How to leave the whitewater behind and drop-in to green waves
Are you ready to take your surng to the next level? Get ready to say goodbye to the white water and see surng in a whole new light because it’s time to paddle out a little further and surf those peeling waves. Once you’ve surfed a green wave and capture
Watch the waves
Firstly, make sure you watch the waves before you paddle out, so you can see where they are breaking and can decide where the best place to sit is. Remember that there’s no point sitting in the spot where the waves aren’t breaking, so resist the urge to avoid the waves and get amongst it.
Eyes on the prize
Keep your eyes on the horizon – you want to be ready when the waves come. Keep checking out back to see where the swell is coming in and make sure you paddle to the peak, not away from it. It’s always a good idea to mark your line-up with a point on the beach. Find an object that won’t move, like a lifeguard hut or a tree. That way you know where to paddle back to after each wave. It will also keep you in check if there’s a rip.
Try to lie down on the surfboard as much as you can between surfs – if you’re still new to surfing, it’s important to be as responsive as possible. You want to be ready to turn and paddle at any point. If you’re sitting on your surfboard it will become much more of faff to get the wave. As you progress more you can start sitting on the board and relaxing a little.
Size and shape
The size and shape of the wave will determine how you approach the drop in. If the wave is slow and rolling you can paddle straight on, easing into your take off. However, if you’re surfing a wave that is steeper, you will want to angle your take off, avoiding the barrelling part of the wave. Paddle with your surfboard at a slight angle, with the nose of the surfboard pointing away from the peeling section of the wave.
Using the momentum of the wave and speeding up your paddling, you will feel the wave pick you up and push you forward. This is when you want to pop up to your feet. Keeping an arch in your back and your knees compressed will reduce the chance of falling off. Avoid straightening your legs and standing upright.
Finding the right time to get to your feet is key. If you get up too early the wave will pass you by and if you get up too late you run the risk of nose diving and going over the falls. As a general rule, we always advise doing a few extra paddles to ensure you’re on the wave. This will allow you to get into a gliding motion with the wave. Keep your eyes down the line of the wave and try and avoid looking down at your feet!
Once you’re up and riding it’s time to set your inside edge and turn across the wave. You don’t want to surf straight to be beach like you did on the white water, you want to stay out on the open face, adjusting your weight through your toes and heels. For your first few green waves it’s best to just try and stay on the green face for as long as possible and make the most of the wave. Keep watching the wave and try and figure out what it is going to do. Reading waves will come with practice and, like every aspect of surfing, the more you surf the better you will become.
Keep practising, surf as much as you can and don’t give up! Surfing is a marathon, not a race.