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Pumping for speed - when Tic-Tacs becomes Tit for Tat

Sooner or later beginners are going to want to surf faster.  Maybe they're sick and tired of being caught by the whitewater or the breaking curl of the wave.   So how do you speed up ?   Well........... you could Tic-Tac.


Tic Tac's for surfing are similar to the Tic Tacs done for skateboarding.

Skateboarders pick up the nose and tap down the front wheels side to side to gain speed WITHOUT putting a foot down to push off the ground.  


Surfers do it very similar. Push the tail down with the back foot to let the nose rise. But at the same time, counter pressuring with the front knee.   It's almost a hop.  

( notice the riders foot is in front of his tail pad. He's not turning now, so he doesn't need to be that far back )


One BIG difference in Surfing and Skateboarding is you can't push the skateboard thru the concrete/ground.  But in Surfing we push down into the water.   Watch the riders head position as he extends his legs out to resist the waves' energy.


Head stays in the same level but he draws his feet up to his chest to relax and fall up the wave.   You do not go up and down, the BOARD goes up and down.  


Pumping and Tic Tac's require:

1) Quick movements

2) Hard angles of the board engaging the rails

3) Feet pushing down and relaxing at the proper moments

4) Vision to the future (  that's the Flow of connecting moves )


Study the two photos.

1) Arms swtich position to open and close the chest which twist the torso, waist, legs......

2) Back arm was up to be "light", now back arm rips down to go down.

3) Transition for INSIDE rail to OUTSIDE rail.

4) Still eyeing down the line.

( in the orange circle is the left over spray still falling from his pump upwards. )


So Pumping/Tic Tac's are easy, just go from rail to rail right?   NO, it's not only the WHAT but the WHERE and WHEN you do it.  


1) Eyes looking down the line

2) Inside rail engaged 

Not so good:

1) Front arm locked to the body,  which closes the chest, which causes the shoulder to block the head from fully turning.

2) Back arm reaching for a invisible wall. It should be coming across the chest.   WHY ?? because ...............


When the rail catches an edge, it will track on a line ( like a train on railroad tracks ) 

Her front arm finally opens, but it is too much too late.  

Now both hands are bracing since she is falling back

( notice the splash coming from her heel on her front foot )  

She turned up, but didn't react quickly enough to turn back down. 


You can go hard, but you have to quickly go hard back the other way immediatley. 


Tic Tac's are not so much a TURN but a succession of many SWERVES.   Quick LITTLE turns from side to side.  You can't hold the steering wheel over too long.   You can't fight the wave, you have to work with the wave's energy.  Know when to push down and dig in, when to un-weight and be light.   You can also think of Tic tacs as ZIG ZAGS.  


Here she is late as the lips is closing out in front of her.  But she keeps her vision up and out.  Unweights to get the nose up over the lip. 


And lets the wave's own energy re-direct her back down and out so she can get back on the clear open face.  


Tic Tacs and Pumping is NOT a beginner technique.  It takes timing and a lot of board control and wave knowledge.  If you don't have those, and find yourself stuck in the soup all too much, maybe it will be easier to make sections with a bigger board with more volume and length.  


Tit for tat is an English saying meaning "equivalent retaliation".   So yes if you do Tic Tacs right, you will be rewarded.  Done the wrong way, you will be punished.  


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