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"Push on the left rail to go left" "Lean forward to go faster" ??

I hear beginners say "I want to turn my surfboard" and "I want to go faster on my surfboard". 


I hear some instructors reply "Push on the left rail to go left" and "Lean forward to go faster".


Well, that's technically not wrong, but it's not that simple.  


Dropping down, setting up for the bottom turn.

1) hands are neutral but ready.

2) Eyes looking down the line and to where to turn off of.

3) Feet are in the proper 3 o'clock for the back foot and 1 o'clock for the front foot.  

4) Body is coiled but not squatting. 


1)  Front (Steer) arm leads the turn. ( it's behind her back in the photo )

2)  Back (Drive) arm comes forward and across the chest.

3)  Shoulder, torso and waist twist into the wave.

4)  She is turning AND leaning,  not just turn, not just lean.  

** notice you can see the outside fin**


Then before the apex of the turn:

1) front arm rips back down and back.

2) Body line still strong and inline with the deck. 

3) Turn is made not too far out on the shoulder and not too close to the curl. 


THEN SOMETHING HAPPENS.  The wave "softens" up a bit

1) So she pauses her action. Hands in neutral position. 

2) Gets off rail onto the flat bottom to gain as much float/glide as possible

3) Eyes down the line and waits for the wave to stand up and run again.

4) Keeps her head over her feet, BUT knee is angling forward to push weight forward.  



Then at the right time, twists the body and brings the back arm forward across the chest.  


Front side carve:

1) back arm comes around.

2) front arm down, but acting like a pointer to a pivot point for the board to turn on.

3) Front toes come up to take power away from the front and GIVE power to the back foot which is over the fin(s) and to help with the twist.

4) Bodyline strong and inline.


One turn made out on the face.  Now the second turn in the pocket to get back again. 

1) Body starts the roll from outside rail back to inside rail.

2) Toes push back down on the deck ( it was on the heels in the turn )

3) Back hand is in neutral position.

4) Body back on the tail to allow less of the board she has to turn. ( lots of air under the nose )



1) Scoots forward on the deck. ( less air under the nose ) 

2) Gets her head over her front foot.

3) Body line is angled forward but still stong over the feet. Not leaning over the rail. 


So yes, pressure the left rail go into the wave when going left and the body goes forward to speed up.  BUT's not that simple.   Boards slow down in turns, so you'll soon need to speed up. ( and you just can't keep turning one way, sooner or later you need to turn back ).   Plus you can't go forward too early ( or too late ).  You need to see and listen to what the wave is doing.   


You may know how to pressure left and lean forward.  But good surfing is knowing WHEN and WHERE to turn, speed up and slow down.  


Please check out to see more. 


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How to Noseride. No Lock, No Noseride.

Every longboarder wants to "get to the nose".  But How do you get there ? 


Cross Stepping ??   Yes, but even BEFORE you take a step you need the LOCK.  


The LOCK is the crashing lip of the wave holding down the tail of the board so you can go to the front.  


Just like riding a See Saw, if you are on one end, you need someone ( or something ) on the other end to counter weight.  


The LOCK rolling up and over the deck, allows you to walk to the opposite end of the surfboard.  


Which then you can perform a "Hang Ten".  ( almost looks like she's walking on water ) 


The better you :

1) can control your board. ( cross-stepping, rail loading, stalling, etc. ) 

2) have knowledge of the wave.

3) can have patience to wait for the LOCK and not be rushed.  


All that will put you and the board in the proper place on the wave to noseride.  Stronger and Deeper the LOCK, the more it allows you to hang on the nose.  


If you :

1) Don't position your feet properly.

2) Don't cross-step correctly.

3) Don't Engage the rail.  ( notice board is angled away from the face )

4) Walk before the wave LOCKS the tail down.  

It will be hard to noseride.


1) Strong LOCK holding down the tail. 

2) Slice / sheering the face of the wave.

3) Spray coming off the outside rail only.

4) Smooth cross-steps

5) Arms pressuring the body weight down to force the board into the wave. 

6) Board not too far forward or too far back into the wave, but right there.  


All the set up work pays off with a nice noseride.  


You don't need a big wave to LOCK down the tail,  but you need the right wave.   You need to listen to the wave, to the beat of it's music.   

Some say Surfing is a dance, and noseriding definitely needs style, grace and technique to make it look easy. 


So before you even go to the nose,  you need to first LOCK down the tail.   


