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Barrel Ride Getting Tubed.

Getting a "Barrel" or getting "Tubed" is the ultimate goal in Surfing.  


Rider has set his rail and driving down the line.  You can't see it, but his back hand is grasping the water to slow him down and draw him up the wave's face .  


Lip throws over him and the rider gets "barreled". 


Then he comes flying out the end of the tube ( and will probably set up for a front side hack to spray his friend paddling out ). 


So you might now notice getting into the barrel isn't just about going fast and speed.   It's about controlling that speed and putting your board in the right place under the lip.   Not too low, not too high.  Not too far on the shoulder, not too deep in the pocket.     

Rider gently feels the wave to gauge his speed and angle.  


To get barreled you need a wave that throws out.  So light off shore winds that blow into the wave's face helps a lot.  

Rider takes off late and steep.  Eyes down the line.  


Comes up of the bottom turn and sets his rail. 


Wave finally cooperates and begins to throw over.  Rider tucks down to fit into the tear drop shape.  


If the barrel isn't there, there's nothing you can do about it.   Rider is stalling with all his might to slow down, but there's no barrel behind him anyways.  


Little better situation here.  But normally you want to have already set your rail and be driving down, instead of rising up like he's doing here.  He's too far in front the curl.  


Do you need a shortboard to fit in the barrel ?  It depends on the size of the wave and the skill of the rider more.  Rider here could probably have got covered if he slowed down earlier.  He's probably on a 7'6" funshape. 


Here I am at Waikiki on a 9'4".  Waikiki is more known for gentle rollers and tourist friendly beginner waves, not barrels.

I'm draggng my back arm past the elbow.  


I release the back hand when the pressure gets too much and then I race down the line.  I crotched so tight, my front elbow is lower than my knee.  


Lips throws over and get to enjoy one of the most amazing views in surfing ( and probably in life ).  


Most surfers will never get to experience getting fully barreled or totally tubed.  It's the ultimate goal in surfing, just as a Hole-in-one in Golf is or a Homerun is in Baseball. Trying to get tube comes with risks,  but without big risk, there's no big reward.    


If you can't get fully tubed,  try tucking in and just get covered a bit.  It might hit you in the back, but that's okay. You might even do what the old timers call a "Head Dip".  The wave might just sprinkle water droplets in your face, but we all got to start somewhere.    Leave those cool first person point of view Gopro barrel rides to the pros for now.   


Please check out Hope Cheng, Philippine Surf Report on FB and to see more.





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Back Foot Surfing

I've been asked about Back Foot surfing versus Front Foot surfing.   My response is ........... sometimes the Front Foot becomes the Back Foot.  


When you start to really push your turns,  soon you will need to start sliding the tail or break out the fins.  

Notice even though his Back Foot is over the fins,  his butt is weighted over the front half of the board.  


The rider transfers his weight off the Back Foot on to the Front Foot.   


See the weight shift forward ?  Notice the spray coming off the nose as it's shoved into the wave's face ?


That slight burying of the nose or nose pick is a sure sign of the weight being transfered to the Front Foot ( which now kinda of acts as the Back Foot )  


This rider is about to land an Air-Reverse.   Reverse ?   So the back of the board will land in the front.  So his front foot slides down way over the nose.  When the nose lands in the water it will engage it almost like a fin.  

( after he lands backwards, to ride out of it he will have to transfer weight back onto the Back Foot and the board will re-align itself ) 


This surfer is a "Regular" footer, but in this photoit looks like he's a "Goofy" footer.  He putting a lot of pressure on his Front Foot and letting the Back Foot slide the tail around the pivot of his back hand.  


This little guy has to sit down on his Front Foot's Heel to carve the turn.   Do what you got to do to move the board.  


So are you a Front Footed surfer or a Back Footed surfer ?   Or maybe you should be BOTH.  Isn't that the right way to surf ? 


Please check out Eason Photography and Matsunosuke Kugenuma on FB and  to see more.  



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X marks the spot

If you want to turn, carve and cutback better, you need to figure When and Where to do it.  Not just how to do it.


The transition from Inside rail to Outside rail is neccessary to turn a surfboard on the face of the wave.  

First draw a line from where she comes up from the bottom to the top of the spray, then draw another line from the top curl to the end of her board.  You should then be able to see the "X" where it marks the spot of the transition.  


Again line going up from the bottom to top of the spray.  Line going from top of curl to back of board.  Where the line coincide, that is the critical moment to carve or turn. 


