Thanks for the tips last year everyone. I have some more questions now. I was wondering how people approach steep waves. Most waves in summer crumble and are not very steep. I have no problem riding these. The very vertical steep waves are giving me trouble. I have noticed the past few days have very steep waves including this morning. How do you approach these differently? I've been getting slammed with these types of waves and the nose of my board is practically going right into the sand. If you have any tips I would appreciate it. Thanks.
Steep waves are tricky...but...are the best in my opinion. First off, you "should" have the right board for it. You don't have to but it will help out a lot. I like to use my roundtail on hollow steep days. Basically...you drop in on more of an extreme angle. I usually will bring my knees up to my chest as soon as I drop....this way I am on the face of the wave. When the waves are hollow/steep usually the the wave is fast.....so popping up a little faster can help too.
It takes practice man......steep waves were a problem with me when I started too.
First, you need to have the right board as others have mentioned. There needs to be some rocker on the board in order to avoid pearling. The less rocker, the more you will need to adjust your stance/balance towards the back of the board.
Second, you need to commit entirely to the wave and paddle with more force than what is usually required for a crumbling wave. Start paddling into the wave earlier as well - the steeper the wave, the more difficult it becomes to catch it late. You should also keep your head down and weight forward, so that you put all of your energy into catching the wave. Confidence is key.
Third, head straight down the face of the wave and then bottom turn. It is nearly impossible (unless you are pro) to catch a steep wave at an angle. The rail of the board will most likely cut into the face of the wave and you will be slammed by the breaking wave. Paddle straight down the face of the wave.
Finally, practice practice practice! Don't be afraid to wipe out.
riding a big funshape type board will be no help... but i also like to take off at more of an angle, and one huge factor is commitment.. if cant commit to the waves you'll most likely be sucked over the falls, hurt, or just watch a good wave go by...
but i've noticed the steep drops on low tide too. some of them are ridiculous, but a lot are make-able, but ive adjusted
It is nearly impossible (unless you are pro) to catch a steep wave at an angle.
Damn dude...I must be a pro then. I find that if you drop straight and then initiate a bottom turn u lose speed. Like I said before....steep, hollow waves ARE fast waves. If you can't pop up fast you are not gonna make it anyway. The best way in my eyes to catch a steep wave is to angle in on it. I didn't say it was cake....It's a learning experience...
I think timing plays a big part in catching steep waves. Trying to catch it early helps a lot, so if you see a big set coming, start paddling and generating speed, and catch the wave early so you are up before the wave becomes "steep" and starts to break. I think this is a good way to practice your drops, gain some confidence, and after some time you can take off the steep wave with less problems.
One sick thing I saw this weekend was a video of Kelly Slater surfing Shipstern's bluff early this year. This is a fast wave that jacks up like no other, and I noticed that he tries to catch the wave at an angle and almost immediately after he pops up he does a pump across the top of the wave face to avoid free falling. Makes it look so easy. Go search for the vid to see what I'm talking about.