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When 3 + 1 = X

If your front foot is at 3 o'clock ( 9 o'clock for Goofy footers ), it makes it hard to turn your surfboard.

The legs should push down and steer the board, BUT when the knees come together, it locks out the movement.


If the front foot at 8 o'clock ( 4 o'clock for Regular footers ) and the back foot at 10 o'clock ( 2 o'clock for Regular footers ) it forces the knees inwards. Creating a " X ". 


3+1 stance or 3+3 stance is not good.  Best is back foot at 3 o'clock and front foot around 1 o'clock.  


With the incorrect stance, it makes you SQUAT down.  Your body lowers to the board, not the board into the water. 


It's hard to put pressure on the back foot if the front foot is pointed to the rail. 


Don't let your knees come together, it cuts the power and mobility to turn your board.


3 + 1 =  X  is not true in MATH ,  but it is in Surfing.  


Please check out  for more daily surf photos.  








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Back Side cutback. Open the door, slam the door shut.

To perform a backside cutback better, think "Open the door then SLAM the door shut".  

Front arm opens the door ( back of the hand facing the wave )

Rider's front arm is lower than the back arm during the bottom turn. 


Then the hand goes from way up high, to way down below the body. Slamming the door shut.


This is one photo before the compression of the legs. His front hand will go down, up then around.


Open of the door ( and Chest ).   Closing of the door shut ( and the chest closed too )


Same principle for Long(er) boards. Open-Shut. Down-Up-Around.    Nice strong bodyline thru the board. Eyes leading the turn.


BE CAREFUL !   You just can't swing the door wide, out of control.  After you engage the inside rail, you then have to roll the board back onto the outside rail ( and close the door ).  Leaning not turning, will just make you fall back. 


Backside surfing can be more fun ( and powerful ) than frontside.  Learn how to Open the door and Slam the door shut.  


Please check out the daily surf photos at  to see more.  

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front foot at 1 back foot at 3

Proper stance is important to good surfing.  Proper stance is even MORE important to walking on a surfboard.


Just from one photo, it is hard to tell if the rider is a beginner or advanced.  But I could see her back knee is facing forward. 


When she takes a step, you can see her back foot was a 1 and her front foot was at 3.  It causes the knees to bump.  Also her hands raises instead of pushes down.


When you do your first cross step, that back foot crosses over the front.  3 over 1.


If 1 crosses over 3, the knees is in a awkward stance.  Try standing feet cross like in this photo. Then try standing like in the photo one above.  Which seems more balanced ?


The 1 crossing over 3, causes the front leg to stiffen up. ( Try do that while having the front knee bent, it's hard to do ). That causes the HIP to lean out, breaking the important bodyline. 


Keeping the head over the butt and feet is important to smooth cross stepping.  Eyes are up and arms are not above the shoulders. 3 crosses over 1.


Again start with your back foot at 3 and your front foot at 1.  Then cross 3 over 1, then uncross 1 over 3. 

one more time and you should be near the nose.  Remember to keep your eyes up, head over your butt and arms down.  


please check out  for more 1 o'clock and 3 o'clock or vice-versa.



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The ( surfer ) Boys of Summer

It's almost the end of summer, so now is all the Highschool Baseball tournaments.  Everyone wants to see the pitcher strike out the batter.   but what happens right before the pitch ?  The WIND UP.  


Here's the off the lip, the exciting part that gets the photos.  Just like the Pitch.


But before that was the WIND UP.  No wind up = No pitch.


Back hand in front moments before ripping back.  Front hand in pause. 


Back hand provides the POWER, Front hand STEERS. 


Just like a pitcher winding up, a surfer twists back right before the main action forward.


How much twist ?  When to act ?  That whats separates the beginner/intermediates from the advanced surfers.  Here is the split moment before the BIG action.


Notice his back elbow is HINGED. That is like a clutch, absorbing the torque. But at a certain moment, he will release the clutch and let the power go.  


Look at videos or sequence shots of surfers.  Try to see the moment and action right before the cutback, air, bottom turn, etc.     They wind up ,  just like baseball and soft ball pitchers do.  



please check out to see more winding up and letting go



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"To turn, just lean to side you want to go to."

I've heard many instructors say " To turn your surfboard, just lean to the side you want to go to."  But you have to make sure the body is still INLINE with the surfboard.


Leaning Front side out of the Bottom turn.  Her body line matches the lean angle of the board.


Here a bit more angle than the board. His body leads the action of the board.


Twisting, Leaning, Turning.  


Her torso leans forward, but her butt sticks out.  That hinge of the body, breaks the bodyline. Most of the weight is behind the angle of the board.


Strong angles of BOTH the body and board leads to good turning. 


Eyes up, Back arm ready to swing back. Board on the flat bottom starting to roll to the inside rail.


Back arms rips back, Torso twist, board leans and turns clockwise with the body. 


Yes, lean in the direction you want to turn. But LEAN, TWIST, TURN and Keep a strong bodyline if you want to turn better.  


Please look at the daily surf photos at  to see more LEAN.

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Rail Loading on a surfboard to noseride.

Noseriding is more than just walking to the nose.  You need to stall, lock the tail, walk using a cross step, and Load the Rail.


