Tips and Tricks: Surf Park wave entry is key to surfing well. Here’s how to do it
Urbnsurf Melbourne is the only surf environment in Australia with a controlled, consistent take-off location. With this, a surfer can guarantee where and when each wave will break… and that no one will be on your inside.
By understanding the where and when of each wave, a surfer can take complete ownership of their wave entry, thus enabling them to maximize every meter of every wave they ride.
Ever notice how the best surfers are always going fast on takeoff? And that they go from takeoff to a major maneuver in time in no time at all? This is all due to wave entry.
Cartwheels and nosedives on takeoff bogged first turns, missed sections, and blown tubes, can all be symptoms of inefficient wave entry.
With all of this said, wave entry is often the most overlooked and ignored part of the surfing experience, particularly at URBNSURF where a surfer’s focus is on the glory is the rippable turn sections and slabbing tubes.
Wave Entry can be broken into several components: Positioning, Paddle Speed and Leaping to Feet.
Your surfing experience at Urbnsurf Melbourne will greatly improve by nailing these three components. Our Surf Better Now coaches believe that a ride at the peak begins well before the swell line comes through the fence out of ROARY’S teeth.
Note: The video below features some great examples of what not to do.
Note: The video below features some waves mostly taken from the Melbourne Pool Party presented by URBNSURF, showing poor VS efficient wave entry. Note that in the poor examples where the takeoff is complete, the quality of the first maneuver is compromised.
How can we improve our wave entry? By addressing each of the three key components.
Your surf guide at URBNSURF Melbourne isn’t just in the water for lineup management, they are your key to knowing where to sit and when to paddle, especially when the wave settings change mid-session. Listen to these guys, they know through time in the water. If you don’t have a guide close enough to ask, watch the best surfers in your session and see where they sit and when they begin to paddle.
Our advice through all settings is; – Sit close to the wall, close enough to reach out and touch it. – Sit far enough out to give yourself a good run up into the wave, too far in and you will have a late takeoff. – Turn and begin paddling early, to negate the ‘suck out’ as a new wave approaches.
Paddle hard, paddle strong. It’s simple. The speed and momentum gained from paddling is essential for powering down and into a wave, especially on the larger wave settings. The takeoff at URBNSURF rears it’s head as the wave reflects off the concrete wall and catches many surfers off guard. It may look cool to be casual, gently roll over a few strokes and take off late and airdrop into your ride, but this cool style doesn’t equate to speed off the bottom.
By positioning yourself far enough out to have a run-up, you have the time and space to paddle hard and strong.
A detailed breakdown of paddle technique can be found on Level 3 of Surf Better Now.
LEAP TO FEET
Leap to feet is the age old test of a surfer. It is no coincidence that the best surfers in the world all have elite takeoffs.
The faster and more efficiently a surfer can transition from prone to standing, the greater ‘skate ramp effect’ they unlock and the higher the surfer will drop in from on the ‘ramp’. The higher the drop in, the greater the speed.
The analogy is simple, drop in from the top of the ramp = maximum speed. Drop in half way up the ramp = half available speed.
Drop in from the bottom = no speed. At Surf Better Now we understand that improving a surfer’s leap to feet technique can take time as habits tend to be well established and many surfers may never achieve the perfect takeoff.
We can’t stress enough how important the leap to feet is, even a 10% increase in efficiency will lead to major improvements in wave entry and subsequently a surfers ability to capitalise on each and every ride they have.
Efficient wave entry buys a surfer time to perform whatever they want on a wave. As a surfer you’ve parted with your hard-earned cash to enjoy the URBNSURF experience, the best preparation you can do is work on your leap to feet and your awareness of the three components of wave entry prior to your visit to Tullamarine.
Editor’s Note: This column is a part of a collaboration with Surfing Victoria and Surf Better Now who regularly use the Urbnsurf wave pool to improve coaching techniques. You can view the other Surf Better Now member blog entries below and find out more in the Member section of the website.