Why dive when caught inside?

stunet's picture
stunet started the topic in Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 1:17pm

Why stand up on your board and dive when caught inside?? You've probably seen it before, maybe even done it yourself. A cleanup set comes through and it's too big too duckdive, so rather than simply slipping off the side the surfer stands on his board and tries to dive. Obviously the reason is to penetrate further and faster, but does it really work?

A part of me thinks the whole diving malarky is a bit of unnecessary drama and a quick sink would be more effective.

Here's Freddy P doing it at Chopes this morning. Yeah it's a smaller wave and it's probably wholly unecessary at a shallow wave like Chopes but that just highlights the issue more: why do it??*

* Two question marks mean I'm seriously puzzled.

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stunet Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 1:19pm

Clearly you're all puzzled by it too...

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Sheepdog Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 1:24pm

To also jettison the board further away..... Penetrate with board on 45' angle.... You go deep... Board shoots on angle to the side.......

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thermalben Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 1:42pm

"You go deep" - well, sink to waist deep I suppose - but I can't see how you'd get any leverage from it to swim deeper. I know it used to be popular years ago at Waimea Bay - guys would stand on their 10' boards and "dive off". However a 6'1 will slip a foot or two underwater before you could jump.

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brutus Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 2:10pm

for years been doing it on bigger bds that when you stand up on them you can dive and penetrate...especially sunset.....I have actually dive off and swam down to the end of the leash.

there is also a school of thought that if ya sink ya bd when diving theres less chance of breaking it than leaving the board flat on the water....

In France in the heavy close to the beach A frames...to get out often stood up ,then dove to the bottom plant ya hands in the sand to hold ya place then pop up and do it again and you were out....

Fark I think you'd try anything at Chopes......

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Sheepdog Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 2:31pm

thermalben wrote:

"You go deep" - well, sink to waist deep I suppose - but I can't see how you'd get any leverage from it to swim deeper. I know it used to be popular years ago at Waimea Bay - guys would stand on their 10' boards and "dive off". However a 6'1 will slip a foot or two underwater before you could jump.

That's the point.... You push the nose (or the tail) underwater, and the board will shoot off... We've all clowned around out the back during lulls standing on our boards.... You can shoot your board like a missile at your mate sitting near you, just stopping as the legrope gets fully extended....
So, in really heavy shallow surf, one can shoot their board SIDEWAYS if you know what you are doing...... You dont want your board in front of you, above you, behind you...... You want it to the side of you, a full legrope length away.... And when I said deep, I meant as deep as you can go...... If it was that shallow, why dive at all.... You'll just hit your head on the reef......

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goofyfoot Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 2:31pm

First, why the hell was Freddy p trying to even catch that wave? It was terrible!
Regarding the diving, I've always just slipped off my board and swam under. I've always imagined that the effort the standing on board and diving off technique would requires would use up precious oxygen and energy when you want to be conserving it for when your under.
I also get caught in two minds sometimes when I'm surfing a big wave in deep water, whether to just pretty much stay on the surface or only slightly swim under and hope the whitewash pops you back up quickly, or dive deep so you escape the wash but risk getting pushed really deep and be under longer. I found myself at Sunset doing this more than anywhere else I've surfed..

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Sheepdog Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 2:48pm

I've always just gotten as far away from my board as possible,goofyfoot..... A hold down is nothing.... A fin chop or whack to the head can be an issue......

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Craig Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 2:52pm

Totally get the staying as fas as you can away from your board, but a simple push off to the side or behind you is enough to get away. No need to jump on and then project the board.

Thought maybe he was using the board as leverage to actually get more projection into the approaching white-wash and possibly get through it easier?

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goofyfoot Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 2:59pm

Sheepdog wrote: I've always just gotten as far away from my board as possible,goofyfoot..... A hold down is nothing.... A fin chop or whack to the head can be an issue......

Yeah I know what you mean Sheepy but like Craig said a simple push after you have slid off it is enough to get the board away. I wouldn't say though that a hold down is nothing, it can easily become "something" in big waves
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thermalben Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 2:59pm

Sheepdog wrote: You can shoot your board like a missile at your mate sitting near you, just stopping as the legrope gets fully extended.... So, in really heavy shallow surf, one can shoot their board SIDEWAYS if you know what you are doing......
With a big set bearing down on me, I reckon that sounds way too difficult. And dangerous. You know how fine the line is with a duckdive - a half second too early or too late, and you end up getting smashed. I reckon your suggestion increases the error margin ten-fold.

