Things t work on:
Check out the list below and rotate between attempting to focus on one at a time to refine your skills and perfect smooth, stylish manoeuvres that make longboarding so fundamentally eye-catching.
This is the crucial set up that drives the board into the perfect positioning needed to balance the board in the pocket – where the green wave is breaking. With longboarding you can take your time to get to your feet, but a swift and smooth pop-up will have a direct effect on your bottom turn. Ensure your feet go to the correct place to respond to the steepness of the wave, keep a deep bend and rotation through your knees and navigate by putting weight onto the fin to pivot the board with ease.
Cruising along the face, minimum effort and maximum style is where it’s at. Knock-knees and feet close together is the classic Malibu stance. To trim it’s essential to find the sweet spot of the wave, and that is something you master with waves, time and dedication. I’ve learnt to step back first, to put the brake on in order to slow my board and lock the fin into place – into the pocket – letting the wave do the work. If you need to lock-in even more, put weight onto your inside rail.
If you find you’re loosing speed, turn the board up the wave so it can glide down with more momentum. Alternatively, if you’re heading for the shoulder, where there is less power and peel, cut back and reposition closer to the curl.
Being able to balance on one foot while riding the surfboard on a wave is at the root of this move. To get there practise slowly and precisely, lifting off one foot then the other. The sooner you get used to moving, the sooner you can enjoy this freedom – and, if your board is trimming along, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t go for it. Using speed shuffles may get you a few feet forward, but distributing your weight evenly through each balancing leg will allow you to progress, stall the board if needed and control your movements to feel the equilibrium, rather than running off the end.
The créme de la créme! This is the destination point for all longboarders and really heralds the source of longboarding fun. To develop this skill you need to have trained your body to move quickly and delicately, reading the parts of the wave that really allow the board to trim and you to move. It’s a lot about the type of wave too – a long point break will make this easier to learn and you should be aiming to keep your board in the upper third of the wave. Using your cross steps, head forward and back, determining the last possible point you can be the furthest place forward before stacking it, then, trying to keep the board on the wave, move to the back. Keep playing, again and again, and see how far you get. All toes over the nose counts as a hang 10, so no cheating!
Coming off the end of the wave marks the finishing point, the full stop, so it is important to keep it looking sharp! Bring your weight back towards the fin and the inside rail and try and use your whole body to swing the board off the back of the wave. Grab the board into your hands, lie on your front and quickly straighten it up to paddle back out to the peak. If you’ve never thought about what you do to complete a wave this will revolutionise your surfing, it also looks beautiful when nailed, so work on it as much as your bottom turns.