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Rail Loading - Use but use wisely

Rail Loading.  No, we're not talking about loading supplies on rail road trains.  We are talking about putting weight to one rail on your surfboard.  


Usually Rail Loading is done on Long Boards when walking to the nose.  It sets the rail to trim and concentrates the weight on the inside edge.  See both of her feet are to the Left of the stringer. 


But is Rail Loading always a good thing to do ?  It does give you more leverage BUT at a price. 


Here the rider is looking to go down the line on a steep fast breaking wave. Eyes are good but  ..........

1) She is leading with her elbow not her hand

2) Back hand is bracing on a invisible railing.  It should be coming across the chest.

3) Butt sticks out to lean, so head has to counter balance.

4) both toes are raising off the deck.

5) Both feet are to the Right of the stringer, Loading the Rail.  That in itself is not "bad", but wait.  


Here she senses the lip is crashing down on her, so she attempts to turn away.  

1)  forward arm's wrist turns from the wave which turns the shoulder inwards.

2) Her butt down lean is hard to recover from, she puts weight down on her toes.

3) board is still tracking down the line, no spray coming off the inside rail.


Too Late.  Can't straighten out and run towards the shore.  Pressure is too hard as the board is still tracking off the inside rail.  Toes come off the front.


And she gets AXED by the lip on the head.  If she was more centered on the board she could haved :

A ) Turn down and run straight

B ) Pig Dog rail grab with her back hand. Then pull Up and IN to the barrel.


Rider is Loading the right inside rail.  But he is too compacted.  Butt sticks out as the head is outboard of the rail.


Rider raises up his bottom to try to turns.  So that is more leaning to the opposite rail. Not turning off the tail/fins.


Which ends up throwing him over the outside rail.  Rail Loading is like all the passengers going to one side of the boat.  With a sudden change, you "rock the boat".   Better to stay centered, so you can make smooth adjustments. 


Life and Surfing is 50/50.  Even if you only like to go to one way on the wave, sooner or later you need to turn and cutback the other way.  Sometimes the wave is not perfect and you need to turn away to ESCAPE.  


Loading the Rail is an advance technique for surfers that understand the wave and their own ability on their board.  

You can use it, but use it wisely.   But for beginner-intermediates, I would recommend to just stay centered on your board. 


please check out Hope Cheng and Matsunosuke Kugenuma on FB and to see more. 







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