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Spray'um !!

Nothing shows your level of surfing technique as a big spray.  ( and nothing is as "In your face - Take this !" as a big spray hitting you )

 

Here's a nice spray off the top.  But things to note: 

Board is pointed away from the curl.

Eyes are down the line.

Weight is balanced over the deck.

 

Same surfer, different wave, but more of a SNAP carve compared to the above photo.  Bit more agressive.

Board is pointed back to the curl

Eyes are looking / concentrated soley focused into the spray.

Weight is forward to let the tail slide around to the front.  ( notice the forward triangle created by the straightened out back leg and bent front leg )

 

Similar off the top spray, but notice the board is more angled to the surface of the water.  

Surfer gets the board "on rail", almost bringing the board to a stop in a tight arc.  

He is not looking down the line, but soley on ripping the top off the wave.  

( notice UNDER the board, the remnents of spray from the bottom turn.  More Down equals more Up later.  )

 

Someone is getting buckets thrown over them.  

Notice the small pearling / piercing of the water by the nose.  That actually helps the tail to come around. 

Back hand grabs the wave just like a  Emergency Hand Brake. 

Surfer is focused on covering the rider on the shoulder.  If the surfer in black wasn't there, maybe there wouldn't be as much focus to carve/snap that hard.  

 

Hard Angles leads to Hard Spray.  See how much she gets the board on rail ? 

 

Spray goes one way, board goes the other way.  

( again notice the piercing of the water by the nose just for a moment ) 

She's not worried about that, she totally composed and in control of the situation.  

 

Sudden Change of direction.  Energy has to go somewhere.  

 

Change of direction.

Eyes focused thru the spray.

Forward triangle allows the tail to come around more.  

 

Go back and look at all the photos.  Look where the surfer's back foot is placed ( highlighted in orange ).   The back foot is ALL the way back on the tail pad.  

 

Nothing shows your level of surfing as doing a big SPRAY.    It shows you have:

SPEED -  How to make speed and where the sweetspot is on the wave

CONTROL -  Lean angles, tail placement and body line. 

POWER -   all that UMMMMPHH !!

 

Please check out Matsunosuke Kugenuma and Philippine surf report on FB to see more.  

 

 

 

 

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Noseriding is as easy as 1-2-3-(4?)

Noseriding basically means riding the nose of your surfboard.  But how do you get there ? 

Of course you need to walk.  You can't jump all the way there and you shouldn't ever ever shuffle. 

( Notice the 9 foot longboard has a front area colored Blue and the back area colored Orange.  How helpful !! ) 

 

Oh oh, I told you about the bad habit of raising up a hand, but that's more for beginners on their pop up.  Here she is counterbalancing trying to keep the rail engaged into the wave.  

Notice she pickups up and puts down one foot at a time.  Back foot is firmly planted.

( just in case you're wondering there was 1 step/photo missing between the photo where she crossed her back foot over the front foot ) 

 

 

She puts down her front foot then slides the back foot up to get both toes over the nose.   

Arms are pressuring down to hold the board down into the water.  

( See the wrap of the curling wave breaking over the rear half over the board, which locks down the tail )

 

Noticing it's time to start moving back, she slides the back foot off the nose just a half step.  

 

Then the front foot takes a full step back off the nose.

Then the back foot does a Judo sweep on the side of her foot to shove the board forward a bit.  

 

Now back on the tail, she sets up for the next section.  Board is on the inside rail, with the outside fin coming out of the water.  Bodyline matches the angle of the deck.  

( Can you see the faint line of the the lip starting to throw in front of the main curl ?  That's where she wants to put the tail of the board under. )

 

She rises up from the bottom turn, waits for the lock, THEN walks forward.

#1 Back foot crosses over the front.

#2 Front foot uncrosses.

#3 Back foot crosses over again.

 

#4 the front foot uncrosses and wraps over the nose.  

 

Nearing the shore after a long ride at a beach break, she squats down and grabs the wave to add even more pressure to the rail as the wave begins to closeout. 

 

She takes about 4 steps to the nose.  I take about 2 1/2 larger steps to the nose.   More steps are more classical and harder to do.  

 

How many steps do you take ?   Do you pause after the first two steps ?  Do you take one big step and a couple tiny steps ? It really doesn't matter if you're getting to the nose and enjoying the feeling like you being suspended on air.  

 

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

 

 

 

 

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One man, all by hand

So I picked up my new surfboard by Todd Pinder. 

It’s a Mini-Simmons shape. 

 

I found some cool fabric in Okinawa Japan that had gold glitter in it.  So I had Todd do a fabric inlay. 

