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Eyes on the prize ( and head over the deck )

Bodyline, Posture, Stature, Ergonomics.  You can look at person lifting weights, throwing a bowling ball, hitting a golf ball or even dancing and tell if they got good body line or not.  


You are suppose to steer a board with your feet, but some surfers lean out the side of their board with their head ( which causes them to counter-weight with their butt the other way ) 


Leaning out and trying to hold on to a invisible wall throws the head out past the rail.  It upsets the balance and instictively the opposite hand sticks out to counter balance.


Once the head goes past the butt and over the rail, you get this falling sensation and your hands automatically stick out to protect you from falling on your face.  Body, Arms and Legs stiffen up making it even harder to recover.  


Bent over.  Head past the rail.  Grabbing / Bracing.  Head not over the butt ( butt is over the head ! ) 


Here, looks like the riders head is nicely over the deck.  But look closely at his front hand.  It's acting as a third leg of a tri-pod.  


Same guy, different day, bad habits are hard to break.   His head might be over the deck but front to back he is not balanced.  


It's okay to be bent, but not bent over.  Here, her butt may be sticking out and hands out to balance and primed before swinging out and back, but it is a pro-active movement not reactive.  Her head is still over the deck.  


"Oh man, his head is way way beyond the deck".............. or is it ?  

Angle your head to the right and notice his bodyline is still strong and head over the deck.  His board is leaned over and his body is leaned over with it.  

His back arm is creating a pivot board for his board to swing around.  He is not bracing or holding an invisible wall. 

Speed and the wave's energy pushing against the board as he pushes back, keeps him from falling.  


If you want to surf better, you need to let go.  You need to be loose.  You need to have a good bodyline.  You need to keep your head over the deck.  ( if not you won't reach the prize you're wanting ) 


Please check out Eason's surf photography, Philippine surf report, Surfer's Nation on FB and to see more.  

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Feeling BOGGED down at work ? ( and in the surf ? )

Stuck in a Bog.  Bogged down.  Feeling like you're going no where.  Things have slowed down to a stand still.


That not only applies to trucks in the mud and workers in the office filing papers, but also to surfers.  


Rider beginning his cutback ( comeback to the curl ).   Things seem okay with his body line and speed, but notice his front arm is locked down and shoulder is not opened to the wave.  


Rider pushes / leans in even harder to keep the momentum going,  but the damage was already done. 


There's just not enough speed to carry him through the turn, so he bogs down.  

Why ?  Maybe:

1) not enough speed entering the turn.

2) entering the turn too early.

3) too tight of an arc, should have flow down and around more.  


Especially during turns, boards slow down not speed up, so be wary of that.  And with a longer board you need to make the board shorter, by getting back on the tail, to let the board "fit" into the curve of the wave.  


With a longer board, and especially single fins, you need to wait for the board.  You can not just force it.  If not it will bog and buck you off.  Board goes one way and you go the other way.    


Just LEANING and not TURNING causes the rail to catch and stops forward momentum.  Sometimes you need to let the board glide,  there's no reason to turn when not needed.  


Look at this riders body language.  His front arm, the steering arm, is show back and right.  So the torso spins clockwise.  But the board is cutting back left and trying to turn counter-clockwise.  So he bogs down.  


Another problem is the line a surfer takes.  Too tight angles / arcs.  Not using the full face of the wave.  Rider could extended further up and out to build up speed and create a more flowing arc.   

( but maybe there was another surfer in the way or if you look closely, maybe a bit of backwash / double up was in front of him so he had to force it early ) 


Look at the line this surfer takes.  Way up on the very thin top of the wave.  Then lays it back over not too far out on the shoulder. 

Back arm feeling, gauging the angle, not grabbing/bracing.  

Eyes looking thru the turn

Legs compress and absorbing the wave and energy to later extend and explode

Board on the tail, rail fully engaged but not buried.  ( you can see all three of the thruster fins ! ) 


But the main thing that keeps him from bogging is ............ SPEED.  


SPEED helps your cutbacks, floaters, tube riding and yes, even noseriding ( where a lot of longboarders bog down ).  


Speed, Power and Flow.   How does BOGGING DOWN fit into that ?   It doesn't.  


Please check out Phillipine Surf Report,  Eason's Photography, Hope Cheng photos, Cijin surf club on FB and to see more.  