Down , Up and Around.   In to Out.   Closed to Open.  Transition from Inside rail to Outside rail. 


It is not a fool proof system,  but try to see if you can tell where the "X" is ?  


Even I had a hard time with this photo, so I too am guessing myself.  There's two top curl lines.  


This photo was a lot easier to figure out.  


This photo, I'm not going to even try.  Let's just call it a "S" not an "X" marks the spot.  


Most of you know how to turn. 

1) Using your eyes, arms, shoulders/torso, core, knees, etc. 

2) Having your back foot over the fin(s)


But WHERE to turn and WHEN to turn separates the advance surfer from the beginner-intermediates.  


Are you transitioning too early ?  Too late ?   or not at all ?  Check where the X marks the spot.


please check out Philippine Surf Report on FB to see more.    






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Best Volume for easy to paddle surf board.

I get asked by beginners, " What size / brand board is best if you have a hard time catching waves ? 

I get ask by intermediates, " What size Volume liters should I order so my board is easier to paddle ? "


The answer is "It doesn't matter if you have a weak paddle".


A wise Waikiki Beachboy told me " Surfing isn't surfing, Surfing is Paddling.  Why ? 

Because 90% of the time is spent paddling, only 10% is actual riding on the wave.   


Hands relaxed.  ( not with fingers cupped or spread far apart )

Breathing.  ( not holding your breath )

Body in line with the stringer and positioned correctly front to back. 


Everyone has a different paddle style.  But if your arm is straight on the return phase, it takes too long to get back in for the power phase. 


Surfer on Left is doing the straight arm " Windmill "paddle which is very stiff.  

Surfer on the Right is doing the double arm paddle which provides more torque but less RPM.  It's like pedaling a bicycle with the crank arms in the same alignment.  The board pulses forward then pauses, then pulses again.  


The surfer in the background is doing the Windmill paddle which is not efficient.  He is also too far back on the board.  


"If I'm too far forward, I'll pearl" you might say.  But if you are too far back, that is even worse.  I'd rather catch the wave and pearl  than paddle from way back on the board and miss the wave.  

Here the surfer is positioned nicely on the board, paddling smoothly, eyes up.  Nose is close to the surface of the water ( which helps the board glide )


But in a moment, she pops up and gets to her feet.  That transfer of weight automatically brings  the nose up.  


Too far back on the board makes the board into a snow plow.  The faster you paddle the harder you have to fight.  You may think being farther back makes you less prone to pearl, but it contributes to a weak paddle ( and just delays the pearl once the wave sucks up the tail and slams the nose down ) 


Even if you work out at the gym, have good fitness and are "strong" , you still have to have good technique.

Notice here her body is spinning to the left as she reaches forward with her right hand. 

Good paddlers have a "quiet body"  but fast moving hands.  Basically only from the shoulders outwards moves.  


Imagine a airplane with one engine pointed a bit of angle different than the other. Or if the motor moves around in it's mounts.  It would waste energy, when the thrust should be sent straight back.  


Last week we discussed Analyzing Surfing Technique.   So take a look at this photo and try to see some paddling technique problems.


On the Right, the surfer is too far back and his board can't glide or go down the face.  The nose is so high out of the water, only his finger tips can enter the water, not his whole arm.  

On the Left,  the surfers legs are torquing back and forth.  Nose of the board is nice. Arm is nice and deep.  But the legs swinging left and right eats up energy.  


Is 55 liters easier to catch waves than 57 liters ?   

Can a 6'6" Fish board with high volume paddle as well as a 8'0" softboard ? 

Flatter rocker better than more rocker ? 

Bigger fins mean more drag ? 


The answer would be up to you.  YOU need to be able to paddle the board.  If your paddle sucks, everything will suck.  Catching waves, getting back out, getting tired faster, etc.  


Have you read any surfboard makers catalog say " this board is BAD for catching waves and HARD to paddle " ?  They all can catch waves if the rider can.  If the rider can't paddle properly ( and take off at the wrong place at the wrong time ), the board can't catch waves properly.  


Good surfers ( or should I say good PADDLERS ) can ride anything no matter what size or volume.   


Please check Matsunosuke Kugenuma, Hope Cheng and Eason's photography on FB    and  to see more.  













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Analyze surfing technique

How can you fix something if you don't first know what the problem is ?  


How do you know what is good if you don't know first what is bad ? 


Don't take my word for it,  Learn to analyze surfing for yourself. 


Look at the next three photos and take as many notes as you can. 

