To kick or not to kick
Was watching some technique vids and had never heard anyone explain from a technical perspective why kicking helps you catch a wave. I don't think about it all too hard when I'm in the water. I'll kick, double arm paddle and do no paddle drop ins; pretty much whatever I can to catch a wave. I just do what I know works, but it's nice that someone is putting some thought into the "why" of it all.
One other thing I noticed and often try to do is he positioned himself right where there was a small lump of cross chop. Kind of a wave on top of the main wave. Its not much of a bump but it can give you just enough extra momentum to catch something you otherwise couldn't.
Good video, what i'd like to know is how many of you kick?
I didn't watch the video, but I've always thought kicking helps, especially smaller narrower boards where paddle speed is tough, usually just on that wave where you need that little extra burst at the last second.
Originally Posted by zaGaffer
I think kicking downward behind the board lifts the tail up a bit and gets the board flatter on the surface, which can be just enough of a boost to get the nose pointed downhill and start you sliding down the face.
I definitely kick. Probably look like an idiot doing it, but I feel like it helps
Only when its real big or strong off shores and I just can't seem to get into waves just paddling
That's a good idea, that's usually when I tend to have issues getting in early
Originally Posted by ocsurf32
excellent thread. The video, on the other hand, was a bit over explained
Judging by that, kicking is a good habit to get into...but I haven't gotten into that habit...yet. However, I am in the habit of starting to paddle for a wave way earlier than most people and it helps a lot. I always keep my head down and choke up on the nose, especially when the wind is offshore.
Also, rather than digging straight down into the water, I paddle more sideways, wriggling my whole body in a somewhat sideways fishy motion. This method uses your lat muscles, big time, and is just as powerful with less fatigue and shoulder joint wear.
The other technique I learned when living in florida is what I guess you could call "corking" or "bobbing", which is the act of literally pushing the tail of the board (with both hands on the nose) deep into the face of the wave so the board bobs back out and gives you a boost of speed without even paddling. This is only good on steep faced waves you decide to (or are forced to) drop in on at the last second.
EDIT: thanks pkovo, "no paddle take offs" - always wondered what those were called
I have kind of a fat guy on a little board thing going, so I kick, flail, double arm paddle whatever it takes. I push my head down and actually push the board down with my chin.
When I'm worn out, if it's not crowded, I do no paddle takeoffs. 200 plus pounds on a sub 6' board, I can really get some serious spring forward doing this.
Surfing is the easy part, catching waves is the hard part as I get older and more out of shape.
Resisting the call of the longboard as a daily driver for as long as possible :-)
forgot to say earlier that the "sideways paddling" I do also wriggles the board and fins, which slightly helps propel the board forward...kinda like pumping on a wave
anyway, yeah, not looking forward to the point when a longboard is the only option...I might have to quit at that point (I really despise longboards, except for in teeny tiny ground swell conditions)