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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,790

    Big Waves vs. Small Waves

    What adjustments do you make to your technique when you are facing larger than normal surf? More specifically long period ground swell in the HH-DOH range w/offshore winds.

    Do you typically stick to your normal routine / techniques or do you make adjustments? I find myself questioning myself a lot more as the size of the waves get larger. Should I just stick to what I know??? What do you do?

    I'm just trying to increase my efficiency and catch more than I miss. Any advice from you guys getting 23 footers on the regular would be appreciated... yes you too NJShredmachine, I wanna know what you suggest too.

  2. #2
    This just in from the shredmachine:

    "HH to DOH I just work on my car or hit the gym. You groveling pu55ies can have it"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,790
    Quote Originally Posted by leethestud View Post
    This just in from the shredmachine:

    "HH to DOH I just work on my car or hit the gym. You groveling pu55ies can have it"
    Sounds like something he'd say, but I bet he's got something more up his sleeve for this one. In all seriousness though, what changes do you make, if any?

  4. #4
    I try to remember 2 things:

    "When the wave breaks here don't be there, or you're gonna get drilled."
    "Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true"
    Other than that I try to remember I can make many more sections than I'm used to because of the extra speed. Too many days of mushburgers and I forget what may not be a makeable section when it's waist high will be entirely makeable on an overhead day.

  5. #5
    1. make sure you have the right board. being undergunned is not fun.
    2. make sure you know the break, and what it involves when it gets big.
    3. make sure you are in the right physical shape to deal with being caught inside.
    4. trust your rail. you need it when dropping into a hollow 12 footer in a completely different way than you are used to when messing around in "normal" east coast surf.
    5. pay attention to those around you. not seeing a set coming can be costly. if someone perks up and starts paddling for the horizon, do the same before you even can confirm a set is coming. you'll be first in line for a wave if there is a set, and if there isn't one, who cares...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    milton delaware
    Posts
    1,546
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    269
    Quote Originally Posted by DawnPatrolSUP View Post
    What adjustments do you make to your technique when you are facing larger than normal surf? More specifically long period ground swell in the HH-DOH range w/offshore winds.
    Depends a lot on the location. In the perfect point waves of El Salvador, I loved being able to ride HH+ long period power on the same 6'2" quad that i ride in chest high waves. Doing a bunch of playful turns and roundhouse cutback on 8 foot faces is a huge rush.

    In HH+ beach break with offshores, I ride a longer board to get in earlier..for me that 6'2" is gonna stay home and I'll be on a 6'6" or 7'0". Around here those waves are mostly fast and barrelling so turns arent that much of a factor anyway. But thats me, my friends will still be on their shortboards.

    Paddle harder, earlier, more committed, and with the nose pointed a bit down the line to get the rail set quicker once I'm on my feet...scrubbing speed on a true bottom turn too often gets me axed. The guys who surf better than i do can pull off the bottom turn to stall to barrell in the big stuff but i just seem to get crushed.

    I'm goofy, and when the conditions are like that i tend to really look for the lefts because i find those wave to be a lot more makeable frontside. I can usually get a couple of quick mid face pumps front side on the takeoff which is huge. Backside on the rights, i usually end up doing a bottom turn and losing a bunch of speed right when i needed it on the takeoff.
    Last edited by mitchell; May 7, 2013 at 11:46 PM.

  7. #7


    Equipment and technique wouldn't matter. But I would make sure I mailed my life insurance payment, finished up my will and wore floating dog tags.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Stayin' Classy in San Diego
    Posts
    2,204
    Quote Originally Posted by fins369 View Post
    1. make sure you have the right board. being undergunned is not fun.
    2. make sure you know the break, and what it involves when it gets big.
    3. make sure you are in the right physical shape to deal with being caught inside.
    4. trust your rail. you need it when dropping into a hollow 12 footer in a completely different way than you are used to when messing around in "normal" east coast surf.
    5. pay attention to those around you. not seeing a set coming can be costly. if someone perks up and starts paddling for the horizon, do the same before you even can confirm a set is coming. you'll be first in line for a wave if there is a set, and if there isn't one, who cares...
    ^ Knowledge

    No substitute for mud on your boots and grease under your nails.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by goosemagoo View Post

    this picture is so badass!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Carolina Beach
    Posts
    855
    Images
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by leethestud View Post
    this picture is so badass!
    That is such a gnarly spot...unreal.