Surfing Speed3 comments
If you've been following our surfing lessons, you should be able to get to your feet. You now need to start concentrating on generating and keeping your speed on a wave. Without speed, you will never be able to execute the most basic of moves. If you surf smaller, mushy waves, the ability to pick up and keep your speed is really important. Let's look at the reasons why you'll lose speed, and how to create speed with good positioning, pumping and bouncing.
Reasons why you'll lose speed
- Getting out into the flats can cause you to lose speed quickly, especially when the waves do not have much substance
- Don't outrun the wave by surfing too far down the line. If you get too far away from the pocket, you'll really slow down.
- Not doing a bottom turn, just surfing straight to the beach (you numpty!)
- Stalling you surfboard (caused by applying too much pressure to the tail of the board)
- Digging your rails in
How to keep your speed
- Try to work the top third of the wave to get speed. Gravity is your friend.
- Learn to pump your board on the open face of the wave
- When making turns, start them high on the wave so you will be accelerating all the way through the turn
- Try to surf rail to rail rather than nose to tail
- Keep close to where the waves power is (the steepest section) by carving and doing little cutbacks
- If you get too far away from the pocket, you have a couple of choices. The first is to do a cutback. Second, stall the board — let the powerful section of the wave catch up with you.
- Learn to bounce across a flat sections or sections that you cannot pump through
- When you take off on a wave, do it angled down the line, not straight to shore
Pumping — generating speed by moving up and down the face of the wave in a smooth flowing motion.
Try to work the top third of the wave to generate speed and to get down the line. As mentioned, it's this top part of the wave that enables you to create all your speed. Your back foot needs to be placed on the tail of the board. Ensure you keep enough pressure on your front foot to stop your board from stalling. When your board drops down the wave, it will accelerate and you'll pick up speed. Before you drop down too far, you'll need to apply pressure to the inside rail (frontside - your toe rail, backside - your heel rail), and push down with your front foot.
As you progress up the face of the wave, extend your legs, keeping pressure on the front foot. As you climb the steep part of the face, you should try and un-weight yourself and let your legs compress at the highest point.
When you reach the top section of the wave again, you should have picked up some speed. Transfer the weight onto the opposite rail, and push the board back down the wave.
The more practice you get, the more natural the pumping will become. Keep your movements smooth, and keep focusing down the line, looking for a decent lip to smack. Use your arms to balance, and help transfer weight without waving them around wildly.
Bouncing — generating some extra forward motion to get you into the next section without dropping to your belly and paddling for it.
You see bouncing regularly in smaller surf, or where a wave has flat sections that need to be traversed. This bouncing is actually a mix of an up and down and side to side movement, much like the tic-tac in skateboarding. Weight is placed on the back foot, lifting the nose of the surfboard out of the water. The front foot is then pushed back down, bouncing the board along the section.
Take some time and check out some of the pro surfers on video. See how their board is always moving, and how they use their board and positioning to generate speed. We have some great contributions to this site from surfers of all standards. Here are a couple of different viewpoints on how to keep up speed. Both were originally posted on the forum.
When I need to get down the line fast and I pump my board for speed. I try to stay on the top 1/3 of the wave where the speed is. Don't worry about pushing your board down, that will happen automatically with gravity. What you really need to do is keep your center of balance over your board and stay high on the wave with control. When your board starts to accelerate and you descend down the face, pump your board back up the face with your back foot on the tail, and your front foot keeping just enough pressure to keep your whole board in the water so you do not stall by lifting the nose up too much. You have to feel it, it takes practice. I would suggest you stay in control with balance and work the top 1/3 of the wave and you can learn with perseverance. I would not try to force it. With my experience with beginners they do not have their back foot on the tail enough. When you do this you still need some pressure on your front foot to keep your board planning properly. Flailing the arms is not good!I hope that helps you! tony g - expert surf forum contributor
Here is a video tutorial that has been put together by naniekso. The video breaks pumping down into different movements, and then features examples of pumping on smaller waves.
Let's hear your suggestions on how to surf like a tornado. Post here or start a conversation on our surf forum.
on Mar 8, 2012
on Sep 1, 2012
|Excellent video, thank you for posting it!!|
Love the song too!! Who is it??
on Sep 8, 2013
|dont do the arm movement on the video. please.|