Monday, October 25, 2010

RVR Men Skill #7 Catch a Wave

There is no better feeling than exhilaration of riding a wave! Learn from a true surfing instructor and pro, Elliott Zuckerman (excerpt from Men:10 Essential Skills below).

Respecting the Beast
You may have visions of riding in the tube of a 15-foot
wave, but that is not the best place to start. Instead, go for the
whitewater at a safe beach. The whitewater is the foam on the
“inside” of the breaking waves. While it might not be as impressive,
you won’t have to deal with getting past the break or
bothering more experienced surfers. Get the rhythm of surfing
before venturing out to ride some serious waves. It is very important
to understand the strength of the ocean and be aware
of rip currents. Never go surfing alone; it is even better if you
stick to beaches with lifeguards.
It is imperative that you understand the hazards of the
ocean. Safety is your top priority. Before you go in the water,
make sure you practice covering your head so your arms are
protecting your head with your palms facing down. When you
fall off the surfboard, cover your head and always fall back,
never fall in front of your board. Never position the surfboard
in between you and the waves, because the water will push the
board right into you.
The easiest way to find the best area to paddle out and the
best waves to catch is to watch the local surfers. Follow their
lead, but keep your distance. local surfers have a tendency to
be territorial and can become aggressive when beginning
surfers get in their way. It is also important to never let go of
your surfboard in the water, since it can hurt you or other

Paddling Like a Pro
Paddling is actually the most important aspect of surfing.
Not only will effective paddling let you catch more waves but
it will also get you out past the break quickly and safely so you
can spend more time surfing. Not that you’re ready for that yet,
but practice good habits now so your talent can skyrocket.
lying on your stomach, with your legs together and your
upper body lifted off of the board, alternately paddle with your
arms using long, even strokes and keeping your body balanced
and anchored on the board. When paddling out to the waves,
always make sure that you are paddling directly into the waves,
never sideways.
The same holds true when you are catching a wave. Always
make sure that your surfboard is pointing toward the beach
and never on an angle. It will take some time to get used to
your board and learn how to maintain your balance. If your
board is tilting side to side, you need to better anchor your
lower body by pushing your abs down on the board. The nose
of the board should be slightly lifted out of the water. If the
nose is dipping below the surface of the water, you need to lift
your upper body more. If drastic measures are needed, it is
probably because your body isn’t positioned right, so slide your
body back a fraction on the board. Once you find that sweet
spot and have gotten used to the feel of the board, you are ready
to start catching some waves.

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