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Happens a lot when trying to hit the lip

Last week we talk about back side off the lips, which might be hard for beginners.  


So this week we will focus on Frontside hitting the lip ( but does that make it any easier ? )  


Take a look and study this photo.  What do you see ?  


As for the wave, there's a slight double up forming in front. See the little step down ledge the rider is coming down on. 


For the rider:

Back hand bracing off an invisible wall.

Back foot in front of the tail pad, which doesn't pick up the nose.

Which makes the nose's inside rail "catch" and slows down his momentum.


Rider comes up and out of the bottom turn.  

He seems to be stalling or turning away from the face as you can see the board get off the inside rail. 


Now, try and study this photo.  What do you see ? 


Back hand bracing again.

Front hand "steering" with the fingers and wrist.   ( Should be opening up with the arm and shoulder )


Study time again.  What do you see ?  


He is focused on the 2nd lip as he hits the 1st lip.  

The distance from the crashing lip his board is on and the further away closeout is too far. 

So he should have:

1) Turn off the 1st lip.

2) Float up and on the foam 

3) Not run up so tight and wait to hit the 2nd lip.  


But it wouldn't have mattered what line he took as his body is wrong. 

1) Eyes not looking to the landing spot

2) Back arm not coming across the chest

3) Front arm down and locked to the body 

4) Shoulder is rotating INTO the lip, not away from it.  


Result ?   He gets flap jacked, flipped over like a pancake. ( and then maybe a rail to the head, chest or elbow ) 


Front side off the lips need to be done:

1) at the right place on the wave.

2) at the right time

3) with speed and power ( to match what speed and power the wave is throwing at you ) 


But one thing that usually causes a failure to complete a frontside off the lip is ................... ???


CONFIDENCE.   You got to believe you can do it,   If you hesitate,  you're already gone.  


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

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Backside Off the Lip #2

Last week we looked at Back side off the lip cutback technique.  This week with got this grom to show us how one more time.  


Eyes looking down the line.  Scanning to see what the wave is doing.  

Body is coiled up but not in the poo stance.

Front arm ready in the neutral position.  

Board running into the flats taking advantage of the gravity and momentum of taking off. 


Arm flings wide and back opening the chest. 

Body/Torso twist into the wave's face. 

Back arm creates a pivot point.  

Board on inside rail.  

( you can just make out the lip coming at the surfer )


Down Up Around.

Front arm rips down.

Torso follows.

Board follows. 

( Notice the surfer in blue in the background ? See how fast of a turn the surfer did in such a tight space ? ) 


Set up for the backside off the lip.  

Eyes the lip.

Arm in neutral. 

Body compressed.

Body running on the flat bottom waiting until the engagement of the rail.  


After the bottom turn where the surfer "Opens" up the chest, now the arm slams back down, closing the chest.  

Notice two things:

1) shoulders are in line with the eyes and the board. 

2) back hand is being use as a "clutch" to determine how much power and torque is needed.  


Wave dumps all it's energy and rider gets the board on flat bottom to be able to float back down the foam. 

Body was compressed then extended then compressed again.  

Eyes always leading the action.  


How is your back side off the lips ?  How is just surfing back side ?   If it's "hard" for you, remember, surfing is 50/50.  You can't just surf only front side.  A backside cutback has the same body mechanics of performing a front side bottom turn.  Getting better at turning backside will help you surf frontside even better.  


please check out to see more



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Backside Off the Lip

Last week we talk about noseriding takes position, timing and controlled usuage of power/weight distribution.  


Same goes for doing a Backside Off the Lip. 


Here he loading up / coiling up his power.  Eyes looking for the apex point.

( notice the board is mainly on the flat bottom ) 


Eye leads the shoulder, arm, hand.  

Front arm creates a pivot point.

Front shoulder goes back. 

Back arm comes around in front of the chest to twist the torso into the wave's face.  

Board went from flat bottom to now inside rail engage.  He leans and pivots off the tail.  


Arms switches positions and rips back the other way. 

Down, Up Around.  Speed Power Flow.

Body line in line with the deck. 

Transitioned from inside rail to flat bottom ( then to outside rail and back ) 


Rider throws his front hand up and out lifting up the nose. 