As Craig said, just push your board to the side and swim down - you'll exert much less energy and there's much lesser chance of something going wrong.

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Sheepdog Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 3:40pm

goofyfoot wrote:
Sheepdog wrote: I've always just gotten as far away from my board as possible,goofyfoot..... A hold down is nothing.... A fin chop or whack to the head can be an issue......

Yeah I know what you mean Sheepy but like Craig said a simple push after you have slid off it is enough to get the board away. I wouldn't say though that a hold down is nothing, it can easily become "something" in big waves

Ohh for sure, goofy.... Seeing stars.... Burning chest...... 2 wave hold downs in 15 second period 10foot is an issue... But when one has mastered the zen like quality of "going to sleep", like a good stayer in the melbourne cup on the back straight, it can be dealt with...... Being knocked out underwater by an indiscriminate rail though........ Hey, give me a burning chest and a good vomit afterwards....
Look guys, there are many ways to skin a cat....... I don't know how many of us have been in a comp situation at chopes...... I haven't....... But what I can see is Freddy getting sucked over for a 10 second plus rag doll..... At 15 seconds, he comes up, facing the shore, regathering his board..... In a free surf, time is not an that much of an issue.... He swings around, now regathering his breath and equalibrium......... He has 2 seconds to decide on whether to attempt a duckdive or bail..... He actually gets into a duckdive position..... He has no momentum towards the wave..... Physics...... A sitting duck...... If he had've just rolled to the side, he would've been pushed further in, maybe a minute more of the heat gone...... But he used physics.... He penetrated the water at paddling speed, AND angled his board to jettison upwards, which it did.....

Anyway, star of the day was Wilson with his coffin trim..... How dare the judges not reward that most difficult move, at chopes mind you lol

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goofyfoot Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 6:51pm

Gotta love a coffin

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southey Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 at 10:14pm

I agree with Brute and sheepo .

Quite often when in deep water , and about to cop the first wave in what most likely a series of waves in a set . If I can't get within the waves height distance from the falling lip then I'll attempt to do the stand up duck dive bail . Using Board as a submerged starters block to dive through the turbulence . Much like pushing through the back of a wave in a close out . .
The board doesn't get dragged as bad underwater , generally speaking if you flick it backwards and to the side , the leggie pulls taught quicker and the first rush of water over the board happens when your still moving from your dive . How many times has a foot or two distance out the back helped when you've made it out and someone else just behind to the side if you gets nailed .
Also regardless of how big it is , I'll try and duck dive if the lip is going to hit as close as the wave height in front , as the energy often bounces over you , just like the shocky in the bottom of the pit , that spits you out the back of a wave in a close out .
If it's real big , and or your looking at the second or third wave in the set , with a mountain of white water heading your way , I'll be swimming for the bottom trying to tombstone the board before the wave hits .
The other thing I think has really helped over the years is rovings glassed leggie attachments as close to the tail as possible . Boards pull backwards through turbulence better .

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Sheepdog Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 9:16am

Southey writes "I'll try and duck dive if the lip is going to hit as close as the wave height in front , as the energy often bounces over you"........
ohhhh man :) One of the biggest "not standing" buzzes in surfing..... Lip of a 6 foot bomb bearing down a foot in front of the nose of your board...... And you nail it..... Shot out the back like a missile out of a submarine.... Oh yeah......
I love that..... Such a rush..... It's a fine line....... But once you've done it a few times, paid your dues, it becomes instinctive......
The initial lip impact actually bounces, skips...... Only for like a second..... Bit like a skipping pebble on a pond.... And the gnarlier the lip, the bigger the skip/bounce..... It'll just harmlessly go over the top.... One second you are just under sea level pointed 45' towards the sea floor, the next second you are at the deepest point of the wave, on a 45' angle upwards pointing out the back as the wave energy does a "see saw" on you and your board...... "WHOOOOOSH!!"....... Out clean...... And with all that missile momentum, if you time your paddle stroke as you hit the surface, you'll be paddling faster than a surfski :)

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uplift Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 10:32am

' I wouldn't say though that a hold down is nothing, it can easily become "something" in big waves'

I heard one of those happened not long ago in real serious waves around here, to one of the best, most experienced chargers going. That he got caught inside and rocked to the core, nearly drowned, just couldn't get up. Thought he was fucked. Really rattled him, which would take something. He's had a few horror stories close together now. Apparently camster was out there.

