Tip 8 - The glide/how to go faster!


Why do better surfers look like they are going twice the speed with zero effort? How can they travel so much faster than you on the same size wave? It’s all about the glide. This is a tough one to explain without sounding like a hippy or a scientist! Let me give it a try….

Speed is generated through your positioning on an unbroken (clean wave). On broken waves you will travel from A to B at the speed of the white water, end of. Therefore, it is a huge jump in your surfing skills when you can pop that little quicker and get onto unbroken waves.

For max speed the top 1/3rd of the wave is the fastest place for your board to be, and without venturing into the principles of vector forces and hydrodynamics, just nod and agree. The middle 1/3rd is an area you can play around with and the bottom 1/3rd is the slowest place. You and your trusty stead needs to be hanging around in the middle and top section of the wave for warp drive (see pic).

Technique: Once you are on the face of the wave, bend those legs, look up towards the lip (top of the wave), breathe in and push on the back foot - this will make your board climb up the face of the wave. Before you get to the top, look down to the bottom, breathe out and push on the front foot - this will make you drop down the face.

Keep repeating this sequence. However, don’t get too high on the face or you’ll plop over the back or too low or you’ll lose all your speed.

This climbing and dropping motion will generate speed very quickly. It’s all very small subtle movements, it’s why it looks effortless, but trust me the surfer is making lots of subtle weight shifts and timed breaths - and going fast...

So that is is the last tip for this series. So at this point I shall leave you in peace while I address countless other half completed tasks. All will be in a 2021 instructor coaching manual, you just got a head start! Stay safe dudes.


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