Sometimes in life, taking the high road can get you out of the headache of meaningless squabbles and strife. It works for surfing as well. In fact, it is a key element to my ability to gain speed in these gutless waves Florida is known for.
Watch this video of Kolohe Andino:
Video from svrfboard’s YouTube channel.
Think of a wave as a moving hill. As it approaches shallow sections, the top part of the wave pushes over the lower part and breaks. Due to this process, the upper part of the wave holds the energy while the lower part does not. So staying to low in the trough will only rob you of your speed.
Things to Note:
When Kolohe takes off, he is taking off at an angle and he is staying high on the face unless the wave is steep and has enough push for him to do a full bottom turn. He also stays high on the face after coming out of his cutbacks as well. This is giving him the speed to set up his turns down the line.
Sometimes when the wave moves over a deep spot and is getting close to the shore, a good strategy is to get high on the face and hold a high line shifting your weight onto your back foot. From there, you can evaluate where the next breaking section will be and what you will need to do to finish off the wave in the best way possible. This also eliminates the need to over bounce your board to get over the flat sections.
Give it a go and see how much it helps your small wave surfing!