Nosediving: it happens to every surfer and always results in wipeouts | Photo: Shutterstock

Nosedives are one of the most common incidents in surfing. Learn how to balance your weight and prevent pearling while catching waves.

In surfing, nosediving doesn't necessarily mean you've done something wrong. Yes, it can be particularly embarrassing when you think you've nailed down a perfect wave, and then you wipe out in front of friends, family, and fellow surfers. But it's part of the wave riding game.

Don't worry. Everybody falls. Even the pros. We're not glued to the surfboard, and sometimes we only notice that the nose of the board is digging into the water when it's already too late - the back of the surfboard is launched up and you get catapulted.

When the nose of the surfboard penetrates the water, there's not much that can be done. Most nose dives happen in the early stages of surfing, but they can also materialize when you're adapting to a new surfboard, or when waves are too steep and too fast.

Nosedives usually happen when a surfer's weight is too far forward, and the nose of the surfboard dives underwater. That is why when you're learning to surf, you realize that you need to find an ideal position on the board.

Nosediving can be quite frequent during the take-off so, as a rule of thumb, make sure that when you're paddling, the nose of the surfboard is two and three inches out of the water.

Nosediving can also occur more often in surfers riding longboards because their craft is substantially heavier and less responsive to emergency body adjustments.

Steep drops: you must get your weight back on the board otherwise you'll wipe out | Photo: Shutterstock

Make no mistake. Pearling, an alternative term for nosediving taken from "pearl diving," is inevitable. But you can drastically reduce its occurrence with subtle changes in your body posture.

Pearling is the opposite of bogging. Bogging occurs when you're too far back on the board, the nose of the board is pointing up, and the surfboard slows down. Bogging can lead to pearling when the board stalls on the top of the wave, and you're thrown over the falls.

Remember that standing up fast will reduce the chances of pearling. Now, let's get that nose out of the water. Memorize a few useful tips:

Paddling for the Wave

1. Adjust your body position backward on the board with your feet hanging off the back of the board;
2. Choose a wave that is not closing out;
3. If the wave is steep, angle the surfboard in the direction you want to go;
4. Paddle fast and efficiently;
5. Arch your back, and have your chest, neck and head up;

Riding the Wave

1. As soon as the board enters the wave, pop up fast;
2. Grab the rails, and get your hands by your ribs to get your feet underneath you;
2. Move your weight back on the surfboard (back foot over the fins, and front foot in the middle of the board);
3. Adopt a low surfing stance;

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