Back hand creating the pivot point. 

Legs extending to resist the energy of the wave flowing up the face. 

( head turning back down ) 


Front arm rips down. 

Legs compress and absorbs the hit of the lip smashing into the bottom of the board. 

He pushes agains the deck as the wave pushes against him. 

If he doesn't, the board will push thru probably ending up between his legs, Ouch !

If he straightens his leg out with too much force, he will probably kick the board out over the back of the wave and end up on his head.  


Head turning and looking down the line. 

Front arm ready to open, but not yet.

Board is running flat for a moment.  


Now he leans / squats back a little bit.  ( he will gain leg strength as time goes by ) 

Front arm opens to open the chest to the wave. 

Back arm hinges at the elbow.  ( Okay, but better to come further around infront the chest )


Head turns back the other way.

Front arm rips forward closing the chest. 

Back arm rips back.


Little bit late, but good job trying his best on this beach break closeout.   

Can't get the timing and position right every time, especially since every wave is different.  


The best thing I can recommend to help your Backside Off the Lips is to look way thru the turn and then look back away from the turn.  Let the shoulders, arms, torso, waist, knees, feet and board follow.  


Please check out matsunosuke Kugenuma on FB and to see more.  




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Noseriding is more than just walking to the nose

Hang Ten, Toes over, On the nose, Perched.  So many names for noseriding.  


He is really out there !  ( notice his arms are down to weight down the nose )


Toes over the outside rail, that is so stylish.  ( notice the tail sticking out the back of the wave ?  That is fully locked. )


Small knee high wave, but you still can get a good lock down of the tail and get to the nose.  


So how are these surfers getting to the nose ?  Of course they need to physically take steps with their feet forward.  


But not just taking steps like walking down the sidewalk.  For noseriding you need to CROSS STEP.  


So If you can Cross Step, will that get you to the nose ?    Nope.  


The set up and placement of the board on the right spot on the wave TO noseride is just as important.  


You can't be too far ahead of the curl or too behind it.  You can't be too high on the face or too low.  


Look at good noseriders ( and even any good surfer ).  See how their head is up and eyes looking to the next move.  

Body is not stiff and no bracing of the hands.



The most important thing to a good noseride happens even way before you take a step.  

Surfer here is pointed a bit right but looking left.  Fade right go left bottom turn.  


Eyes leads the arms, torso, waist, knees feet then down to the board.  Notice he picks up the nose to stall the board.


That sets up the tail to be right under where the lip throws over.  The wave crashing over the tail is the counterweight for him to be on the nose.  


Noseriding is more than walking to the nose.  It's how you walk.  It's when and where you walk and place the board.  It takes patience and controlled usuage of power and weight distribution.  


Sounds like a lot of steps, but just like learning to tie your shoes, soon you be doing it without thinking.  It'll become second nature.   Then it will be just one move.  But to then keep practicing !


Please check out Eason's surf photography and Matsunosuke Kugenuma on FB and to see more.  

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Go Back a step

Everyone likes to see a big carve on the face of the wave.  Here are some photos that are impressive.  



But remember that's just a snap shot of a moment in time.  All these surfers were able to perform a nice cutback/carve due to their set up before hand.  


Surfer looks thru the turn. front arms leads, back arm comes around, back foot pushing on the tail.


Down, Up and Around.   Getting the board on rail.  Feet planted firmly pushing against the wave as the wave pushes against the surfer.  


Gets away from the curl, but not too far out on the shoulder.  Rolls from inside rail, to flat bottom, to outside rail.  Picks up the nose to shorten the longboard to let it pivot off the tail.  


Riding high up on the thin edge of the curling lip.  

and snaps it down.  Great photo of a nice open face turn.   

Here's a bonus 3rd photo, showing that extra push and how he uses his core muscles to pull the board back under him and get back over the deck to continue out of the carve.  


If you are having a problem in your surfing, Go Back a step ( or two ).  Maybe it's how you're entering the turn.  Maybe you're too close or too far from the curl.  Maybe the nose is too low.  Maybe you're not looking thru the turn.  


Preparation and Set up beforehand produce great results.


Please check out 台東衝浪 隨便拍拍 Jeremy surf photgraphy on FB and



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Crazy Times

Now is a CRazy Time to be living.  


