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Surfing is a SNAP

Cutbacks, Topturns and SNAPs are a snap is you have a couple of things:

 

1) SPEED

2) TIMING

3) DIRECTIONAL CHANGES ( rolling from one rail to the other )

4) Making that turn in the Right Spot of the wave.

 

Front side SNAP.  He goes:

1) Down on the bottom turn.

2) Up the face.

3) and Around.  

He hits the "thinnest" part of the wave's lip.  He did NOT hit the oncoming breaking lip as it might slow him down or send him out into the flats. 

 

Big Spray of the Top Turn.  He is still looking down the line.  He pushed the tail thru the thin lip of the wave and sent the spray off his fins, rail and tail

 

This is the moment right before the Snap.  

Spray coming off the Outside rail during the bottom turn.

Then a Direction change / rolling  of the board from Inside rail to Outside rail

The Back Arm ( the power arm ) ripping around his back to twist the board clockwise.  

Eyes looking down the line, not back at the curl if he were to do a Round House cutback.  

 

Down, Up and Around.  

Arms rotating the shoulder, chest, waist, knees, legs and feet thru the board.  

Apex of the turn at the Thinnest part of the lip.  

Eyes still looking to the next move.  

 

What you can't see in these photos is the SPEED they created before the Snap. That is very important to almost any maneuver in surfing.    Without SPEED it's going to be hard to SNAP.  

 

Photos from my friend Matsunosuke Kugenuma.  

 

 

 

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Waikiki Beach Boys

Just arrived back on Oahu and visited my home break, Waikiki.  Here are some of the world famous Waikiki Beach Boys.

 

Whinny rips on 11 foot NSP rental boards and 8 foot wavestorm sponge boards.  ( and No, he was not in the Moana movie )

 

Sam Rodrigues aka. "Sam-ta".  

 

Josh from Aloha Beach Services stand 

 

Captain Keali'i on the outrigger canoe.  Waikiki is one of the only places in the world you can surf a canoe.

 

And get you photos riding the canoe by "Richie".

 

If you get in trouble, you need this guy's help.  Reynold is the Jetski ocean rescue lifeguard. 

 

Corbin longtime Beach Boy and one of my toughest competitors

 

Livia, yes one of only a few Waikiki Beach Gals.  She and her children surf really really good too. 

 

If you come to Waikiki, please make sure to take a lesson from what of these great surf instructors.  They are passing down the "Sport of Kings" since the time of Duke Kahanamoku, Waikiki's most famous Beach Boy.  

 

( and yes the weathers beautiful and the waters warm. )

 

 

 

 

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How to Nose Ride ( Lock and the Slice )

If you Nose Ride your surfboard and you are at the front of the board, what is holding down the tail ?

 

It is not the fin, it is the wave wrapping over the tail of the board creating a LOCK.  But also look at the good noserides where the board SLICES the wave.  

 

The force of the wave lips crashing over the tail, is the opposing weight that makes it possible for the rider to be on the nose.  ( but notice the slice of the wave the inside rail creates )

 

Smooth cross stepping and patient timing is critical to good noserides.  She is past the mid point. Notice the Slice starting to form.

 

Lips breaks over tehe tail.  Slice of the wave's face show the strong pressure to the inside rail.

 

You don't need big waves to noseride.  You can get a strong Lock even in shin high waves.  

 

Look at the Slice made as almost the whole length of the board is Locked down. 

 

Good Noseriders know where and when to be on the wave.  

 

The thing about the LOCK and SLICE is you the rider, can not see it.   YOU have to feel it.  

( that's why it good to have someone take photos or videos of you surfing )

 

Please check out http://starb.on.coocan.jp/daily/daily0.html to see more LOCK and SLICE

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when is a shortboard absolutely not suitable for you?

Someone asked "when is a shortboard absolutely not suitable for you?"   Well, let me try to answer.

 

1) When you don't have the experience or technique to Pop Up cleanly and quickly in one motion.

 

2) When you only "go straight" in the white water.   

 

3)  When the waves are too small or when conditions are not clean.  If the Longboarders can't catch, then it's even harder for you on a shortboard.

 

4) When you can't paddle properly. If you are too far back on the board, the board becomes a snow plow.

 ( My friend Takako is fine on her longboard, it's the guy in the back that can't paddle. )

 

Shortboards are high performance vehicles for high performance waves.  

 

Shortboards need to be surfed on rail and pumped to create speed.  

