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HOME arrow FEATURES arrow “Hit that!” Stand Up Paddle Surfing Up a Notch
“Hit that!” Stand Up Paddle Surfing Up a Notch PDF Print E-mail
By: Stand Up Paddle Surfing Magazine   
Friday, 05 December 2008
    Over the summer we had occasion to make it over to California and score some SoCal waves. The boys over at Surftech set us up with stand up paddle boards and placed an order for some really fun waves that arrived right on schedule. It was waist to head high with the occasional plus, clean and crisp. A huge thanks to Ty Zulim, the Surftech national sales manager for arranging it all. (We’ll be sure to put some advance quarters in the wave machine before your next trip to the islands.) On one particular day as we were watching the waves roll in before our paddle out, Ty said, “Hit that! Why doesn’t he hit that?”
    We glanced out over the water to see what he was talking about and he continued, “They ride the wave and when it closes out they just straighten out and that’s it. They should hit that!” What he was referring to was how sissy we sometimes are as stand up paddlers when it comes to more radical maneuvers, hitting the lip, cutting back, pulling in or going for the floater when the wave closes out. It was an enlightening moment.

     Surfing on longboards, shortboards, or stand up paddleboards is an individualistic sport, everyone with their own style. While good times for one surfer could be nothing short of screaming straight across the face of a towering water cliff, to another the ultimate ride may be a casual stance with toes on the nose. Is one style greater than the other? No way.

     So what is this article all about anyway? It’s about venturing beyond your comfort zone and taking your own personal stand up paddle surfing skills to the next step. This does not mean paddling into crowded lineups or surfing in waves beyond your ability or comfort level. It’s about trying something new and venturing to take your skills to the next notch of performance.

     Our SoCal experience is a prefect example. The surfer catches the wave, cruises down the line with a couple small turns, the wave is about to close out and the surfer has a choice to make, straighten out or turn off the bottom of the wave, come up and hit the foam before coming back down again. Of course wave height has a lot to do with the decision, but on this day, in fun shoulder high waves, the consensus from the beach was floating off the top would be the appropriate way to try and finish the wave. Hey, if you don’t make it, what’s the worst that can happen? You get wet. There weren’t any double overhead bombs bearing down behind, so we voted to just go for it!

     For some the next notch is finishing the wave with a floater off the foam, for others it may be hanging five over the nose, for another it may be deep turns off the bottom and throwing spray off the top instead of traveling the path of least resistance. What’s your next move? Close your eyes, and envision where you’d love to see yourself, then find a picture or video of someone else doing just that. Study it closely, analyze their posture and position. Then, next time you’re on the water look for it, and when it comes, “Hit that!”
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