Please lend your thoughts on this problem i ran into this winter. the smallest board i have is a 6'1" Dwart. At 41l volume i cant effectively duck dive it. I'm not sure if it is lack of skill or too much volume. I've tried but its tough and doesnt work for me.
So this winter, when the water was 38F the swell was awesome(for my local) a few times...head high to maybe 1 foot over and decent period.
My problem is with the bigger swell, cold water and no duck dive i got turned away a couple times. it was too cold to take a bunch of waves off the head waiting to make a break for it past the beach break.
So i wonder if i could duck dive the dwart with more effort/practice or should i try to get a smaller board to be able to duck. I'm not good enough to be good, on any thing small and thin like 5'10"x19"x2.25. But i feel like if i could get out easier, then i could and at least try to kook around out there.
im 5'9", 175 and have been surfing three years, but i live close to the beach so get to go a lot.
Just work on your duck diving. I'm 5'9" 180, and my winter board is a 6'2" CI Pod (37+ liters of volume). Way too much board for me, but the ease of paddling in the wetsuit is why i ride it. Plus it holds in anything with the quad fins.
I admit when it gets overhead, i can't get it deep enough to get under a set wave if i'm in the impact zone. to compensate, just sit inside the sand bar if a set is coming, and take the white water on the head, and then use the volume to paddle quickly out to the lineup once the set passes.
Sometimes you are stuck in a spot where you have to duck dive a set wave, and you get your a$$ handed to you, but still, we're talking a foot or two overhead. Its no big deal.
Basically, when winter surfing, use the volume to your advantage. easier paddling, sit higher out of the water, catch waves easier. just use your head to keep you out of situations where you need to get under a large set wave.
It has to be technique not vol. I'm 5'7" 155 and can duck dive my 7'2" pretty well on steeper waves and my 6'3", 6'1" and 5'10" I can put almost to the ocean floor if it's shallow enough. Timing is everything and if it's a mound of white water and board is tough to get deep enough. BTW my 5'10" and 6'1" are fish/groveler type boards and are very wide and near 3 inches thick so again I don't it's volume of the board.
over the last 30 years I've ridden 7'2" to 7'10" fat boy floaters. I have found that pushing the nose down and diving over the front, dragging the board down with me, then kicking the tail down. worked better 30 years ago when I was 225lbs. now at 205 and a geeze, it's more effort.
Yea... probably a technique thing, but if you can't do it, then you just can't do it. Some people can't juggle... can't draw... some can't ollie. It's just a skill that some got, and some don't, for whatever reason. So your mindset is good asking about what kind of board can make it easier, and that question has an answer...
Volume is not a magic number. This has been brought up in a number of threads. It's like any other dimension... it doesn't tell you much without a "context." A 21" wide board can mean a lot of things.. is it a fish? at hpsb? a single fin? A board that's 2.5 thick can be foiled thinly in the nose, or the tail, or both, or foiled thickly and beaked. The only thing that volume number does tell you is how it floats you sitting in the lineup. It doesn't even tell you how it paddles... you need to know other parameters to tell you that, particularly rocker and planshape.
What I've found impacts duckdiving is a combination of foil, template, and volume. In other words, boards that are foiled thinly in the nose or otherwise have less volume in the nose area, are easier to drive deeper than boards that are more thickly foiled or wider in the nose, creating more nose volume. And the reduction in nose volume doesn't have to be by much to make a difference. The less volume in the nose (thinner and/or narrower) the deeper you can drive the nose, and the deeper the rest of the board will follow through. Keep in mind you are sort of scooping the board under the oncoming wave, using rocker of the board, your body weight and motion, and the energy of the oncoming wave to drive the board down, under, and then pop back up behind the wave.
So you don't need a "thin" little potato chip to duck dive well (although it helps). You can get away with a little thickness through the middle, in the area that's between your feet when you stand up, but slightly thinner from where you put your hands forward, up to the tip of the nose. While the Dwart isn't what I would consider excessively thick in the nose, it is relatively thick, and certainly wide. The combination of that added thickness AND width puts a lot of volume up front... right where YOU, personally, don't want it.
Well cold water + no duck dive or cold water + duck dive is still going to = getting your noggin wet and the brain freeze will come. Work on the technique and dont be afraid to go out on the nice days, baptism by fire (or cold water lol)
I think it's technique. I have big boards, I have little boards. Some of them I can shove and muscle under the water, some I can't. But, shoving and muscling them under is too much work anyway, there's easier ways to do it. I'm 6'2" and 195lbz. Size matters not.
Arby, that Dwart's huge for a middle weight, but here's how you duck dive it, shove one rail down first. That's it, the whole trick. Everything else is just the same as the brute force approach, except for that. After you break the laminar, press the tail level and then up the back of the wave. Just think about it like slicing through the water with a knife. You can't slice anything with the flat of a blade, same with a surfboard. I've seen little, tiny gals; way smaller than you, duck dive long boards. You can do it, just takes practice. There's some thread on duck diving where I actually diagrammed out how to do this and somebody else posted a YouTube of somebody duck diving a Malibu on the North Shore, do a search. I learned how to go about it many years ago in South Padre wind swell, 3-4 second interval.
On a sad, personal note, I have never been able to ollie a skateboard. It's why I have carver racks on my bike and live some place with consistent surf.
Hit the gym and do bench presses until you have a 48 inch chest and can throw up at least 315 pounds. Then you'll be able to duck dive anything from a hpsb, longboard, SUP, or small yacht. How much ya bench!?