 

Oh and one more thing.  If you're a beginner ............ learn on a bigger board about 3 feet over your head. Then 2 feet over, then 1 foot over your head.  After that you should be in Shortboard range.  But master paddling, catching, turning first before moving down each time.  

 

please check out http://starb.on.coocan.jp/daily/daily0.html to see surfers Riding shortboards and some surfers Surfing shortboards.  

 

  

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Two pictures tell more of the story

A photo of a Snap or Cutbacks show the rider at the critical point of a turn.  But what happens before ?

 

This is the photo BEFORE the cool photo.  

1) Shoulders squared to the deck.

2) Front arm gauging the lean angle and creating a pivot point

3) Travel line goes Down , Up and Around

 

But in this photo, the rider does a SNAP in a closing radius turn.  

1) Back arms slaps down to cut the flow/energy. 

2) Back legs straightens out ( bent in the first photo )

3) Eyes focus on one tight spot. ( over the fins )

 

Arms rotating counter-clockwise in a front side cutback.

 

Coming off the bottom, she swing her arms the opposite way, clockwise.  

 

This photo of a Backside Snap

1)  Closing radius turn

2)  Arms going to a neutral position

3)  Legs swing around the twist of the waist. 

 

Nice bottom turn but the next photo is the one more people like. 

1) Eyes sighting the top turn point.

2) Back arms ripping BEHIND the back to maximize the twist/torque.

3) Iniside rail leaning into the wave.

 

At the top.

1) Back arm rotates around from back to front.

2) Board rolls from inside rail to outside rail.

 

Next time you see a cool radical turn ( or even a air ),  try to see what happens BEFORE the move.  The turn before the turn.  The set up before the move.  

 

These photos are from my friend's photo collection on Facebook -  Matsunosuke Kugenuma

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Staying out of the way during surfing

Usually for a newbie surfer, the first 1 to 3 years is just trying to learn the basics and stay out of the way of other surfers.  But how do you know where to be or which way to go if you don't understand the ocean ?  

 

If a surfer is coming at you, it might be better to go to his/her PAST not to his/her FUTURE.  In other words, go to where they're been not to where they're going.   ( and if you going to ride a shortboard, be able to duck dive properly. If you can't duck dive, YOU shouldn't be riding a shortboard )

 

It is the person on the shoulder responsibility to move out of the way of the rider already on the wave or inside of you.  Don't just sit there......... MOVE !!   

 

Making a rider change his path to avoid hitting you is wrong.  

 

Sometimes an advanced surfer can make it around one person in the way.  But getting around two or three people in a small area is difficult.  Try not to bunch up.  

 

Here I am about to come off a bottom turn and driving up the face.  The person in front just sat up on his board, he didn't paddle forward. 

 

Forcing me to straighten out to avoid getting hit by his the tail of his board as his board flattens out on the back side of the wave.  

 

Newbies and Beginners need to learn about the ocean and waves, they need to learn how surfers trim across the waves face and not only go straight in to the beach.  If not, how can you stay out of the way if you don't know which way is what ?  

 

If your surf instructor tells you "just paddle for the wave, the good surfer will go around you",  then it's time to find a new surf instructor. 

 

If you do get in someones way, make sure to say "Sorry" and learn better where to be and what to do if the situation happens again.  ( and if you do cause a collision , offer to pay for any damages )

 

please check out http://starb.on.coocan.jp/daily/daily0.html to see more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to deal with Drop Ins

As surfing is getting more and more popular, the surf spots are getting more crowded.  Drop Ins , when surfer gets on the wave infront of another surfer who has already caught the wave, are bound to happen.  

The rider with the Black jersey ( my friend Tracy ) is already on the wave going Right.

The rider in the Red jersey is Dropping In going Left.   A collision is about to happen.

 

From a different camera angle, you can see how close the boards come together.  Tracy reaches out to grab the yellow board.

 

I don't what exactly happened, but I think the nose of the board pearled and spun and Tracy kept the rotating the board over. 

 

Luckily, the boards did not hit and nobody got hurt.  

 

Points to note:

1) In the 1st photo you can see the Red jersey rider's legs are spread out wide, dug into the water.

2) She is not paddling, but doing a death grab to the rails.

3) She is not looking around, but just focused directly in front of herself.

 

For beginners,  

1) Take a lesson from instructor who can actually surf 

2) Learn the wave and the motion of the ocean

3) Learn and look for who has priority on a wave.

4) Learn how to paddle correctly to get on a wave AND how to control your board to STOP when needed.

