After you have mastered the early Basics of Surfing – Part 2

After you have mastered the early Basics of Surfing – Part 2

In the last article, the importance of the correct jump up, paddling, correct trim and riding the wave further were covered. In this article, we are going to discuss the eskimo roll or roll, sitting on the board, turning the board while waiting for a wave and paddling for the wave.

When a surfer is paddling to get out the back, the impact zone will need to be negotiated. On all boards but especially for long boards, the eskimo roll is the preferred method. This is a technique where the surfer holds onto the rails of their board in line with about their chest and then holding firmly rolls so the board is upside down with the fin pointing toward the sky and the surfer submerged under the water under the board. As the wave goes past, especially if it is a bigger or more powerful wave the surfer can be shaken around a little bit. Once the wave has gone past, the surfer then rights the board turning it back over the correct way and then gets back on. It is a good idea, again, more important when the waves are bigger or more powerful, to paddle strongly in towards the wave so the board has good momentum. The board must stay perpendicular to the oncoming wave and the surfer should roll timing it so that they finish the roll at about the same time or just a short fraction of time before impacting with the wave. If the board is at an angle to the wave, the board and surfer can be tossed backwards as the surface area being hit by the wave is greater. If the roll occurs too early then any speed that the surfer has generated to impact the wave with is dissipated or if too late the surfer can be thrown backwards, a similar result to not rolling perpendicular to the wave. This same technique can also be used for short board riders but the more common practice with a shortboard is to duck dive under the wave. We will talk about this is in later articles. When the wave is only small though, a surfer can simply push upon their board to paddle over the wave while they are paddling to get out the back.

Once out the back and when waiting for a wave, it is common practice for surfers to sit on their board. This is generally more comfortable for people but it also allows the surfer to sit a bit higher in the water and therefore it can be easier to see the waves coming through from out the back.

To sit on the board is very simple. The surfer puts their hands at the bottom of their chest, like they are about to do a push up, begin a push up type movement but rather than keep their toes on the back of the board, they let their legs slide down each side of the board so they are sitting on and straddling the board.

There are a number of methods to turn the board while sitting up. The most efficient and fastest way to turn is to use a combination of rotating feet in the water in big circles under water, holding the board with one hand (the hand in the direction of turn so if turning right it should be the right hand holding the board) and using the other hand for paddling. This can be further improved and made a faster turn by sitting back on the board so the nose of the board is out of the water and the surfer leans back a little bit, uses legs and hands to get the board turning and then lays back down to begin paddling. This rocking lean back, lie down technique helps turn the board faster but also starts having the board moving forward with forward momentum before a paddling stroke ia even taken. This technique though requires much practice to perfect.

When lying down on the board, turning the board is done purely using paddling strokes. It can be a combination of forward and backward paddling with opposite hands at the same time or also using the hands in a circulation rotation movement which will turn the board faster and also making it a much sharper turn.

When sitting out the back waiting for a wave to come, it is important the surfer chooses a wave that is suitable and matches their ability, that they are in the right position for and there is no one on their inside or in front of them. Once a surfer had chosen the wave they want, they need to turn quickly, maybe paddle into a slightly better position and then paddle strongly and powerfully to get the board speed up as fast as possible.

The surfer will feel the unbroken greenwave lift them up a little bit. It is vital that the surfer paddles a couple more strong powerful strokes to feel the wave take hold of the board and the board will accelerate. It is important that the surfer has correct timing and immediately reacts to take off and jump to their feet and begin riding the wave.

Timing is important here. If the surfer jumps up or tries to take off too early without doing the required extra strokes, the wave will leave the surfer behind and the surfer will fall out the back of the wave. If the surfer delays the take off and jumping to their feet, the board and surfer will go down the face of the wave and most likely nose dive and wipeout.

Getting the correct timing is a matter of experience and learning the right feel of the board and waves as to when is the right time to take off.

Once a surfer has progressed to this stage of taking off on green waves, the fun and enjoyment really start to skyrocket as options become much greater and a surfer can really begin to ride and surf the wave.

If you are in the Mangalore area, Walkin’ On Water Mangalore, based at Panambur Beach would love to take you out and teach you to surf, get you to feel the thrills and fun of surfing or if you are already surfing, help you progress to the next level. Walkin On Water Mangalore can be contacted on surf@walkinonwatermangalore.com, by phone on 97434 40134 or 99721 13538 or simply seeing them at their base on Panambur Beach by the lifeguards. You can also check out the website www.walkinonwatermangalore.com or their FaceBook and Instagram accounts – walkinonwatermangalore.

Surfing Terminology

Impact Zone – where the waves break

Eskimo Roll or Roll – the eskimo roll (also sometimes known as simply the roll or turtle roll in some locations) is where the surfer holds onto their board to roll underneath the broken wave to effectively negotiate the break zone or impact zone. It is commonly done on longboards but can be done on all boards

Duck Dive –used by surfers riding short boards to negotiate the waves but forcing the board under the water and diving under the wave with the board

Green wave – is an unbroken wave, a wave that still looks green.

Take off – is the term used for jumping up and taking off on the wave to begin riding it

Wipe out – to fall off

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