Surfing Technique

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay started the topic in Monday, 11 Dec 2017 at 7:07am

Listening to this podcast the other evening made me think a lot about technique - and the lack of it.
I thought it'd be interesting to have a thread where people could post good advice and links to videos, podcasts and other resources - and to ask others for advice.

I'll throw out the first one: One thing that's always bugged me is seeing how easily good surfers get around seemingly impossible sections, while I just can't find that magic source of speed in front of the whitewater or curtain. Not so much when coming down the line with speed, more when taking off too deep, etc. Help a kook out :-)

Oh, and here's the aforementioned podcast:

OllieB's picture
OllieB's picture
OllieB Monday, 11 Dec 2017 at 4:36pm

Good idea Island Bay.

The main issue implementing this is how hard it is to give surfing advice just using text.

It can be done, but how you interpret my advice could be different to what I mean.

If you are looking for advice and don't want to spend a bomb on one to one lessons just head to that well-known video site my friend, tonnes of advice in depth.

In response to your question, one of the biggest reasons I see surfers missing sections when taking off a fraction deep is down to compression.

Make sure you're keeping a very low center of gravity during taking off, this can then be used to pump around longer sections.

The best advice I could possibly give, just spend longer in the water, and take off on the peak.


charles-barkley's picture
charles-barkley's picture
charles-barkley Monday, 11 Dec 2017 at 4:50pm

I remember a thread from a while ago had surfing tips and technique advice. One tip (might have been Craig?) was about doing turns and before you start your turn to 'turn towards the beach'. Thats a bloody great tip for setting up an attack on the top of the wave.

Also, if you pull in don't close your eyes and don't jump off.

Sorry i cant help with the actual question.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 11 Dec 2017 at 4:56pm

Yeah, that was me.

When racing down the line with all that speed, and the wave backs off for a turn, turn down the wave towards the beach, this opens up the angle of attack for you to then come straight back up into the lip more verticle.

Otherwise you'll just end up doing a little check turn or falling flat with a shallow angle of attack.

Re the question above, the more angled into the wave you can get on takeoff, the better you'll be able to just draw on that wave power and speed from the get go. The hollower the harder and I still stuff this up on critical waves if being lazy.

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog Monday, 11 Dec 2017 at 7:59pm

Island bay writes "I'll throw out the first one: One thing that's always bugged me is seeing how easily good surfers get around seemingly impossible sections, while I just can't find that magic source of speed in front of the whitewater or curtain. Not so much when coming down the line with speed, more when taking off too deep, etc. Help a kook out :-)"

Well..... Where do we start lol..
Exactly what level "egg roll" are you?
Are you riding the right stick for your ability? If you're a real novice, and you are riding a fish or some 5'9 pro level thing, there's your problem right there. No drive. Beginners forget that the front foot and the foam under that foot is pretty important.

If you're an ok surfer, and you have a board that suits, taking off deep aint that bad once you get a few basic fundamentals locked into your brain.
Always stroke in on an angle, not a ridiculous angle to start with, but what you feel comfortable with. Start with taking off on slight angles on easy not so deep take offs. Get comfortable with it.
Next thing, is it a hollow top to bottom take off? If yes, just remember its a lot fuckn safer under the curtain than in front of it. Waaaaay rather fuck up digging a rail 1/2 way down the face from being on too much of an angle than taking off straight and ending up getting obliterated.
If its a big open wall.... take off on that angle, and front foot drive off the bottom, my man... Not too much... There's a sweet spot.... Know your board. On big bells like waves, theres also a bit off "blue wave" in front of the impact zone. Use it.
There's another thing.... But you will cop punishment learning it. Sorta hard to explain with hand gestures bahahahahaha....... But you can actually get little speed boosts off the white water just behind where the lip is hitting in big fat walls..... FFS don't try it in square dredging barrels... It's very subtle.. After bottom turning WITH heaps of speed, it's sorta like a tiny little mini top turn, just enough to lift your inside rail and allow a bit of the avalanching white water to get under that rail and shoot you along. You'll know what I mean when you do it.... But maaaan you will cop some punishment learning this trick. Dont go out and try it in 6 foot waves to start with ffs. And if you fuck it, be ready for your board to flip, and have your 2 arms and hands in a "peter garret" midnight oil stance in case your board bounces upwards, and you cop a rail or deck to the face.

OllieB's picture
OllieB's picture
OllieB Wednesday, 13 Dec 2017 at 10:07am

Heres a question for the forum:

What different methods can I use to keep speed, and find speed on a fatter wave?


Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Wednesday, 13 Dec 2017 at 10:44am

Sheepdog, that last paragraph was exactly the kind of stuff I'm after. Cheers.

And I should have tried to at hint at my level. I'm no kook novice, but am probably doing lots of stuff not quite right. Been surfing for decades, incl maybe 25 trips to Indo, close to a year in total spent on Madeira surfing 'large' waves, etc. I surfed a certain NSW North Coast point during the Black NE Magic Monday last year. While definitely no standout, I can hold my own in many lineups.

Andybox's picture
Andybox's picture
Andybox Monday, 18 Dec 2017 at 3:49pm

I’ve found taking off late gives you loads of speed. Compress that into a reasonably tight bottom turn and you’re off down the line like a slingshot. Don’t forget where the power is though, either right next to the lip or on bigger waves it’s on the face. Sanga converted speed into a floater instead of bottom turning around sections.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Monday, 18 Dec 2017 at 4:01pm

Maintain correct trim.

Surfing like all human locomotion is a controlled fall. Stay centred over your board with weight slightly back and you're in trim.

Getting caught behind a section leads to panic pumping where you lose correct weight distribution, often leaning forwards and pushing water with bad trim.

Unless your high and wanting to descend or pushing through a tube it pays to put your weight as though you're continuously falling backwards. It's counterintuitive but it's true.

Knowing this hasn't prevented me from doing the exact opposite for decades though. Throw in some ungainly hopping and spastic arm waving and that's me watching another section funnel off down the line without me.

Watch Tom Curren !

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Monday, 18 Dec 2017 at 5:58pm

Watch Tom Curren- footwork footage on adamrobbo1 insta