stand way back part of the board. The steeper the wave builds up, I try to do this faster.
  • If the wave is not building up as fast then I will still need to paddle hard in long big strokes because I could be left behind. In this case, I will also start to move my body forward in sync with the slowly building wave and try to apply my body weight and pressure more in the front of the board. This works especially well with longer and long boards when the board starts to glide down. If that happens, I know I caught the wave, and I can gently get up on the board and carefully execute the first turn and get back up on the wave.
  • In reality many waves are mixture of slow and fast parts, and also depends on at which part of the wave you are trying to catch. In fact, in order to get into some faster waves, the success seems to come from paddling early, faster (like slow waves) and adjusting the weight back and forth in rapidly changing situation.

    One thing for sure, one paddling position is not the "catch-all" solution. On short boards, adjusting the weight shift can accomplished by simply a lift of a head or the chest away or towards the board.

Well, I could be doing something wrong, but there is a comment section on this blog and you can fire off your comments back to me, that will help me learn even more. So don't be bashful!

This morning's surf note: JT was flat but I surfed further north this morning, and I had another high-stoke session on my Walden Magic. I love the board!

Day 48: Microwave Surfing at JT. Tons of puny waves. Great take-off practice on my Egg board with Nick!

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