 

Notice the Three Pinder logo ?  That stands for:

Shaped by hand blank ( no computer shaping machine).

Glassed by hand

Sanded by hand

by Todd Pinder. 

 

Todd is a dying breed of surfboard craftsman who can do it all.  

 

Todd asked me what size board I wanted. Me being a 90% longboarder, I settled on how about “me”.   So the length of the board is 5’3”. 

 

Most short(er) boarders my size would’ve gone for a 4’9”,  but my “normal” board is 9’0” x 22 1/2” x 2 5/8”. 

 

Todd does offer this model, which I like to call Bar-O-Simmons, in either Quad 4 fin or Twin 2 fin set up.  I went for the Twin. 

 

If you look closely at the rear base of the fin, you can see the dot Todd used to setup fin placement for using a keel fin. 

 

It can also work with a more up right fin like the Al Merrick AMT fin.  You can see the dot more clearly now. 

 

Or like the T1 fin, which I think I will try out first. 

 

What do you think ?

 

The board is inspired by the Disney / Pixar movie “Coco”.  The song in the movie is “Remember Me”. 

 

Soon it’ll be very hard to find true craftsman/ artisans like Todd Pinder.  With all the computer shaping machines, scrubbers and only a few glassing factories,  will we "remember" how to build a board from start to finish ? 

 

Three Pinder boards can be found at his shop on South King street in Honolulu, Hawaii

( oh yes, he runs the retail shop and even makes custom fins by hand.  Maybe he should change the name to Five Pinder ? ). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So good to surf without a wetsuit. Or maybe not ?

So I have been lucky to have waves in Waikiki for my Spring Break vacation.

 

Weather in Hawaii is 26c/79fhigh 18c/64f low.

Tokyo weather is 14c/57f high and 6c/42 low.  But I have surfed in much colder conditions.

5/4/3mm full suit with boots and gloves.

 

The thicker wetsuit keeps you warmer. But sometimes makes it harder to paddle and pop up ( especially if the rubber on the boots catches ).

 

But now in Waikiki, all I need is board shorts and rash guard.  The rash guard isn’t for warmth, it’s to prevent sun burn.

 

Without the bulk of a wetsuit, it feels I can surf twice as long and my shoulders don’t hurt as much afterwards.

 

 

But I learned one thing, surfing for 6 hours straight doesn’t make you a Fish, it makes you into a Lobster !!

 

So be aware if you normally surf in colder climates and go on a surf trip to Hawaii or Bali.  Your exposed knees might get really red from the sun’s UV rays or even from just rubbing on the board wax ( and sometimes even just the stitching on cheaper board shorts ) Slathering your knees with slippery sunblock might not be the answer either.

 

So surfing without a wetsuit might be a dream for some surfers, but please take precautions.  ( and bring lots of Aloe gel to relieve the pain and redness afterwards.).

 

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Waikiki surfing

What do Pipeline Master Gerry Lopez and Women’s Shortboard World Champion Carissa Moore have in common ?

They both learned to surf in Waikiki

Let’s take a walk towards the Sheraton main and the pink Royal Hawaiian hotel. 


At the showers looking my out to the left is “Queen’s” surf break. 


It’s a dominant Right, but most locals fade left first. 


The wave breaks slow than speeds up on the inside.  Beginners should stay away from Queens. 


A little better view of the break wall.  Some surfers paddle out between the gap in the wall.  


Duke Kahanamoku statue. 


Father of Modern Day Surfing. 


Looking out to the right of the Duke statue is “Canoes”.


Canoes breaks fast then slows down on the inside making it better for learners. 


View of Diamond Head in the distance. 


Lifeguard watching from the tower in front of Canoes.


Beach Boy Winnie just finished with a surf lesson. 


Some surfers walking with their rental board choo choo train style. 


Two of the best young rippers Kaniala and John. ( and probably future world champions ). 


I hope all surfers can one day visit the birth place of surfing.  Surfing in Waikiki was once reserved only for Royalty in ancient times.  That’s why surfing is called the “Sport of Kings”. 



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Top Turn and Off the Lip "Making It"

Last week we talk about attempting to do Off the Lips and Top Turns.  This week we'll talk about "making it". 

 

I tried to include two photos to show the Approach/Setup and Execution/Make of the OTL and Top Turns.  

 

Surfer eyes the throwing lip of the wave ( which has just gone past vertical )

Back hand creates a pivot point.  

Strong bodyline from top of head to bottom of foot.  

Inside rail.

 

Back arms comes up and around to lift the nose above the lip.

Front foot pushes against the point where the wave connects with the board.  Power matches Power.   

