Please Hold the Line
Many of the trick tips through the season have focused on body position, as this is the main cause of ‘losing’ the wave while surfing. If your weight is back on the board, you will be unable to maintain your toe side edge and stop travelling with the boat. The best way to become more comfortable with your body position and edge control on a surf board is to spend time riding it in varied ways. Hold the line please! There are two ways you can practice your surf board edging and stance: Surf-length Line and Long Line.
Your Surf Line is about 10′- 20′ behind the boat. In this position, practice moving back and forth in the sweet spot while you are hanging on to the rope. Try to get as far back on the wave as you can, while still holding the slacked line so that you are not relying on the boat’s pull. This way, if you loose the wave, you are still able to use the rope to get right back in. It also saves the boat from having to come back to get you! You will also be able to practice your edge control by edging up and slashing the wave for some aggressive carves; not only is it fun, it’s also a great way to warm up at the start of each surf set and get comfortable on the board.
Switch it up by riding Long Line; it’s one of the best silent coaches for your stance on the surf board. Use a 75′ wakeboard line, and increase your speed to between 12 and 16 MPH depending on the weight of the rider. You will want to go as slow as you can so that your board still planes and rides level. It’s a great activity when the lake is rough, as you will stay sheltered inside of the wide wakes at that speed. Practice edging back and forth, and transitioning from your heel to your toe edge.
Riding long line is also a great place to learn how to rotate the spin for the coveted surf wave 360. The slower speeds will allow your fin to release and you to rotate the board easily. Start with surface 180’s in both directions, working your way up to the 360. Remember that if you have too much weight on your back foot or away from the boat, the board will slide out as soon as you release the fin or initiate your spin.
The Game of S*U*R*F
Make it interesting and help to push your level. The game of SURF is simple: challenge a friend or family member to ride doubles at long line. The concept is the same as HORSE in basketball; you do a trick, and your opponent has to do the same trick. The first person to fall gets a letter “S” and ultimately the loser ends up with the Word “SURF”. Here are few that you may want to work on:
Be creative with it and try to invent new tricks. There are really no boundaries to the tricks you can do; once you start to master them, they can be linked for combinations. The more you experiment with this, the more comfortable you will become on your board, garnering you a much faster progression on the surf wave.