- 05 July 2013 | Surfing
Small things matter when you're taking your surfing to the next level. Intermediate surfers can easily get into the advanced arena with a useful, yet simple collection of tricks, tips and rules.
It's all in the waves. If you add these surf thoughts to your sessions, you'll definitely improve the quality of your surfing. Give it a whirl:
1. Peak Positioning: whether you're taking off behind the wave peak or if you want to catch the wave where it breaks, it is always important to know the exact spot, in order to ride it better.
2. Ideal Foot Placement: when you're popping up and taking of, timing and foot positioning are critical variables; different surfboards may force you to adapt quickly, but a wide stance is a good general practice.
3. Surfboard Waxed Area: losing a great wave or failing to complete a critical maneuver due to poor waxing is pretty frustrating; make sure you've waxed up the margins of your foot placement areas, but never too much: wax has its weight.
4. Leash Length: the challenge is to limit as much as possible the centimeters/inches of leash that is dragged while riding the wave; make sure not to use a useless long leash to avoid water friction and, therefore, the loss of drive and speed.
5. Managing Tide Changes and Line-up Positioning: when the tide is coming in or going out, waves will be breaking at different line levels; you'll save your breath and will be catching waves that nobody will. Have you heard about the "Rule of Twelfths"?
6. Pick the Right Fin Setup: fins have a strong relationship with waves; if you're about to surf big and hollow wave, grabbing a single fin surfboard is a deep mistake. Learn what is the best fin setup for a particular wave type.
7. The Best Wave of the Set: normally, the first wave of the set is not the best choice; before hitting the water, spend a few minutes checking three/four sets and try to get a clear picture of the best wave of the set.
8. Peak or Peace: the best surf peaks are usually very crowded; if you're not willing to wait, to manage local power, snaking and physical challenges, it's always better to paddle to alternative peaks, even if the wave quality is not superior. You'll train more and have more fun.
9. Delay Right/Left Decisions: many times, we're surfing in walled waves - it's just the way it is and we can't change it; when you've decided to paddle and you're not sure if it's breaking left or right, try to delay the decision of taking off, one way or the other, as much as you can. It'll improve the quality of your overall decisions.
10. Chest Adjustments: different waves require different chest position on the surfboard. If the wave's too mushy and fat, you might move your chest to the front of the board, while paddling for a wave; if the wave's hollow and vertical, protect yourself from going over the falls by getting your chest to a lower area of the board, while paddling for the wave.
Discover more advanced surfing tips and techniques.