Not too early, not too late.  Not too high, not too low. 

 

Even on a Long(er) board, the basic technique stays the same.  

Surfer eyes the point of attack. 

Body coils up.  

 

Eyes look to the next move/spot.

Front arm leads and opens up the shoulder to the beach.

Back arm comes up and around to un-weight the front of the board.  

Body extends out. 

Again, pressure is put over the spot where the wave's lip pushes against the board's bottom.  

 

*Notice both the Shortboard and the Longboard hit on the wide flat bottom of the board, not the thin sharp edge of the rail.  That is to the get the most area to float on and over the lip and have the wave help redirect it back down.  

 

Rider body language is stiff and apprehensive.  Both hands bracing of an invisible wall/rail.  

 

She hits too late and too high and ends on the backside of the wave.   Instead of starting the body to turn down, her arms are "flying"up.   She did not "make" the the top turn.  

 

In smaller less powerful waves, it takes even more precise timing and actions.

Surfer eyes the turn point.  

 

Eyes look away from the wave.

Back hand goes up and around forward to lift the nose and pull it towards the beach.  

See the big twist of the waist ?  The shoulders and upper torso coils up and then releases that tension to spin the legs and board ( like a rubber band toy airplane ).  

Boards flat bottom hits the crashing lip of the wave.  

 

All surfer's have their own style and hand movements.

Here a bit of hand steer, I would rather see the shoulder opened more.  

But she is going to "Make" this Top Turn Off the Lip.  

 

I told you about the HOW, WHEN and WHERE to do a OTL or Top Turn.   But a big secret to "Making it" is CONFIDENCE.   If you believe you can make it, chances are you will.   If you are scared and apprehensive and don't believe you can do it, most likely you won't.   

 

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

 

 

 

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Off the Lip and Top Turns

You see in the magazines or in ads all the pros throwing big spray off the top of the wave.  It's cool.  

 

OTL - Off the Lips.   

Maybe you understand the twisting of the shoulders and waist, to get the body and board rotating. 

Maybe you heard me talk about Open and Closed, to get that energy to push the turn.  

 

But more important than the HOW ( how to turn a surfboard ) is the WHERE ( on the wave ) and WHEN ( timing ) to do the HOW.     

( Rider gets his board way up the wave but had already started the twist back down BEFORE the tail gets to the top )

 

Rider has good eyes, leads with the front arm to open the chest, torso begins to twist.  Good form.  

BUT ..........................

 

There is nothing to push off of.  Go back and look at the above photo again.  See that there is no corner or flat part to push off of.  It's so round and soft.  He is too far out on the shoulder to do that aggressive of a turn.  So he flies off the back. 

 

Riders that have:

1)  bigger board or longboard

2)  lighter in weight

3)  not as aggressive technique

, can use TIMING to help them put the board up and on the lip to help redirect them.  

( Notice she has to turn much earlier than a rider on a shortboard would )  

Good surfers adjust for the size/volume of the board and size/power of the wave they're riding.  ( But the basic technique stays the same )

 

Surfer comes off the bottom turn.  Back arm comes in front the chest.  Board leaning over on the inside rail.  OPEN.

 

Twist before the top.  Eyes still down the line.  Board rolls on to the outside rail.  ( Notice the spray still falling from the hard bottom turn )

 

Little bit of a chop slide as she gets off rail and on the flat bottom of the board.  Hand drop down to a neutral position.  

 

Fins re-engage.  Wave catches up to the surfer and give a push.  Surfer see the closeout section starting to build.

 

Stomps the tail and but doesn't get too much on rail.  Why ?  She wants the crashing lip to hit the bottom, NOT the rail.

 

That front arm that was behind her back, now rips down with the action of the lip.  Back hand grabs and anchors in the lip to create a pivot point.  

 

WHERE -  Look how much of the wave she used.  All the way UP.  All the way DOWN.  Use the flats, corner and thin part of the lip to turn off of.  Uses the energy of the Curl and LIP.  

WHEN -  Waits for the wave to stand up and catch up to her.

 

SPEED, POWER and FLOW.    So it's just not "swing your arms" to do OTL's.  

 

Please check out Eason's Photography and Matsunosuke Kugenuma on FB and http://starb.on.coocan.jp/daily/daily0.html  to see more.  

 

 

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"I need a short board to duck dive and not pearl on bigger waves."

Some beginners think a shortboard will help them get out on bigger waves.

Some beginners think a shortboard will help them not pearl ( nose dive ). 

 

REALLY ? 

A longer board can get in earlier than a short(er) board can.  

