Catch Surfing Waves Under the Lip


When I teach beginner surfers lessons in Oceanside, we start with catching foam waves. You learn to get in front of the wave and paddle until the wave has the board before beginning the pop up.2014 - 1 (3)

When beginners advance to intermediate, they start riding small real waves by going down the face or catching them at an angle towards the pocket. Now timing is more important as you have to intersect with the wave as it is arcing. Long boards or high volume boards can catch the waves earlier than short boards.

Once waves get a little bigger, most beginners wait too long and as the wave gets close, try to paddle in over the top. It takes more courage to get in front of the wave and allow it to arc over your head before paddling (and kicking) to catch it late.

The fun of catching the wave late is that it is now pushing so hard, not much paddling is required and the pop up has to be lightening quick. But you are on the face immediately and can more easily get to the pocket instead of getting trapped from a late drop in by the foam coming over the top.

If you observe the better surfers, they are waiting for the arc to be over their head and sometimes the foam has even appeared and then they drop down and bottom turn into the pocket. The advantage is that on big fast moving waves, you cannot paddle over the top. Also on big waves paddling over the top gets you on the face too late and you get caught in the close out or you can no longer get to the pocket.


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Categories : Advanced Surfing

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