Red Bull Adding Science to Surf Technique


When I teach Surf Lessons in Oceanside, I start with the most important fundamentals. After a new student has DSCF1737mastered them, they can practice on their own using the right habits which are mostly muscle memory. Intermediate and advanced students start riding real waves using the same basic techniques.

In an expose on featuring two pro surfers, Red Bull and scientists gathered to discover what pros do and how their techniques can be improved. The purpose would be to shorten the learning curve for pros and hopefully the techniques would trickle down to the average surfer.

A few take-aways were that pros keep their eyes focused on a point about nine feet in front of where they are headed and are not looking at the periphery. It reminded me of ski lessons in which we were taught to look in front three or four turns and not at our ski tips.

Secondly, they researched paddling technique. In an hour and a half session one pro spent eight and half minutes riding waves and forty eight minutes paddling. The most efficient practice is to keep the head still as well as the rest of the body and just move the arms.

Thirdly, they studied weighting the board with the feet while accelerating down the pocket. They found that pro surfers pretty much balance their weight on the forward and back foot with a little more pressure in the back. The tests and techniques were tested later on Mick Fanning at Trestles.

It just so happens that a few weeks later he won the contest in Portugal.


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