Catch and surf waves at an angle: the lizard drill

Learn how to do an angled take off and stand up more often

In this series, so far we have covered fixing the nosedive, hand placement, and fixing your surf stance. Now we will make sure you catch more waves by knowing how to approach them. It is time to learn how to angle your take off.

This technique will help you avoid sliding down on the wave, losing speed and get caught up in the white water. Angling is all about finding the right position on the wave face. We will take this lizard as an inspiration:

Quick analysis — why you miss a lot of waves

Here is what is usually happening when you have paddled enough and are dropping in on the wave:

You want to be where the surfing lizard is, half way on the wave

1, you drop straight in (head and body is pointing forward): typically you are starting to come down from the wave and pushed in front of the wave quickly (and get caught in the white water)

2, you are angling too much to one side: this slows you down and you likely miss the wave (wave is just passing underneath you)

How to angle the right way with your surfboard

To fix angling just look on the side where you want to go and catch the wave and paddle harder at the same time.

Your board automatically will turn to the desired direction if you look to that side while you paddle.

Then right after the take off (pop up) you want to turn your surfboard to the direction where you want to ride.

How to practice catching waves at an angle at home

1, We will drill in how to look to the side and paddle harder on one side.

It is all about how you place your hands, therefore create more speed on one side than on the other

Use masking tape to create the following on your floor. The length of the line should be slightly wider (10–15cm) than your shoulders.

2, Put your hands on the two “X”-s.Stuck your elbows up in the air (like chicken wings).

3, Extend your arm in the cobra or push up position while you turn your head and your chest towards the palm which is on the bottom “X”. Notice how the body turns automatically.

Now comes the exercise part: you need to do assisted pushups, to get used to this and strengthen your arms and shoulders.

You can do the pushups on books, or for more strength and balance training do it on books.

Just repeat this 10x on each side:



Up, Down,Up, Down (10x), then switch sides. Pay attention that the ball is on the X that is further from your body (and the line). To switch sides you need to rotate your body 180 degrees!

Breathe in while going down and breathe out while pushing yourself up.

This exercise will help you put more pressure on one side – in the water it will help your board turning to the ideal direction. Practice this drill 10x in your living room or gym, so you commit it to your muscle memory. Then just remember the lizard any time you want to angle a wave 🙂

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 comment below.

Do you know what is the number 1 thing holding back your progress in surfing?

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