Its kind of funny all this. Be good to test all this stuff on a nice, super high tide, raw, west swell phantom bomb at blacks. One of the big, no entry, atomic winter triple ups, that despite the tide, drain off the whole reef. When the whole show goes out the window. And the prayers kick in. Another major gung-ho genuine charger got done up pretty bad there not long ago too. Sometimes, in the most serious situations its all luck in the end. I remember Martin Potter getting smashed out of action trying to duck dive just paddling out in NW WA. Like you guys say, Yazzie is a reknowned charger, yet one bit of bad luck, and even guys like him get fucked up.

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Sheepdog Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 10:48am

" Be good to test all this stuff on a nice, super high tide, raw, west swell phantom bomb at blacks. One of the big, no entry, atomic winter triple ups, that despite the tide, drain off the whole reef."
Well when you do test it, let us know how you go....... I'd take it your local knowledge wouldn't put you in that situation though, lifto.... But if you wanna experiment, cheers..... ;)
Know of a bloke up on the sunny who went for a reo in a 2 foot shorey..... Didn't time the backwash.... Head first..... Snap..... Wheelchair for life....... Shit happens......

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southey Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 11:03am

yeah uplift . its like Russian Roulette though ..... you've got to be in it , to win it .....

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goofyfoot Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 11:13am

Did a bit of experimenting on some 5-6ft sets that closed out at Rye this morning.
Pretty shallow bank, sets were throwing out a fair way. Not just crumbling from the top.
Tried out the "stand on board, dive off". Felt like a bit of a wanker, didn't really notice it being any better.
Tried the standard push board away, swim fairly deep under. Found this to be the easiest way.
Also tried duckdiving, did about 5 backflips under water hanging on like fuck to my board, then thought fuck that idea.

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Sheepdog Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 11:22am

Re' the "bounce"..... Talk to Tom Carroll...... He was the one that handed on this old tip......

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goofyfoot Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 11:24am

Got his number? ;)

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uplift Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 11:27am

Been there more than once sheepy.

Probably on top of luck, being as fit and healthy as you can be is your best defense.

When its super shallow, a bit like has been alluded to earlier, where are you gonna dive anyway?

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Sheepdog Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 11:48am

goofy - nah, man hehehe.... There's a sweet spot about a 1 - 3 foot in front of where the lip hits..... You don't "deliberately" put yourself there in 6 foot surf, but to know it's there gives you an advantage when you find yourself caught out..... As I said, you'll wear some punishment learning this trick.... Best to cut it in smaller stuff first hehehe......
Even next time you are having a bodysurf in small shitty shoreys, deliberately put yourself in this position (safer than 6 foot with a piece of fibreglass)... Just "feel" that area under where the lip pitches... It's there, man....... It bounces for a second... THEN it drives under.....

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Sheepdog Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 11:56am

Hey, lifto,what sort of reef is blacks? Is it an "old woman style" razor job? Or is it a nut cracking slab?

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Craig Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 12:05pm

Pretty sure most experienced surfers know about the bounce, there's even follow up but smaller bounces after the first, but sometimes even the most perfect timing can still get you smashed.

One thing I find fascinating is opening your eyes and dodging the turbulence jets. If you can do this, you come up perfectly fine. But when one of those jets hits you, that's when you start getting smashed about. Just another small part of the puzzle that makes surfing so great.

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uplift Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 12:20pm

Slab, bit of limestone razor stuff though, and a serious cave I've been in a few times, thought I wasn't coming out once for sure, and some big cracks on the inside. Different ocean to up that way though, and a unique set up. We've got other razor set ups though. Somehow, sometimes you have to get on top of the whitewater.

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yocal Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 3:20pm

Craig wrote: One thing I find fascinating is opening your eyes and dodging the turbulence jets. If you can do this, you come up perfectly fine. But when one of those jets hits you, that's when you start getting smashed about. Just another small part of the puzzle that makes surfing so great.