Somebody set fire to the surfboard racks at Waikiki beach.   


Hundreds and hundreds of surfboard were lost.  I feel bad for the older uncles and auntys that had a hard time carrying their board to the beach from their apartments and utilized the racks close to the shoreline.  


Now with the Covid-19 virus,  Oahu parks and beaches were closed.  Including Waikiki beach.


The ruling was put into effect when I was there in early March.   For some reason though, access to surf/water couldn't be prevented (  will depending on the discretion of the police officer ) 


So surfers still could get their exercise, just as jogger, runner and hikers were allowed to.   BUT there were NO LIFEGUARDS on duty, so surfing was done at your own risk.  


I had to cut my Hawaii short by two weeks to return back to Japan before they banned flights.  ( which is now in effect ).  


It was strange seeing Waikiki beach so empty.   The governor even warned visitors not to come to Hawaii.  But one day after all this craziness is gone,  the Duke will welcome back visitors ( and visiting surfers and locals ) with open arms again.  


Like the saying goes:   No Rain, No Rainbows.   


Hopefully after being stuck inside the house for so long, people will learn how precious it is to be outside and being in nature,  riding the waves.  



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And the best noserider board goes to .................

I always get asked, "what is the best noserider surfboard ?" or " What fin is the best for noseriding ?"


As I always say, it doesn't matter what board you use or what fin is under the board if you can't Cross-Step properly and Lock Down the tail.  


That said, check out this board. 


This is a Hap Jacobs "422" model.    

You can see how the back part of the board gets narrower.


Not as easy to see here. 


But from this angle you can see the Step Tail.   

Wonder why Hap did that ? 

To transition from a fat full rail down to a more blade rail ? 

Or to make the tail flex ?  


how's the size of that fin ?    Did you notice how far past the end of the tail the fins sticks out.   

Can you see the nose concave ?  It goes past the middle of the board.  


Unlike most noserider boards nowadays where the concave starts at the nose, this one starts a little further back.   Also, the tear drop concave is reversed, where the pointy end is at the front and the round part is at the back.  

Try looking at the Donald Takayama Hawaiian Pro Designs "In-the-Pink" model, it's concave is placed and designed much diffferently.  


I wonder why we haven't see this noserider shape more ?   Well actually you have.   Check out Tyler surfboard's "Riddler" model.

Nose is blunted, but overall looks to be based off this Hap Jacobs 422.  


Don't blame the Arrow, blame the Indian.  If you can't noseride this board, then it means you just can't noseride in the first place.  


My advice for beginners who want to learn to noseride is to get a "all-arounder" with a 2+1 fins set up.  9'0" x 22" x 2 7/8"  ( give or take ) and practice bottom turning, trimming, stalling, cross stepping and learning how to lock down the tail.  Do all those things first on a all-arounder, THEN get a purpose built noserider.  


If you want to see this board in person, please check out Pinder Surfboards Hawaii.







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Don't give me no lip ! Or you're going to get SMACKed !

Match power with power.  Kill or be Killed.  Strike at the right moment.  Sounds a lot like Mixed Martial Arts, but it does apply to surfing. 


Top turns looks good but he was just a bit late.  ( or he wanted to float on top the lip a bit as he sees the shoulder was curling back in )  


Here a bit under the lip, almost a layback hack.  But might as well crack it as the wave is closing out down the line.  

( notice the difference on how on rail he is versus the flat bottom on the top photo, but head is still over the deck )


Here shows timing to meet the lip just as it throws to the project the board and rider more out and away into the flats.  


Here too agressive or too late.  So board ends up on the other side of the waves breaking curl.  Ends up getting "stuck" at the top. 


Down UP and Around.  She begins the turn down BEFORE she reaches the top of the lip.  She times the apex of the turn to be at the thin tip of the lip.  


But sometimes the wave jacks up or the backwash hits and you end up a little too deep.  


But when your timing and placement is just right, you can really get on rail and lay your full weight into the turn. 


And especially with a 9 foot longboard with all that weight and length up front, you really have to time it right and let the wave's lip help re-direct you back down.  


So SMACK that lip, but do it at the right place and the right moment.  


( you don't have to scream WAAPAAAAh ! , but I heard it helps )


Please check out Cijin surf club, Philippine Surf report to see more







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