Surfing sometimes is Not a Solitary sport.   IT TAKES TWO to noseride.   YOU on one end of the board and the WAVE on the other end LOCKing down the tail.  Noseriding, like riding a See-Saw is no fun by yourself.  


please check out to see more





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Turning "Hard" on a surfboard

Easy vs. Hard.   Weak vs. Strong.   You can pedal a bicycle relaxed and Easy down the street OR hurried and Strong on the race course.   So what if you want to "progress" from relaxed surfing to Hard Core ripping ?  

Well first you need to know  basic physics rules of turning a surfboard:

1) Your back foot should be over the fin(s).

2) Your board needs to transition from flat bottom to edge of the rail.

3) Front arm should lead thru the turn.  


To tranfer all that power to the fin / rail,  your bodyline has to be strong and inline with the deck of the board.


Front arm leading thru the turn, but also inline with the deck.

Back arm ( the power ) comes around and twists the torso.


That is the WHAT or the HOW,   But to turn a surfboard hard,  you also have to know WHEN to push hard and WHERE to do it at.  


Good surfers use the whole wave,   Right to Left, Top to Bottom.  He comes hard off the top AFTER coming hard off the bottom.  He goes across the face Right and cuts back ( comes back ) going Left.  


Rider sees the section standing up in front of him, and does a check snap turn.  Notice he's still eyeing the section down the line.  Like playing Chess, he sets up his current move all the while thinking several moves ahead.  


You can try to turn where you want, but the wave might NOT agree to it.  Listen to the beat of wave,  move/dance with it.  Good surfers look for corners on the wave to turn off of.   Don't turn too high, too early, too much on the shoulder, too much under the lip. Too tight or too wide.  Speed, Power and Flow means big spray.


Pushing too hard, too early, in the wrong part of the wave, could have bad consequence.  Rider's back foot is not on the pad over the fins.  He is on both heels only.  Body is not in line with the deck.  


That ends up in the rider getting bucked off (  or an incredible hacking layback )


Down, Up and Around.   Closing radius turn.  Starts wide and tightens the angle thru the turn.  


It doesn't take a big wave to do a hard turn.   Good technique,  good rail work,  good angles and lines, ( and speed ) equal to a nice strong turn with a lot of spray.  


Go back and look at the angle of the boards in the wave.  Go back and look at the form of the riders body and position of their feet and arms.    Does your turns match ?  


Please check out Hope Cheng on FB to see more.  







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What's a good board ?

"What's a good surfboard ?"   "Is this a good board for me ?"  "What board noserides the best ?"  


To answer those questions, let's ask the same type of question but in another sport.   

What's a good baseball bat ?   Which baseball bat is easy to swing yet can do Home Runs ?


What is the best brand Tennis Racquet or best brand Golf Clubs ?   ( it doesn't really matter if you don't make contact with the ball, right ? ) 



What if I buy the top of the line computer or the most expensive paint brush,  does that automatically turn me into a great artist ?  

They have no potential on their own without the "user".  


Who makes the best motorcycle ?   Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki ?   Bmw or Ducati ? Which of those motorcycles goes fast ?  ( ahhh........ they all do )  Is a Harley-Davidson made in the USA better than a Honda made in Japan ?  


So does buying a "Good" board make you a better surfer ?   Like they say, "a good surfer can ride "any" board and make it look good."   But will getting a good board make a bad surfer any better ? 


You see good surfers with a lot of sponsor decals on their boards.  Is it because good surfers want to ride that brand board OR Board makers/brands want good surfers to ride their boards ?     


What about Noserider boards ?  If you want a specific board for Noseriding with a wide nose, flat entry rocker with a lot of tail kick, and a big single fin,  will that automatically get you to the nose ?  ( Better to be able to first get to the nose on a All-Around shape THEN get a noserider specific board later ) 


If you can not cross-step ( meaning you shuffle your feet ),  then it won't matter what type of board you get.  


If you don't have the technique, patience and knowledge of the wave to get the tail to LOCK down, it won't matter if you have a Noserider design or not.  


I've seen kids on the Westside of Oahu, with one of three fins missing,  hole through the deck and surfing in cut off jeans because they don't have board shorts............... but they still rip.  

Here is a ripper kid in the Philippines,  boards been broken in half and put back together.  Is that holding him back ?  


Maybe they don't have access to top of the line board makers/manufacturers, but they still surf unreal.  It's not WHERE they got the Arrow from, it's what they DO with the Arrow.  