Yeah its pretty exciting when you see an updraft and can get to it huh!

Also do you ever tip your rails so the deck doesn't collect downdrafts? Then if you are pushed deep you can tip the rails vertical and it shoots you back up to the surface if you can hang on long enough

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Sheepdog Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 3:56pm

There is one thing I hate.... Only ever happened a few times..... Freekn scary...... Usually in big surf with a long legrope........
You've copped a ragdoll..... Lungs burning....... You come up..... But where's the board....... where is it...... Somehow it's on the perfect horizontal..... Underwater....... Where the fuck is it gonna shoot up from? I once had a board come up soooo slowly... stayed horizontal the whole way..... Just gently blobbed up next to me....... freeky shit......

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yorkessurfer Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 6:12pm

I heard when Todd Chesser died the last they saw of him was standing on his board and diving off in front of a 20 footer after being caught inside at Outside Alligators on the North Shore. Not saying the technique killed him but it clearly didn't help?

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southey Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 6:44pm

Yorkes , just paddling Outside Alligators( sometimes alone ) is enough cause to end your life .

Theres many spots between you and me that could and do fit that category .... choosing to tackle them is dicey at best , let alone without thousands of people lining the shores within km's of the break . But that's the risk in the reward .

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goofyfoot Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 at 9:06pm

yorkessurfer wrote: I heard when Todd Chesser died the last they saw of him was standing on his board and diving off in front of a 20 footer after being caught inside at Outside Alligators on the North Shore. Not saying the technique killed him but it clearly didn't help?

Before the days of the flotation vests. Wonder if it would of helped?
Would you take your leggie off to try and get under that? Or not?!
Anyone on here got a 20 footer on the head? Caml? Leggie on or off?
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caml Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 1:00am

Hey some funny techniques for sure been mentioned . So yeh had a biggie land in front of me at cows bommie once and i dived under then got rolled n spun but eventually popp

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caml Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 1:03am

Popped up but the old wet dream leggie was twice as long as before . Truly it was frazzled like a two minute noodle . I cut it into sections made 3 smaller leashes out of it .

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caml Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 1:12am

So only twice have i ever taken my leash off while caught inside , at scar reef becos i was caught by an 8ft wave and reef was dry sucking all around me & for sure i would have got leash wrapped around the coral heads & one time at cows when my 11"6 board was going to rip my leg off like a grasshoppers , but that was a rare moment and my mate was nearby with a jetski . Normally my legrope is extremely useful for surfin large surf becos i just climb up it everytime , i dont swim or kick at all just start climbing everytime . It saves time n effort .

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caml Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 1:16am

Yocal i like the sideways duckdive too . Handy when duckdiving my thicker boards

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caml Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 1:17am

Yocal i like the sideways duckdive too . Handy when duckdiving my thicker boards

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Damothediver Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 7:01am

Mark Healey bailed under a bomb that big day at Cloudbreak last year and took off his leash..........here is an interview about it ........
http://www.surfline.com/surflinetv/greatest-wipeouts/greatest-wipeouts-s...
Note: not sure if it is ok to post a link to another surf forecast website on here so if its not cool go ahead and delete the post..........

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mothart Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 11:10am

Wow, how was that wave further up the reef... Fucken' nuclear.
Bet he was glad the leggie came off first go. The board kinda looked like it went over the back, but I guess he was looking for extra depth in the dive to avoid the draw back.

Earlier this year, after not doing it for well over a decade I found myself doing the stand/ dive a fair bit while on holidays.
I found it took a fair bit of energy, for not alot of reward, as how deep you got under the wave.
And the board under the surface may have helped as far as snapping, but I found it staying under for longer once the wave had passed, pinning me in the impact zone, meaning more waves on the head.
Maybe I was doing it wrong, but I went back to slipping off the side, pushing the board side ways (after checking no ones behind you), parallel to the wave to reduce leverage for snap, and a couple of breast strokes down or even a pin drop down.
It was only 6ft though, fuck knows what the crew do when it's bigger.

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thermalben Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 12:01pm

Copped a solid two-wave 6ft set fair and square on the noggin in Bali last week.

I tried to scramble under the first one as it reared up but the lip exploded right on top of me - one of those situations where a couple of millimetres (or a few extra deep paddles) might have seen me sneak under the curtain. But it wasn't to be. 

