You see a lump of water looming in the distance, you get syked, and turn to go. But oh snap- that wave snuck up and before you know it, you’re getting thrown over the falls. You pretty much just got owned by mama ocean and it doesn’t feel good.
Today on SeaMade we are stripping surfing down to one of the key fundamentals- dropping in.
Photo | Chris Grant Photo
Timing is everything when it comes to successfully catching a wave. Be observant and notice how fast waves are moving. On a bigger day or when you surf a break where the water comes from deep to shallow water quickly (like a reef), the waves will peak really fast. On a small day or when you surf a break with a gradual decrease in water depth (like a beachbreak) the waves will approach slower, giving you more time to plan.
As you’re sitting in the lineup, be ready to turn and go at any given moment. Once you have a wave in mind, turn towards the beach and paddle as fast as you can. Always look over your shoulders, both of them, to make sure no one is already on the wave or to judge whether or not they really have it. Looking over your shoulder will also let you see when the wave is going to break.
As soon as you feel the wave pushing you faster than your paddle speed, take two extra paddles to ensure you have it. Then quickly pop up to your feet, put more weight on your back foot, and head down the line in the direction you want to go. There you are – up and gliding on your way to smooth surfing perfection.
What’s the hardest part of surfing for you? Leave your answer in the comments below and it may just become a Surfing 101 post on SeaMade!