Photo #1

Photo #2

Photo #3


Okay got that ?   Of course the surfer is wearing a Red rashguard and has a watch on his left arm.  But look more closely at what the board and wave is doing.  


1) He is coming off a backside bottom turn, spray shearing off the outside rail.  Right fin coming out of the water is visible. 

2) Rider is focusing his eyes on the area right in front of the throwing lip of the curl.  

3) He lowers his front arm to create a pivot point.  ( He also lowers his butt, but is not squatting ) Palm open not closed.

4) Back arm rotates around to be in front of his chest, which twists his waist and torso into the wave.  


1) He intiates his turn back down, MID WAY up the face ( NOT at the top )

2) Board is rolling off the inside rail and on to the flat bottom.

3) Rider's arms are now twisting back the other way, counter-clockwise. ( His head is also cocked back down )


1) He hits right under the lip as it throws, not too early or too late.  ( It helps to re-direct the nose back down )

2) He always leads the action with his eyes.  He spots the landing point and how close the explosion of whitewater coming at him is.

3) He throws his weight way back on the traction pad over the tail for it to lock into the wave, since the fins might be already airborne. ( Notice his front foot back on it's heel ? )  That helps to prevent the nose from pearling and keep the board stuck to the wave, not flailing in the air. 

4) You can just make out where his back hand is ( right above his head in the photo ).  It is stuck into the wave to gain stability.  But you might say " you always tell us not to hold onto a invisible wall ".   Well this isn't invisible, it's real and can be used to help you stick the landing.     


Did you see all that ?   Good.  Now look at photos or videos of yourself and see if your timing and position on the wave is right.   Look at other surfer while sitting on the beach while leashing up.  Can you tell what is going to happen before the rider does it ?  


Analyze your surfing to get better.  ( or to help others to, that is what my surfing blog is for )  


Please check out Philippine Surf Report to see more.  





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Don't build the Wall

Bruce Lee said " Be like water ".  Flowing, Ever Changing.    He did not say be like a Concrete Wall, or hold onto one.  


If you hold on to an invisible wall, that arm becomes locked out and static.  


By holding on to an inivisble wall, it restricts the shoulders, torso and waist from twisting/turning into the wave.  


By holding on to an invisible wall,  the arm can NOT be used for drive or steering.  


Sometimes you crouch down low and brace like someones about to pull the rug out from under you.  


But don't let that "sometimes" become a bad habit.   Bracing and reaching out for an invisible wall or rail is not good. 


You need to be loose and agile when surfing.  Holding onto a wall makes you stiff and rigid.  


Locked front arm, closed stance, hinged bodyline, turning from the middle of the board and holding on to a invisible wall.    Does one thing contribute to the others ?  


Holding on to an invisible wall is not good.  Holding on to a invisible wall with BOTH hands is even worse.  


Learn to LET GO !   Don't build the WALL !!


Please check out  and Hope Cheng on FB to see more.  


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OTL - Off The Lip

When you hear "Off the Lip" do you envision a big snap and huge spray coming off the bottom of a shortboard ? 


But in actuality,  any board Short or Long can do a "Off the Lip".  


Here a longboarder, eyes the oncoming curl.  He angles in his rail and uses his back hand as a pivot point in the wave.  

Bodyline strong from deck to head.


He hits the lip up high where the wave is thinner ( but not too high ). 

He matches power against power.  


Remember I said "not too high" ?  Sometimes if you turn too late or go too high,  you go to the backside of the wave.  Some surfers purposely do that to do "floaters" ( but we're not talking about that now )

In this situation the lip doesn't help redirect the surfboard back down.  


Surfer sees the lip or the wave stand up.  Right now she is twisting into the wave's face.


She turns off the edge off the wave ( it's not a big wave, but it's there ).  Spray still coming off the outside rail.


The transfer from outside rail to flat bottom to inside rail happens.   Notice the spray now coming off the opposite rail.  


She brings the nose around even more, but then the wave fattens up and there's not much more anyone could do.  


Rider almost does a pop up onto the lip as he started high on the wave face already.


Not a big lip and it's crumbling.


But he keeps his head over his butt which is over the deck.  


and he rides out of the OTL and continues on the wave.  


Shortboard or Longboard,  it's about timing and placement to do OTL's.   Most of the waves we surf are not perfect clean faces.  They're usually chopped up crumbly lips and reforms.  That's why you need to learn to do OTLs .  Don't be afraid to utilize the free energy the wave is giving you to help you turn.    And a lot about making a OTL is CONFIDENCE.  You got to believe you can make it.  If you are scared or stiff, you probably won't. 