So will getting a "GOOD" board help you to improve as a beginner surfer ?   Maybe, maybe not.  It will cost more though.    And what is "good"  anyways ?

1)   Faster, Lighter ? 

2)   More durable  ?

2 )  easy to paddle, easy to catch waves ?  


Think about it,  No board maker makes a board that is NOT easy to paddle.  Surfboards are like tools.  Will a $1 store screwdriver not turn a screw as easy as a Craftsman or Snap-on tool screwdriver in an emergency ?  ( But sure, the brand name tool will probably last longer )


When buying a board you can choose two of the three:   LIGHT, STRONG or CHEAP


If the board is Strong and Cheap,  it won't be LIGHT.

If the board is Light and Cheap,  it won't be STRONG.

If the board is Light and Strong,  it won't be CHEAP. 


There was an old Nike ad referring to why Michael Jordan was so good at playing basketball.  The reason was " It must be the (Nike) shoes ! "     ( interesting fact is MJ, wore and liked Adidas and wanted to sign with them first ) 

It has been said good surfers like Kelly Slater can surf a door ( and he has ).  


It's your choice if you want to spend the extra money to get a "good" board.  But let me ask you, would your rather see a guy walk down the beach with fancy brand name board and yet can't surf well or a guy come out with a Wavestorm spongeboard and tear  the waves up ?  


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




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Surfer Girl

A long time ago when I first started surfing it was Shortboard Boy, Longboard Oldman and Bodyboard Girl.  That was the 3 fixed categories.  But things have changed.  


And changed they have !!   Fins outs tail snap.  Power, Grace and Beauty.  


Smaller wave yet still strong bodyline from deck through top of the head.


Tight Carve back to the pocket.  


Even on a bigger board, Girls can use their grace and smooth steps to move/control the board.  Even taking a steep drop, she shows grace and confidence.  


Longer boards means you need to position yourself better on the board / wave to turn.  


And girls with there superior flexibility, can pull some unreal moves in tighter spaces.  


Some say girls have a lower center of gravity.  If that's true, that's a good thing to help your bottom turns.  


It's said girls think things out more than guys who just rush to do things.  


Here you can almost see what's going through her mind.  ( she's probably going to do a back side off the lip )


This is just straight up good surfing.  Fin out, hard angles, full usage of the wave up, down, left, right.  Speed, Power, Flow ( and Grace ).  


These girls may not have the top of the line boards, but they rip.  And they love surfing, doesn't matter girl or guy, young or old, long board or shortboard ( or bodyboard ), that's the way it should be.  


Please check out Philippine Surf Report and Hope Cheng on FB to see more ( surfer girls ).  




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Short boards are easier to turn than Long boards ......... ??

"What a good short board for a beginner ?"   

"I heard Short boards will help me learn to turn ?" 

"Longboards are too hard to turn, so I want to go shorter."


Short boards and the surfers that rip /shred on them are cool.  But is it because they are on a shortboard that allows them to turn, carve and cutback ?  


Is it because there is "less" board to turn that makes it "easier" TO turn ?  A lighter baseball bat, bowling ball, bmx bike is easier to pick up.  But does that actually translate to power and control ......... especially for a Beginner/Intermediate ? 


If you try to turn the whole length of a longboard, you'll be fighting almost 9 foot of rail.  Notice the spray sheering off near the nose.  Rider is leaning not turning.  

( also too much weight on the inside rail makes you catch and edge )


Turning from the middle of your board doesn't allow the board to be manueverable.  Surfboards turn off the fins.  The fins are at the rear of the board,  NOT in the center of the board.  Notice again, the water line up to the nose.  


So is the answer is to get a shorter board ?   Here because of the steepness of the face, board too flat and weight too forward, rail not engaged,  the rider is catching an edge and is about to get flipped over.  So even if you get a shortboard, you still need to be in the proper part of the wave on the proper position on the board.  


A shortboard may be "too maneuverable" for most beginner/intermediates.  Shortboards may seem faster, especially on the takeoff, because they need a steep face to take off on.   Shortboards are not as stable and floaty as a Long(er) board which lets you take off early and get to you feet early.   Shortboards may even feel like a "Wet Noodle."


If you're making mistakes turning a longboard, just getting a shortboard won't make those problems disappear.  In actuality, more problems will be exposed.  




