Speed is one of the most important things in surfing. Without proper speed you won’t be able to complete even the most basic moves and turns.
Here are 10 tips on how you can surf faster:
1 TOP THIRD OF THE WAVE
Try to surf on the top third part of the wave. Gravity will help you in gaining extra speed.
2 STAY CLOSE TO POCKET
Staying as close to the energy source is probably the best tip for gaining extra speed. You can stay there by doing carving turns or cutbacks. Sometimes surfers stall their board so they end up in the pocket again.
3 WIDER BOTTOM TURN
A good bottom turn is the basis of lots of surfing maneuvers. With a good bottom turn you can actually gain extra speed. If you find yourself losing speed or even stalling when you do a bottom turn, you probably came into the turn too hard, too square. You’ve lost all your momentum that you’ve gained from coming down the wave.
The key to maintaining your speed is to draw a wider arching line with your knees bend and staying low. If done perfectly you will actually generate more speed with your bottom turn.
4 MORE VOLUME
Generally speaking the more foam a board has the faster it will glide through the water. Different tail shapes, concaves and rail types also affect the drive of the board.
surfer and surfboard
5 LESS ROCKER
Less rocker (the curvature of the surfboard’s foam) will result in a faster board that is harder to turn. A flatter board will work very well on smaller waves when you don’t have larger waves to help generate speed.
6 SHIFT WEIGHT TO FRONT FOOT
If you apply too much pressure on your back foot you have a chance of stalling your board. Instead shift some weight to your front foot and feel the board picking up speed.
7 RAIL TO RAIL
Pro surfers constantly surf from rail to rail. They are constantly turning or pumping from side to side. This is how they maintain and generate most of their speed. It is mainly done on high performance shortboards but can also be done with other surfboards.
Pumping barrel Photo by Aquaviva
Pumping describes the action of going up and down the wave. It usually happens on the steep section of the wave. The higher you are the more speed you will generate when going down. Once you are down decompress your legs and spring back up the wave. Repeat this a couple of times and you will be generating sufficient speed for your next turn or move.
9 TRIMMING & BOUNCING
To trim the surfboard transfer weight between your toe side and heel side. This will pull you up and down the face of the wave and help you to maintain or generate speed.
Generating speed by bouncing is when you place your weight on the back foot lifting the nose out of the water. Then shift your weight to the front foot and push down. Doing this repeatedly is called bouncing and is usually done on flat sections in smaller surf.
10 CLEAR WAX BOTTOM
Be sure to scrape off any wax from the bottom of your board. The smoother your surfboard, the more fluid it will glide through the water.