I am a late 20s surfer, having surfed most of my teenage/adult life. I am intermediate/advanced. Occassionally I can surf quite ok, especially on my forehand and when the waves have a bit of push (which is rare for where i live)
One thing has really dogged me however. I never seem to be able to get into waves early on a short board. Often I'll find myself paddling for a wave on the inside next to someone and they'll be up on their feet much before me. I remember this would happen all the time when my mates and i would surf together and they'd steal all my waves!
The other day i was surfing some junk waves and was amazed as to how early some people were getting onto waves - they were riding regular shortboards as well.
I find that when i get onto waves, i rarely get onto them with any momentum that will allow me to beat the first section. Currently riding a 6-0 Lost v2 rocket (20.25 wide and 2.5 thick) I weigh 80 kgs (180 pounds) and i am 6'0 tall - board paddles really well when paddling out etc.
The board maybe just seems a little too chunky to get onto small waves (even though the added volume should really help me catch lots of waves). Sometimes I ride a foamie when it's small and i get heaps of waves on it - and more importanly i take off with a bit of speed.
any tips for paddling so that i can get onto waves early. i am pretty fit and can surf for long periods but just can't get onto waves early most of the time.
any help would be greatly appreciated
One thing I've noticed marts is people often have their chin right up off the board when paddling into a wave. I told one of the grommets down here who was struggling to catch waves to get his chin down low on the board. I explained that your shoulders are your engine when paddling and, like an outboard motor on a boat as you raise the motor you really notice the power just drops away. All my boards have pressure dents where my chin pushes down on the nose while I'm paddling into critical waves.
And paddle hard, real hard when going for a good wave. Be desperate. Put everything into it.
I'm in my 40's, weight around 88kg and ride a 6'4"x18 3/4x2 3/8 most of the time. I sacrifice the floatation for how good the board rides.
There's probably heaps of other tips that could help but have a try of that and see how it goes.
paddle harder young buck....... your board may have bad rocker, have a read of nick carrolls correct paddling technique
The chin on the board works really well, especially on steep take-offs. Also, rather than paddling early, trying to get momentum into a wave, I have found that when I time my paddle so that my first few powerful strokes are right as you start to feel the energy of the wave, I tend to make more take-offs, with what seems to be much less effort.
I time the chin-on-the-deck to this point as well, and it has really helped. When combined, those two techniques basically your centre of gravity lower so rather than you having to paddle as fast as the wave, gravity does half the work for you.
After that, making the first section will be down to the wave and either your take-off angle, or power in your bottom turn. Taking off on super fast waves, I lean on the inside edge to try and crank the board right around as I pop-up, so I am facing down the line ready to pump, rather than going for a bottom turn - but this won't necessarily work on some waves. (Can work really well on mushy waves too - just aim for top of the foamy section and bounce back down :))
....Oh, yeah - and when paddling, engage your core muscles! They make a HUGE difference :)
Tried out the above suggestions this morning, felt awkward which might explain all those great waves I've missed. Nick Carroll's comment about high elbows and its link to freestyle swimming is spot on.
Tried the chin on the board thing today...and yeah it works pretty good...makes total sense as your putting all your weight forward...thanks for that tip :)
BTW. does anyone kick with there feet when catching a wave?
I personally don't, but have mates who do, always thought it was a bit weird...i do often give a kick when duck diving though to get that extra momentum.
I'll put another odd tip out there that has worked for me when trying to catch big waves that are hard to paddle onto. I will stroke in hard and if it feels like I might not pick it up as the swell rolls under me I grab both rails and sink the board tail first into the water as it's lifting me up and kinda slingshot into the takeoff using the board's buoyancy to get an extra bit of squirt.
It gets your nose pointing down the face too when often wind can get under your nose and blow you off the back. You have to time it perfectly but it can get you onto waves that you might otherwise have missed. I've caught some 10 foot plus waves in Victoria using this technique but I never do it on slabs. It just seems to work well on big deep water waves.
I can't say I've ever noticed if other people use this technique but the biggest waves I've ever paddled onto I have done it so it works for me!
p.s if you try it and get fucken smashed don't blame me!
I have been surfing very regularly for 9 years and reading all these forums and having the same 2 problems as marts and never seen this answer, but this seems to fix my problem: what I did was move forward about 2"-3" on my shortboard. This is pretty hard--I really struggle to arch my back as much as possible when I do this. But as i'm paddling straight into the wave, as I feel i'm planning, I just slow or stop paddling and bring chin to board and the board angles down the face of the wave. Before, when I was farther back, i'd do the same thing but I guess I wasn't over the mid-section so the board would not drop down the face of the wave. so I catch a lot more waves this way. I'm unsure why no one else mentions that as a good tip. I do bury the nose a little more often now and I think I can fix that. You get into the waves earlier this way so can get past the close-out section easier. That's my experience anyway.
Indo I have chin dents in all my boards!
I have gut dents in all mine.
I've got chin dents in my gut.
Hi Marts, hope the tips are working for you.
My 2 cents:
Think of your board as a gliding object, and when roving around the line up try to find the board balance and the long smooth paddles that make your board glide.
Once you get a feel for that type of paddling, transfer it to the waves. A bunch of long smooth paddles trumps wild thrashing any day. I also found that after I had developed that smooth paddle style my sprint paddle became much more effective.
I'm gonna to have to try to chin thing.
Different things work for different people, there's the dropping the chin which pushes your body weight forward. The easiest I've found especially as I ride shorter boards in bigger better quality waves is a version of the cork that yorkessurfer explained. If you're perfectly positioned on your board, I like to be forward enough that my board nose can go under the surface, paddling into the wave as I feel it pick me up, I arch my back which seems to push the tail into the wave, paddle and I'm on. In Bali or places of quality I can get into most waves with 3 to 4 almost lazy paddles, here I paddle and kick unless it's a rare day. I have my boards built short and wide and I ride them in everything at that size, it's as much about fine tuning your boards as it is paddling technique.
I like to get my portly Brazilian mate to don some flippers and motorboat me into sets off of his SUP as I stroke furiously with an oar that I discard as soon as I feel the wave pick up our wave aggregating abhorration.
You should try it.
Everyone should do it.
Pretty sure Dingo Morrison is teeing it up for the next Snapper swell.
"BTW. does anyone kick with there feet when catching a wave?
I personally don't, but have mates who do, always thought it was a bit weird...i do often give a kick when duck diving though to get that extra momentum."
I kick my feet when paddling hard for a wave. Actually it think it was a Nick Carroll article in a surfinglife that explained it's function and it made a lot of sense to me:
Essentially it is another method of shifting the weight forward much the same as the chin technique. While you might get marginal forward thrust from the kicking action, the main benefit of kicking while you paddle into a wave is that as you slap your feet into the water, it causes the the tail of the board to lift to water level.
kick with their feet? you bet...
Bend your legs as much as you can when you feel the wave start to pick you up...a few kilos of forward swing weight ...i reckon MP used to do it
@ Yocal next surf i will try it