Again turning from the middle of the board.  Turning without enough speed.  Turning on the wrong place on the wave.   Turning too late ( or too early ), makes it hard to turn a Longboard ( or any board as a matter of fact ).


Learning to turn a surfboard is more than just the "board".  Shortboarders that rip on their shortboards make it look easy to turn, because they know HOW to turn.  Just because I buy the top of the line Golf clubs,  Paint brush or mega PC,  doesn't automatically makes things easier.  Those are just tools,  they all need the operator's input to make it "perform".  


MY ADVICE:   If you can't turn your 9'0" longboard with 2+1 fin set up,   try using a 10'0" single fin for a whole 2 weeks.  After that it will be a breeze to turn that 9'0".


Too many things to learn about surfing for the beginner.  It almost makes your head spin. ( especially if you catch an edge )


Please check out Hope Cheng on FB to see more.



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Surfing and Frisbee

How do surfing and throwing a frisbee match ?   Both need usage of the arm and waist to do the twisting turning action.


Here is a picture perfect turn from right to left.  Her front arm goes up and out.  That opens the chest into the turn and clears the way for her neck and chin.  Notice her front foot is pointed at 1-2 o'clock.  


Here the shoulder is "closed ".   Rider wants to go Left, but his body is showing Right.  His arm are in a guarded position.  


Same here.  It's almost like before you throw a frisbee.  Front arm in tuck in close to the body.  Shoulder pointed in wards.  


To proper turn a board ( especially backside ) you need to:

1) Look across the shoulder. ( the more you can look the more you can turn )

2) Front hand leads thru the turn. 

3) Front Shoulder goes back. 

4) Chest opens to the face of the wave.

5) Waist  twists in the direction of the turn.

6) Bodyline from head to toe matches the angle of the board.  


Here her body looks apprehensive and guarded.  Her front shoulder is closed and rlling back.  Back hand unconsciously goes up to catch her from falling back. 


Coming off the bottom, there is no twist in the waist.  Board is flat and not on rail.  She is leading with her Elbow, not hand.   ( notice her stance is at 3 o'clock, which makes it even harder to twist / turn ) 


With the front arm locked to the body, something else has to assist in turning.  That usually means the back/head leaning, then lost of balance.  


If you lead with the elbow, there is no action to open the chest to the wave.  


When the front hand really comes around, you can see the big twist in the waist.  That leads to a big turn for the board into the face of the wave. 


Even if you have good vision looking down the line, you still need to follow thru with the rest of your body.  

Shoulder closed leads to a locked from arm.  Which makes the wrist only, try to steer it's way left.  

Back arm holding a wall when it should be used for power, and steering.  Turning from the middle of the board also makes it harder to turn.    ( here's my friend in Hawaii going backside ) 


When you listened to a baseball game on the radio ( do people still do that ? ), did you ever hear the annoucer say " and here's the wind up........ and the wind up " ?     No, it was "here's the wind up ... and the pitch".   Same for throwing a frisbee, there's the wind up coiled up body to the left, then flinging open of the arm releasing the energy and frisbee. 


Same for your backside surfing.   You need to open up the chest by leading with the front hand.  Don't stay closed, let it fly.  


Please check out , Phillippine surf report and Hope Cheng on FB and thanks "2milkshakes1straw" for the Hawaii surfing photo.  





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Advice for Beginner surfers

So you are ready to go surfing huh ? 

Finished with your 1st surfing lesson ( hopefully you took one ).

Got your Board ( longboard 3 feet over your head ). 

Got your Rashguard ( some reefy places you might need boots). 

Got your Sun screen ( but don't put on your thighs, makes the board slippery ).

You promise to try stay out of peoples way and have good wave etiquette/manners. 


So you will be fine right ?  Nope,  surfing may be fun, but there are some dangers involved.


People who can't control their board ( maybe like yourself ), may shoot the board into you.   Board dings can be repaired but Flesh and Bones take time to heal.   What other sports has sharp fiberglass blades attached to the  vehicles ? ( other than Ben Hur chariot racing ) 


Even in small mellow waves, you can get a smashed toe or rail to the shin.   Ouch. 


Of course everyone tries not to hit others.  But sometimes the things you do to AVOID hitting others actually CAUSES you to run into them.   Sometimes it is best to stay straight on your board. Trying to turn when you can't might shoot the board out.  Don't look at the person you don't want to hit, look to the escape route.  Where you look is where you go ( or actually the board goes ). 