Popped up after a thorough thrashing with only seconds until the next one landed in the same spot. Some other bloke wore the first wave on the head too and snapped his leggie, and we both came up kinda tangled in the foam, which didn't really help things as the second wave stood up. 

Funnily enough, despite the punishment I felt OK and remained calm until it seemed like a good time to start pulling myself up the leggie. 

Point being: even if it's a ten foot wall of whitewash approaching (rather than a pitching lip in my case) I don't know how anyone can adequately plan for the stand-and-dive technique. Assuming you really only get a good look at the wave - and decide to use this method - as you paddle over the one in front - there's really only 10-15 seconds until impact. This method would appear to take quite a few more seconds than quietly slipping off the side, and also seems to take up more energy and oxygen.

I was going to give it a try next time I was out at somewhere solid, but thanks goofyfoot - you've done the work for me! 

As Moth says too - I have no idea how everyone copes when it's really big.

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indo-dreaming Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 1:41pm

thermalben wrote:

Point being: even if it's a ten foot wall of whitewash approaching (rather than a pitching lip in my case) I don't know how anyone can adequately plan for the stand-and-dive technique. Assuming you really only get a good look at the wave - and decide to use this method - as you paddle over the one in front - there's really only 10-15 seconds until impact. This method would appear to take quite a few more seconds than quietly slipping off the side, and also seems to take up more energy and oxygen.

Ive never tried it but thats also what i would expect, plus knowing my luck id misstime it and use up all my air and energy trying and nearly drown.

I think i will just stick to the slide off and go as deep as i can method.

BTW. I have used the old dive deep and grab some kelp and hold on technique , helps to hold some ground used mostly down west coast of Tassie.

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zenagain Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 1:37pm

Swellnet had this vid up for ages on the old site. At about 2:25 Taj does the stand on the board thing and dive.

I'd have to agree with the other posters, just slipping off to the side and stroking to the bottom would be just as efficient and less energy consuming than the stand-up dive option.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nae6jZ0RM3U

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thermalben Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 1:51pm

Well spotted Zen. Wonder if it made a difference to Taj? He did seem to get some leverage off the board.

Then again, I've always found that it's a trap for us bog standard recreational surfers to use anything that the pros are doing (or riding) as a template as to what we should be doing.

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Sheepdog Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 1:54pm

It's about adaptation to the situation, zen..... It's not something one plans on doing... It won't become "all the rage" at dbah...... Well I hope not...... But certain situations require innovation.... Note two guys, Taj, and Freddy.... Not bad surfers..... One grew up in Hawaii, the other W.A...... I don't think they are doing it for a "buzz".....
These guys put themselves in heavy situations every week, not every 3 months..... They have a gut feel, and they go with it.....

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Craig Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 2:02pm

Taj was doing what I was talking about at the top. Using the board as leverage to get more momentum and projection through the heaving sand slab. 

He wouldn't of got as much momentum trying to push off the sand or simply swimming into it, and under those super shallow sandy bombs you need to get as close to the bottom as possible and push through with as much momentum as you can othwerwise you get absolutely slammed.

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Craig Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 2:50pm

Great example of it being used in the Clay vid as well. 9:23s

www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2014/08/22/clay-clay-video

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caml Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 6:01pm

Sometimes its a very worthwhile technique . Sometimes oxygen isnt an issue

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Craig Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 6:05pm

Indeed Camel, I use this technique as well as the push the board away to the side and swim deep option.

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southey Friday, 22 Aug 2014 at 10:57pm

right .

I have a scenario for whoever to talk through their approach ...
( the angle is deceiving , but I will show one or two later in the sequence later ) ....
your in the white ( worst position ) and roughly paddling through 4-6 ft deep water over live coral .
30 m's behind you is low tide 6 inch deep for 100m in every other direction .
" http://s1296.photobucket.com/user/Southey/media/micronesia793_zps1528a73... "

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caml Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 at 12:20am

Many ways that will get you there . Things dont always go as planned in ocean

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stray-gator_2 Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 at 11:38am

I'm thinking shrill screaming. A bit of hyperventilation might work, too.

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Sheepdog Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 at 6:51pm

Does the reef gradually go from 6ft deep water to 6 inch deep over the 100m? Is there a hectic diagonal sweep down the reef?