Control your speed: The counter intuitive drill to spend more time riding your wave.
In this series, so far we have covered fixing the nosedive, hand placement, and fixing your surf stance. By now you know the basics of catching a wave and staying on it for more than 5 seconds. Now we will make sure you can control your speed while standing on your board to spend even more time riding your wave.
Controlling your speed on the wave is critical, because:
- if you put the weight too much on the back of your board the wave will roll out under you (it will simply pass you by)
- if you put the weight too much in the front and lean forward, you will be too fast and you will be pushed in front of the wave
Quick analysis —Why controlling your speed is critical component for managing your progress
Typically people want to control their speed by leaning with their upper body forward or backward.
This is a bad idea, because if you use your upper body instead of your hip to shift weight, you will either fall in the water belly forward, or you won’t be able to turn.
How to control your speed
These are all the ways that you can control the distribution of your weight on the board:
1. Shifting your weight backward or forward using your hips
2. Using your arm to reach forward / backward
3. Leaning forward/backward with the upper body
4. Shuffling with your feet (while longboarding)
Out of these variations the first one is the most effective (your hips). You can adjust your speed by simply shifting your weight on the board.
How to practice shifting weight on the board with your hips
To drill this in, stand in a doorway and assume the correct surf position:
- Start with your weight balanced evenly between both feet
- Spread out your arms nicely for more balance (see Monk drill for that here)
- Face chest forward
- Squeeze knees (see Charleston drill for that here)
Then start shifting your weight forward and backward until you reach the doorway!
To go faster move your hip above the front heel (front knee touches the doorway)
To go slower move your hip above the back heel (butt touches the doorway)
In your “traveling speed” your weight is evenly distributed between the two legs.
Practice this every time you pass your favorite doorway and think of surfing. You will get the hang of it pretty quickly and next time it will be instinctive when you are surfing again. Just remember Beyonce’s hips..
Using this simple drill, you will ride more waves and have more fun surfing. And that is what matters.
Because fun in surfing = catching the most waves during your session.
Let me know if this helped you, or what you want me to cover next by emailing me at [email protected], or ask me a question below!