That's why it's important you learn how to turn ( later on ), not so you can do cutbacks, but so you can avoid crashing into others.


Learn where to be and where not to be.  If there's 10 shortboarders out and you are the only longboarder at the take off point, you most likely will get in their way.  Find spots with surfers of similar ability and board as you.  


Here she shoots her board right into another surfer on the pop up.  Probably causing both boards to run over the shortboarder.  


*Note*  If you find yourself constantly being "sprayed" by other surfers you might be in the wrong spot.  But luckily it's only water that's hitting you.  Just becareful cause one time it may be some "half-good" surfer trying to cutback who can't really turn.   Don't take your chances, move to a safer spot.  


Girl in white - Look down go down ( or straight into others )

Shirtless guy - has know idea what's happening behind him, but he's going for it. 

Guy in tanktop - Wanted to go for it,  but now must be surprised.

Guy in Black rashguard -  I don't know what he's doing.


Remember our stoked beginner ready to become a full on surfer ? ...............  BAM  !!!


BAM !! BAM !!!     Oh well,  we all got to start somewhere.  


Anything worthwhile takes time, and for a beginner that usually takes about 3 years to get to the intermediate stage.   At times surfing may seem like a war zone, but it's a battle worth fighting for. 


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









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What makes a good Noserider ?? 

1)  9'4" single fin with nose concave. Flat entry rocker and tail kick.

2)  Point break wave around 3 feet.


Really ???


This surfer looks like he's walking on water.  Is it because of his board ? The wave ?   Yes, sort of.  


The secret to a good noseride is the LOCK.   The wave crashing down over the tail/rail locking DOWN the tail. 


The tail being locked down allows you to be supported on the opposite end.  Like riding a SEE SAW with a friend.  


Look closely how water wraps over the top of the deck and rolls off the rail. 


TIMING and having the PATIENCE to wait for the tail lock, is very very important to noseriding.  Here the rider is too rushed.   Walk to the nose, don't run.  


With no lock, the water cascades under the rail NOT on top of it.  Rail floats away from the face.  No support for the rider to reach the nose.  


Do you need a Point Break like Malibu and a 3 foot wave to noseride ?   NO, here is a small knee high wave at a Beach break in Kugenuma Japan.    Nice lock and relaxed body.  


Again small wave,  but perfect execution of board and body placement.  Tail fully locked down.  


If you want to noseride,  first get familiar with your standard all-around board,  know the basics ( good paddle, strong bottom turn, setting of the rail, trimming, cross-stepping ).  Then AFTER your good at that THEN spend the money on a true purpose built noserider board.   Then you can start doing Hang Ten toes over like this guy.  


...........................but first you got to do Hang Fives.   


Please check out Matsunosuke Kugenuma on FB to see more.  










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Back side knock out punch

Nice sequence of a back side snap. 

Wave is too steep to cutback just yet.

Surfer eyes the lip.  "hmmm, maybe too steep ? I better wait."

Hands in the Neutral position and pressuring the board  down into the wave.


Getting out away from the curl, he initiates the turn midway up the face.

Rips the front arm back.

Torso twists into the wave. 

Back arm plants down. 


He timed the turn to meet the on-coming breaking lip.

Front arm comes back down the other away. 

Torso rotates away from the face of the wave.


Front arm now becomes the planter arm.

Back arm rips back to continue the rotation to help the tail power thru the lip.


Transition moment right after coming off the bottom.  

Front arm elbow cocked back ( like drawing back for a punch )

Back arm ready to plant.

( Can you see on the wave's face the corner he wants to turn off of ? )


Front arm not goes forward.

Back arm plants.

Turn is initiated half wave up the face.


Now he gets way back over the fins.

Front arm swing thru.

Back arm now continues the counter-clockwise rotation.

Board bottom goes flat to the wave amost at a 90 degree angle. 


Now both arms push out.

Legs staighten out 

Both arms and legs working to extend the body.

Board goes from on rail to flat bottom to let the tail slide out.


Extension to Compression.

Arms come back to help get the torso over the butt and centered over the deck. 


Hard angles, Directional Changes , Speed from a good bottom turn, Executing the move on the right portion of the wave, Body Opening / Closing / extending / Compressing,  all equal to Big Spray.   


When I see turns like that, I go " OOOHH !"   Like when a boxer hits his opponent soo hard with a knockout punch.  


Please check out Eason Photography on FB to see more.  








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