Surfing bigger waves seems to be the goal of all new surfers. The first steps are to master small waves so the fundamentals are in place to advance. The next ingredient necessary at every advance is courage.
One big wave surfer says we don’t measure waves but call each step increments of fear. Bigger waves have more speed and more weight. That means crashes are harder and somersaults under water become more common place.
Mastering the Small Waves
Surfing bigger waves follows surfing foam waves with the right posture and a smooth pop up. In foam waves, your posture should be such that the board goes straight with little effort and you can ride to the beach. Then you begin paddling out for bigger foam waves.
Once you can ride the bigger foam waves you start looking to interact with real waves or green waves. You are probably still riding a foam board which is fine. On steep real waves that often exist on sand bar beaches like Oceanside, you take real waves at an angle so as not to pearl.
You also can begin by catching corners which are the pockets that form after the foam has started coming over the apex at the beginning of the break. The corners are further from the origin of the wave and not as steep.
Moving to Shorter Boards
At some point after mastering these practices, you will start moving to shorter boards with less volume. Now paddling, catching waves, and riding them is more difficult. It takes a while to build the stamina for paddling, learning how to catch real waves down the face, and how to do pop ups quick and smooth.
After these steps have been mastered, then you can begin riding bigger real waves. Each step requires greater mastery of timing. Real waves come under the board and the surfer has to be in the right position. Then with three paddles, the surfer is down the face and has to execute a bottom turn.
The bottom turn can be practiced while still on foam boards. It is necessary to get into the pocket of a wave, to escape a falling face, and to begin all tricks. Accelerating the board is also crucial to stay ahead of the falling lip.
Accelerating the Surf Board
Accelerating the board is moving the nose of the board up and down the pocket with the surfer’s front foot. It is a tricky but necessary maneuver to learn because no one can really explain it well. You have to observe and then emulate until you get the feel.
Practice develops confidence and competence. Both are necessary to begin the venture into bigger.
For Oceanside Surf Lessons, see the Home Page
See my Dry Land and in Water Demo video
For more information on surfing fitness and Personal Training in Oceanside see my site
For Life Style Self-Coaching and my Guide Book see my site 9 Climb