 

Earlier you can get in, earlier you can pop up into your stance, earlier you can set up, earlier you can set your rail. 

 

9'1" Schaper Bonga Perkin Southpoint board.  Notice board is riding mainly on the thin edge of the inside rail. 

 

Long(er) boards can catch the waves BEFORE it breaks.  Short(er) boards need to catch AS the waves breaks when the angle is more steep.  Which leads to pearling.  

 

Getting in earlier gets you out on to the clean face, not stuck in the white water soup.  Then that allows you to make open face turns.  Notice she turns her longboard from the tail.  

 

Short board surfer trying to get in as the wave breaks on him.

Longboarder already on the wave much earlier.  

 

" It's not the size of the wand matters, it's the magic thats in it. "

" It's not what your wear, it's how you wear it."

Longboard girl gettng in earlier, charging hard.  Grabbing rail and yanking up on it to set her line.  

Shortboarders can't even get down the face.  

 

Sure the shortboarders can duckdive the waves.  But what matters more is once you're out, can you even catch it ?

 

Shortboarder stuck in th soup.

Longboarder making the drop and setting up to bottom turn.  

 

Strong bodyline and good vision up and out.  

 

Don't make the mistake of thinking a Short board will make surfing bigger waves easier if you are a beginner or beginner intermediate and don't have a strong paddle. 

Don't get a shortboard just so you can duck dive.   

Don't have the mindset that longboards are only for smaller waves ( and for learning ).  

 

Please check out Hope Cheng on FB to see more.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Get Pitted

You may heard the surfing phrases "Get in the Pit"  or  "I was soo Pitted".   

 

I guess the first one refers to get into the center of the wave ( like being in the center of a bull fighting ring ).

The 2nd one refers to getting Tubed or Barrelled.  

 

But today I want to teach you another technique dealing with the pit  ................... your Arm Pit.

 

Look at this frontside hack.  What do you see ?

1) Almost the full length of the outside rail is in the wave.

2) Front hand in the wave creating a pivot point.

3) Closing radius turn.  Starts wide but got progressively tighter.  

 

But look at his eyes.  He is looking thru his Arm Pit.  

 

What do you see here ?  

 

The front arm leads the board thru the turn.  Up Down and Around and ends up high.  Bicep almost blocks his vision. 

 

Same guy. Different wave.  Same technique.  

 

Arms leads. Board follows.   Notice the left fin coming out of the water ? Good surfing requires hard Angles and Speed. 

 

Big Snap - Slashing cutback.  What do you see ?

 

That abbreviated bent arm leads the board in a tight arc.   He looks thru his Arm Pit to his back foot slammed up against the kick of the tail pad.  All his power is focused on one tiny spot on the tail.  

 

Watch the good surfers that throw big spray in their turns.  I bet you'll start to notice their front arm up high.  and that they are looking thru their arm pit.  

 

But just don't go out and throw your arm up and expect to throw buckets.  Form follows Function.  Have a good base of Trim, breaking Trim, rail control, strong bodyline from head thru butt down to the feet, speed flowing with the wave.  Gradually increase your lean angles and turn in points on the shoulder coming back to the curl.  Soon you might be doing the Arm Pit technique.  

 

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

 

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It's not the FIN, it's the TAIL and the RAIL

"Which is the better fin if you want to Noseride ?"   "What do you think about Turbo Tunnel fins ?"  

 

Surfer is perched on the nose in a parallel stance.  Notice the tail is completely covered by the crashing lip of the wave. 

 

Here's the start of the wave, little easier to see more of the deck in this photo.  You can see the water wrapping over the deck.  

 

The tail locked down allows the rider to walk forward and be on the nose.  The wave itself is the counter weight.  

 

Here the tail isn't locked down yet, but the rider is already past the middle of the board.  He is too early and rushed forward too fast.  Timing for the lock takes time to learn.  

 

Here is when the tail is Super Locked in.  So much force is pushing down on the tail, which keeps the rider suspended.  

** Notice - it doesn't take a big wave to noseride.  It takes position and timing to create the Lock **

 

Again, see the tail just peeking out the back of the wave ?  That's when the board is really locked into the wave. 

 

Small Knee high wave but really Big Lock down of the tail. 

 

So it's the wave wrapping over the large surface area of the Tail and Rail that makes for good noseriding.  NOT the small vertical area of a 9 inch fin. 

 

But whatever fin you like, that allows you to put your board in the right spot on the wave to get the Lock, that is the right fin to use.  

 

Please check out Matsunosuke Kugenuma on FB to see more (  or not see the tail at all )    

 

 

 

 

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