Perfecting your Take Off

Perfecting your Take Off

There are many different types of waves that you have to take off on whether it be steep or fat waves. You could be riding a longboard, you could be riding shortboard or other variations.
It is important to get the most efficiency out of your paddling, especially when taking off.

So for this article we will assume you are riding a shortboard in a good beach break with a steep face. The benefit of a short board is you can turn and go, so let's not underestimate that judgement part of surfing where you put yourself in a good position to catch a wave.

Josh Kerr has some very useful tips for perfecting your take off. Notice he talks a lot about your eyes -:

That's why my eyes are actually looking down at first, as you'll see as I'm about to get my feet underneath me. You'll see my eyes transition to look straight down the line.
...So if you're looking at the bottom of the wave on a steep take off, you're pretty much gonna go dead straight, you're going to nosedive more often than not.

Josh Kerr

Getting to your feet needs to be in one smooth movement.

Notice Josh's back is arched as he paddles into the last few strokes. On steep waves arching your back and gaining momentum in the trough of the wave will help avoid being too high on the wave and trying to push your weight forward in a last minute attempt to get down the face. Pushing your weight forward can actually cause a slight lack of momentum with the curve of the nose pushing into the wave.

A surfer like Josh Kerr will position themselves perfectly and will also have a lot of power in their arms. So the last two strokes is important.

Not everyone agrees with the theory of arching your back on waves. Refer to this YouTube video "Oreo Biscuit Technique".

Body Shape

In terms of paddling, long arms win "hands down". Shorter surfers may have a slight advantage at getting to their feet, however tall lanky surfers can really generate some paddling power.

Hence everything should be adjusted to what works for you, your body shape, your weight, the boards you ride and the wave conditions. Experiment to see what works to maximise your take off potential.

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