Catching green waves
Once you’re out in the lineup and ready to catch some green (unbroken) waves. Before going for one, spend a few minutes watching where the other surfers are taking off and how the waves are breaking. Don’t paddle for closeouts – only go for waves which are peeling. Remember to look both ways along a wave before paddling for it—another surfer may already be up and riding.
The technique for catching green waves is similar as the technique for whitewater, except that you need to get to your feet quicker and keep your balance as you drop down the face of the wave. This can make your ‘pop’ easier (as your board drops away from you it’s easier to get your feet on it), but be careful not to lean too far forward as you may nosedive…
Making the drop
Whether it’s two foot or six foot surf, the principles remain the same. After making sure you have enough speed to catch the wave smoothly and get to your feet, you should shift your weight slightly forward onto your front foot, focussing on the wave face and looking for any lumps or bumps that may trip you up on the way down, then adjust your angle of descent depending on the steepness of the wave and what the approaching section looks like.
The trick to pulling off late drops is confidence. If you go hard and strong you are more likely to drive down the wave face than if you hesitating at the top and falling off the back of the wave, or worse still getting dragged over the falls rodeo style!
In order to get used to the waves and catch plenty of waves, many girls choose to give bodyboarding a try. Just grab a suitably sized board (one that reaches your belly button when it’s stood in front of you), get a pair of swim fins and go for it. Any kind of waves can be ridden, and the board is soft so you don’t have to worry about being hit by it. Plus it’s smaller and lighter so it’s easier to lug around, and it’s easier to paddle out.
Within a few sessions you should be proficient enough to paddle outback into the line up, catch unbroken waves and ‘trim’ along.
Bodyboarding provides easily achievable goals, plus it’s easier to keep your balance, and you get a great sensation of speed as you’re closer to the wave. Check out the ThreeSixty Bodyboard Manual for more information about the sport, available from www.orcashop.co.uk
For more tips, advice and everything you need to know about surfing order The Surf Girl Handbook, £14.99 from www.thesurfgirlbeachboutique.com