Please check out Eason's Photography on FB to see more.




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Noseriding is a Dance

Noseriding (and Surfing) is a Dance.  A dance with your partner the wave.


Beautiful noseride.  Just pure glide, floating/flying across the wave.   But how did she get to this point ? 


Getting out onto the shoulder, she cuts back to COME back to the power of the wave near the curl. 

Eyes still looking down the line.  Front arm opens up.  


Comes back around and sets the inside rail again.  From arms swing back to twist back the torso/body to go back frontside.


At the right moment, she stalls the board to slow down, lock the tail down and create a foamy pillow to lay the nose down on.  

She is only on one foot during the cross step, but she still keeps a strong balanced bodyline from head to toe.  


She can now uncross her front foot to get to the nose.  

Yellow arrow point to the "Slice".

Magenta arrow points to the "Lock" on the tail. 

Body weights starts to push down.  


The curl of the wave is fully wrapping over most of the deck.  Weight mainly over the back foot, inline with the head and butt. 

She is calm and composed, enjoying the glide.  

All the leg work ( literally ) done before hand, is rewarded with a great noseride.  


Noseriding is a Dance.   A Dance with the wave.  Your surfboard is like a musical instrument that (can) makes beautiful music.   There is a Beat to listen and dance to.  When to turn, when to stall, when to speed up.  Sometimes the waves says step to the nose, sometimes it says take one step and one step back.  


It's been said there are two types of people in this world, those who dance and those who don't dance.  

Do you dance on your surfboard ?  


please check out  to see more.  



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Don't sit and surf

A favorite childhood riding toy was called SIT AND SPIN.  But for surfing and cutting back / frontside turns,  DO NOT SIT.


Call it "Sitting", "Squatting" or "Poo-stance",  what ever just don't surf this way.  


Head gets past the rail / edge of the surfboard.

Butt has to stick out to counter balance.

Bodyline is not inline with the angle of the deck.  


She gets her head back over her feet but still a bit squatted. 


When she tries to turn away from the face of the wave, she automatically goes back to her bad habit, which is squatting / sitting.  

Hand bracing off and invisible wall.


Head is over the feet, but butt is past the rail. 

Eyes looking down. 

Hand bracing off an invisible wall.

Trying to turn from the middle of the board.  (Which leads to both toes coming off the deck )

Squatting / Sitting in itself is not bad, it is a unconscious reaction to other problems.  


"Hey !  This guy is Squatting.  His toe is coming up. That must be bad ?"    Answer is .............. NO.   He is not squatting. He is compressing into the turn.   His front arm drops and butt gets low to create a pivot point for the board to travel around.  His toes come up to "give" power to the back foot and to let the knee pivot around more.  


She goes into the turn still sorta in the middle of the board.  But she eyes thru the turn and begins to swing the front arm to open the chest / shoulders.


Here is the big weight shift.  Front foot / toes comes up which shifts the body weight back and gives power to the back foot which is over the fin(s).   Nose comes more up out of water.


Carves thru the turns.  Up Down and Around.  She is not on a high performance sharp thin edged shortboard.  She is not going really fast. 

She is turning in the right spot of the wave.  She is turning from the right part of the board.  She is looking to where she wants to go ( where you look is where you go ).  She is smooth and working with the wave.    So she doesn't need to SIT, SQUAT or Poo-stance to turn her board.   


Look at a photo or video of yourself.  Are you in a seated position ?   Then something is wrong with your technique or stance.  


Please check out   to see more.  




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Style Line Carve Push

Some surfers have STYLE.

Little bit of a Stylish Drop-Knee turn out on the shoulder.


Stylish surfers draw nice LINES across the wave.  


They angle and lean their board to CARVE through the surface to create those LINES. 


But some surfers have that extra PUSH that they add to the CARVE. 


Surfer really pushing through the tail with his back foot.  Back arms really comes across the chest to create even more torque.  


Now at the maxium apex of the turn, it's time to draw the board back in.


Rider rolls back onto the flat bottom after being on rail.  The curl behind him will be there to help push him back up as he transition back to the inside rail.  


Once you get the Basics down, you can start to add a bit of your own Style.  You can start to Push the tail even more and more harder.  You can start to do you Carves in more critical and faster points on the wave.  


Go back to each photo and focus on only one thing.  Just the bottom of the board,  just the right hand,  just the angle of the knee,  just the spray.   What does it tell you about Style, Line, Push and Carves ?


Please check out Eason Photography on FB.



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