5)  If you do Drop In,  apologize immediately and offer to pay for any damages you may have caused. 

 

For Intermediates,

1)  Drop Ins WELL happen.

2)  Scan the break and looks for the beginner/Newbies to watch out for.

3)  Notice what side the Leash cord is on.  If it on their right foot, the usually go to the Right.  Left foot, they usually go Left, so make sure you are not going towards them. 

4)  Spot possible Drop Ins before you catch the wave.  And be ready to pull off the wave.  

 

Drop Ins are dangerous and sometimes costly.  But inevitable, they are bound to happen.  Have fun surfing but be safe and considerate of others.   

 

 

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Same but Different

Look closely at the next two photos.  Can you see the differences ?

 

Surfers going Frontside going Left walking to the nose.

 

Surfer going Backside going Left walking to the nose.

 

Two surfers, same day, same wave, both walking to the nose.  Can you spot the differences in technique ?

 

1) Bodyline broken.  Body hinged at the waist causing the head to go over the rail.

2) Eyes looking down at the feet.

3) Back foot pointed at the rail blocks the front foot from crossing over cleanly.

4) Knee bumps

5) Front arm raises up to try to un-weight the body, which causes the opposite shoulder to drop down.

6) Her steps are going straight down the stringer.  

 

1) Bodyline strong from head to tow.  Smooth arc.

2) Eyes looking at how the wave is developing in front of the board.

3) Back foot pointed to the rail and front foot point to the nose allows for easy un-obstructed steps.

4) Arms are pushing down to hold the board into the wave.

5) Her steps are to the left of the stringer to "load" up the inside rail.

( also notice the "lock" of the waves lip curling over the tail )

 

Two surfers, two different techniques.  Which one of the two does your noseriding resemble ?  

 

Please check out http://starb.on.coocan.jp/daily/daily0.html to see more surfers on the same wave on the same day ( daily ) so you can make your own comparisons.  

 

 

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Back hand across the chest for better front side and backside turns.

To turn better backside and frontside, make sure the back hand comes across the chest. 

The back hand coming across the chest twists the torso ( which in then turns the board )

 

The front hand is the steering, the back hand is the drive.  The opening of the chest by the front hand allows the back hand to drive thru.

 

Even more important backside, the back hand coming across the chest primes the body and board to go up the face of the wave.  

 

That movement of the back hand coming across the chest, twists the body up towards the wave.

 

That is so you can un-twist like a coiled up spring.    

 

Frontside or Backside, watch surfers who throw big spray on their cutbacks,  notice that their back hand comes across their chest.  

 

If your back hand is down at the side, holding a invisible wall, used mainly for balance than instead of drive, you should try to adjust your technique.  Having your backhand come across your chest is a little thing but makes a big difference.

 

Please check out http://starb.on.coocan.jp/daily/daily0.html  to see more.

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Backside surfing problems.

Watch out for these little things that make turning Backside harder to do.  

#1  Leading with the front elbow instead of the hand.  Also be careful of the back hand coming up above the head. ( that means the body is leaning back not twisting towards the wave )

 

  

#2  The "X-Factor" where both knees touch.  Means you are trying to steer the board from the middle of the board. 

( that again leads to leaning and the back arm comes up )

 

#3  Toes ( both feet ) coming up off the deck.  It's okay for the front foot toes pointed at 1-2 o'clock to come up but not the back.   Also the front hand locked to the hip doesn't allow the waist to twist and blocks the head from turning past the shoulder. 

 

#4  Forward Triangle - leaning on the front leading with the hip.   Becareful that your front toes are not pointed to the rail  ( like 3 o'clock or more in the photo ).  The front leg is twisted inwards while you should be twisting outwards.  

 

#5  Steering with your hand.   You steer a surfboard with your feet. Yes, you point in the direction you want to go, but the arm should be out and away from the body to open the chest.  ( Also holding on to an invisible wall makes your body stiff. )

 

 

                                                                         ( Matsunosuke Kugenuma photo )

Front arm should be out and away from the body, palm up - knuckles down.  ( notice the shoulder rotating back to clear a lot of space for the head to move )

Back arm should be coming across the chest to twist the waist ( which then twists the board in the same direction ) 

 

Arms NOT holding an invisible wall.  Strong bodyline with proper foot positioning. Chest and waist twisting to the wave.

 

One advice I can give you to turn backside better is: "Take a photo of the wave as if there's a CAMERA on your chest "

 

please check http://starb.on.coocan.jp/daily/daily0.html  to see more backside turning  

 

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