Duck Diving: this one is easy

Have you ever felt like a small animal in front of a giant mountain of water ready to fall on you? Well, duck-diving might be the antidote to that feeling when you experience it for real out in the water. But how can we assure the perfect duck-dive for a 10-foot breaking wave?

The secret lies in both practice and momentum; knowing the right time for starting your emergency procedure. First of all, make sure you paddle towards the oncoming wave. Yes, you should really gain speed and should not wait for it to come.

Push the rails downwards, with your both hands, sinking the nose of your surfboard as deeply as possible. Take a deep and calm breath and submerge. As soon as you enter the water, press your board with your knee or foot to make the surfboard flow under the rolling wave.

At the same time, try to redirect the nose of your surfboard to the surface, where you think it's safe to emerge. As soon as possible, start paddling out as fast as you can, so you don't get "sucked" by the opposite energy carried by the wave.

Duck-diving is harder for the lightest bodies because skinny surfers tend to find keeping stability underwater with a buoyant board harder than average-sized and heavy athletes do. Nevertheless, training can improve anyone's duck-diving skills against the scariest water foam monsters.

Kelly Slater: now, he might start loving Portugal

Kelly Slater has conquered the Rip Curl Pro Portugal, in Peniche. The 9-time world champion beat South African Jordy Smith, in a crazy European final. He is now very near the 10th title.

It was the clash of leaders, surfed in three-to-five foot waves and sunny blue skies of Supertubos. Watch the final highlights.

“I was trying to stay busy but neither of us could get a solid wave. I actually nearly ended up reaching my wave maximum out there so I kind of had to slow down and try to wait for waves that mattered. Jordy (Smith) has all the talent in the world and he’s capable of getting a score at any time. It wasn’t over until the horn blew”, said Slater.

Several thousands of spectators held their breath, as Kelly Slater and Jordy Smith fought one of the most nervous finals of the last WCT years. Slater surfed 13 waves to score a total of 13.33 points.

The last one remaining in the hunt for the 2010 ASP World Title, Smith acknowledges the tall feat that lies ahead and is philosophical when discussing the remainder of the season.

“I’ve had a blast here in Portugal,” Smith said. “We’ve had some really fun waves. I was stoked to be in the Final with Kelly (Slater). I’m stoked to be in the race still with him. He’s someone I’ve looked up to my whole life and it’s an honor to be up there in the rankings next to him. I’m looking forward to the next event and hope we get some more fun wedges.”

Nevertheless, the race for the Dream Tour title is still on. The surfing circus now heads to Somewhere in Puerto Rico for the Rip Curl Search.

The 2010 ASP World Tour ends in Hawaii with the Triple Crown of Surfing.

Final:

Kelly Slater USA
Jordy Smith ZAF

Ericeira: Europe's surfing jewel | Photo: Husond

Portuguese town of Ericeira could become the first European region with the World Surfing Reserve title. The application has been presented yesterday by municipality of Mafra, in Portugal.

The Portuguese bid is supported by public and private institutions and includes the coastal strip from Empa Beach to São Lourenço Beach. The application was submitted last week to Save the Waves.

"Ericeira is internationally recognized by its conditions for surfing, has unique natural features, 11 miles of coastline and 22 waves. Seven of them will be candidates," said Helder Silva, from Tourism of Mafra.

The candidate waves are Pedra Branca, Reef, Ribeira de Ilhas, Cave, Crazy Left, Coxos and São Lourenço.

The first ever World Surfing Reserve title was awarded to Malibu, in California.