Catching Surfing Waves Under the Lip


Teaching Surf Lessons in Oceanside, beginners start with foam waves. As they advance to intermediate they start catching real waves. There are two aspects to catching real waves; timing and courage. Surfers learn to 2014 - 1 (3)position their board in the right spot but have to have courage to get under the lip.

I have been watching two contests this week, one is the big wave completion held in Spain where contestants were surfing 35 foot waves. The second is the Pipeline ASP contest in Hawaii. At this level, surfers are waiting late and paddling as the lip is over their heads and then dropping into the face.

As even Kelly Slater once said, the drop in is everything. Contestants get more points if the waves are big, they launch deep so that they have to ride under the falling lip, and they wait until the last second. But even at Oceanside where waves may be six foot, the waves are steep and mostly closeouts and you have to catch them late and drop in steep.

Most surfers like to move as they see the wave and paddle in over the top. If a wave is going to close out, you can back out. But the commitment to catch the wave late usually places you on the face and the alternatives narrow. That is the courage part. Expert surfers are smart and know which waves they can ride, but lesser surfers have to gain the knowledge by daring the lip.


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