As she goes right, she walk on the right side of the board.  Notice the left rail is high off the water surface.


Uncrossing, her back foot is set in the middle of the stringer line.


Her front foot lands NOT on the stringer, but to the side of it.  


Crossing stepping on the INSIDE rail.  Both of her heels on on the right side of the board.


This locks in that rail, Majority of the right rail is stuck into the wave.  Tail is fully locked down.  


Very easy to see here.  When you walk, walk along the inside rail.  Back side or Front side it doesn't matter.  


Watch the good noseriders cross step and get to the nose.  Which side of the board do they walk on ?  


Please check  to see more LOADING 

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steering a surf board

A lot of instructors and I say, " Point where you want your board to go ".  But you have to point with your fingers correctly.


She is steering with her front hand right, but her shoulder is "closed", showing left. 


Her front hand is trying to steer the board. But her left arm is locked to the body. It restricts the body from turning. Also her back hand should be in front of her chest, not behind her back.


He wants to turn Left going backside. His left hand is trying to steer the board, but his shoulder is locked to the body. Notice his chin is stuck to the shoulder.  He leans back not turn, because he can't twist at the waist. 


One hand is steering, one hand is reaching back.  Back leaning away from the wave, not twisting away.  


Her back hand is flowing through a wide arc in the direction of the turn.  Front hand leads the way to "open" the chest. 

Strong body line and twist of the waist.


"Point where you want to go"  but point correctly.  


please check the daily surf website   to see pointing



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How to hit the lip on small mushy days.

To do a Off the Lip or a Top Turn on small mushy waves, you need eyes, timing, rail control and work with the wave. 


This little ripper is coming out of the bottom turn.  Eyes looking to the turn,  arms twist the waist into the wave, body line matches the board.


Eyes look back down, arms twist away from the wave, board rolls back off the rail.  


Eyes look to the breaking lip, arms twist the body into the wave, lots of pressure on the back foot to lift the nose.


Arms reverse and slam back into the wave. Board follows the rotation of the ams.  


She sees the breaking lip.  Body, arms and board angle looks good ............. BUT


Timing to turn back down is too late.  Left shoulder is still facing "closed" not "Open".  Front arm is locked to the body and hand is trying to steer.  Back hand is showing "Up", when is should be coming down.


She sees the wave starting to close out. She is in the middle of the board.


She steps back to raise the nose up to get the board over the breaking lip of the wave.


Then she "allows" the breaking lip to bring the board down. She works with the wave not against it.  


1) Look where you want to go

2) Time your action to meet the wave

3) Use the board rails and bottom contours

4) Use the waves own power to help you


All those things matter to doing Off the Lips or Top Turns in small mushy waves,  but most important is to believe you can.  


Please check  to see more.

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Surfing How to catch a ............ rail ?

Catching a rail is NOT a good thing. It is when the front of the surfboard's rail goes under the water.


It usually happens during turns. 

Here on the Bottom Turn, her eyes are up, but her feet are in the center of the board.  The splash of water by the nose shows she caught a rail/edge. It slows down the board.  She needs to be further back.


Look DOWN equals Go DOWN.  Look at your feet , go to your feet.  Plus if you stand in the middle of the board, it makes it hard to turn. The nose SLAPS the water.


Even going down the line, you can catch an edge/rail.  Here she is in the back 1/3 of the board, which is good. But here back foot/knee is facing forward.  She leans the board  not turns the board.  The rail catches.


Being in the middle of the board of a 9 foot board, it is hard to turn. Once most of the rail is in the water, you need to turn almost 8 feet. If you step back the board "becomes" shorter and easier to turn.


Catching a rail happens to even good surfers. Everything seems to be okay here. She steps up to get the board moving down the wave's face. Eyes are up and body line good.   BUT look at the wave doubling up.


As the wave doubles, the lower part becomes smaller and tighter.  The board doesn't fit in the tight space. So the nose catches.   Hopefully she will step back to the tail and raise the nose up.


1) don't turn from the middle of the board

2) dont look at the nose ( or your feet )

3) be aware of what's happening to the wave


Catching a wave is fun.  Catching a Rail is not.  


Please check out the daily surf photos site,  to see more.  




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How to front side cut back/slash back better

The way to cut back better is NOT to get a shorter board or get stiffer fins.  The secret is to bring your Back Hand across your chest. 


Study all the photos and you will notice the same action of the Back Hand coming across the chest. 

Also you can see the front arm opening the chest and creating a pivot point.


Down, Up, then Around.   Back arm arching across the chest.  


Back arm across the chest.  Also notice his toes raising up off the deck. It gives power to the back foot over the fins.


Works the same for Long(er) boards too.  Smooth arm coming across the chest. Toes up. Eyes looking thru the turn.


Back arm coming across the chest.  Toes coming up. 


Nice slash back.  Closing radius turn.  Front shoulder rolling back to clear the way for the Back hand to come across. Front hand open to the wave.


Eyes looking thru, Front shoulder rolling back, Front palm open, Back arm coming across the chest, Toe coming up.


You need all that body movement, but don't forget speed and Down, Up and Around, to do a good cutback/slashback.


Please check out the daily surf site to see more.





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