Today's TIP is a continuation in a 5 part series about doing intervals in the surf zone, and therefore staying SAFE in the surf zone.
In Tip #10 we talked about using your short intervals with long rest to practice beach starts. But, not everyone has experience doing beach starts if there are waves involved... so we delved into how to do these beach starts safely!
Tip #11 was probably the most important tip for surf zone noobs, elaborating on NEVER GETTING IN BETWEEN THE BOARD AND THE BEACH!
Tip #12 got a little more technical, and addressed keeping your board nose pointed perfectly perpendicular to the waves to ensure a smooth punch out through the surf.
We stayed technical for Tip #13 and talked about where you should think about distributing your body weight as you pass over the wave.
In all of these scenarios we're going to be using Tip #9 (My All-Time favorite: THE LOW BRACE!)
Todays Tip is #14, and its about getting back in through the surf. Maybe you're doing your interval, finishing a race on the beach, or just trying to catch a few waves for fun. In any case, you'll want to know where to stand and how to fall so you don't get clobbered by your board.
Just like punching out, surfing in is very challenging on your knees because you're not as mobile. If you stay in the standing area kneeling, you're likely to dive the nose into the water and be catapulted off the front of the board. It can be done, though, and it is more stable. Just remember that when the wave picks you up and you start flying, you need to scoot, scoot, scoot to the back as fast as possible to keep the nose up! When you're surfing in, you still don't want to get between the board and the beach, so walking or scooting to the back is very important!
Whether you kneel or stand while trying to catch a wave in:
1) Being at the back of your board is safe, if you fall you just fall off the back out towards the open ocean. You won't encounter your board or any breaking wave. Worst case scenario when walking back is that you walk/scoot right off the back and have to get back on.
2) Walking to the back gives you CONTROL over your board. It is when you're standing over the fin that you can steer and turn the board on the wave.
3) Walking/scooting to the back keeps the nose out of the water so you can make it all the way to shore.
Keep paddling, and once the board takes off and you start walking or scooting, keep that paddle in the low brace position like a kick stand keeping you stable!
If you wipe out, don't stress about getting back on. You can try to get back up, start kneeling, then standing, but if Mother Nature has other plans for you DON'T PANIC. Keep the nose of the board facing toward shore and climb on the back and ride it in like a boogie board with your legs dangling off the back.