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how do you know where you are on the wave?
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LoTekSurf



Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts:
Location: Philadelphia PA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:52 am    Post subject: how do you know where you are on the wave? Reply with quote

This might seem like an odd question but it's something I always think about after bodyboarding. How do you know what's going on with the wave and where you are on it when riding prone? On the handful of times I actually managed to stand up on my longboard on smaller waves I could easily look around and see my position on the wave and where the wave is breaking. When riding prone I always feel like it's just "point and shoot". I feel like I go through the "proper" motions of drop in, bottom turn, and up into the lip but I never really know where I am at the time because my filed of view is so limited.

Does everyone else ride more or less blind or is it more of a "feel" thing you gain with time. Or maybe I need to adjust my position so I can turn my head around more.

I don't know, everything happens so fast. Where I ride in NJ most rides only last 5-10 seconds, especially during the summer. It's difficult to feel like I'm really in control of the board and the ride.

Still having lots of fun though! Some of the few times in life that I catch myself laughing out loud while alone.
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Nels
Dolphin Glider


Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Posts: 340
Location: Ventura County, California

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's tough when you are riding beach break, especially if it's short-period waves or just close-out areas. One thing that will help is to watch the surf before you go out - then you can guess/anticipate what the waves are probably doing ahead of you.
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OG-AZN



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
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Location: Norcal

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When they're new to bodyboarding, a lot of folks tend to ride with their arms and hands evenly parallel to each other, with their upper body angled down towards the nose of the board, and their eyes focused there too. That's not good for down the line vision or board control. Watch some pro bodyboard videos and look at the arm and upper body position of the riders, and compare to your own. It helps to get someone to take some video of you, so you can see your current riding technique. You basically want to have your upper body in a position that elevates your head as high as possible, and your point of focus should be down the line of the wave, not towards the tip of the nose. It helps to have decent wave to ride too, not an instant closeout. Hopefully you get some in a few weeks.
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rodndtube
Dolphin Glider


Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Posts: 690
Location: USA, MD, Baltimore

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of it will come with time and experience as you begin to acquire an innate sense of the waves at different kinds of breaks. My biggest challenge is in strong offshore wind conditions when the spray is blowing hard in my face (especially during those blind drop late takeoffs).
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rodNDtube
"Prone to ride"
I love my papa li`ili`i
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LoTekSurf



Joined: 02 Jul 2011
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Location: Philadelphia PA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input everyone! I am going to Wrightsville Beach in a few weeks with the family and I'm hoping for a decent swell and also hoping I can get my wife to video a couple of rides. I think my hand position is good (inside hand on the nose, outside hand on the rail) but I suspect I'm laying down too much instead of lifting my head. I've watched many pro bodyboarding videos and I'm always surprised at how arched their backs are. I am probably looking at the nose of the board too much also.

Maybe this fall when the swells are bigger things will click a little more. I often feel like I'm missing something when I read posts and articles about board flex and different rail designs. My rides never seem long enough to tell any difference and I keep wondering if I'm doing something wrong that I'm not getting more out of the waves I catch.

BTW, I recently built my first paipo (solid wood, Wegener type shape) and rode it for the first time last weekend. Wow, it feels so much more natural than riding foam. I can't wait to get it into some bigger waves.
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Uncle Grumpy



Joined: 15 Jan 2007
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Location: San Clemente

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will see various riding styles.
I never could figure out that really extreme arched back style associated with many of the "boogie" type bodyboarders.
You don't see that style as much with folks riding old school paipo/alaia's.
I prefer the stretched out flyin' like Superman approach but I also like the longer boards.
One thing I learned years ago about riding waves;
Always be looking at where you'd like to go down the line on the wave. Wink
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RNT808



Joined: 11 Sep 2007
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Location: Makawao Maui

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aloha LoTek,

OG-AZNís and Uncle Grumpy's advice about focusing down the line is right on. Projecting your attention ahead of you allows you to see the wave developing as it shapes up and gives you a much better sense of where you are and what is happening. I find it especially helpful in setting myself up to beat a section or getting in the barrel
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rodndtube
Dolphin Glider


Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Posts: 690
Location: USA, MD, Baltimore

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LoTekSurf wrote:
Thanks for the input everyone! I am going to Wrightsville Beach in a few weeks with the family and I'm hoping for a decent swell and also hoping I can get my wife to video a couple of rides. I think my hand position is good (inside hand on the nose, outside hand on the rail) but I suspect I'm laying down too much instead of lifting my head. I've watched many pro bodyboarding videos and I'm always surprised at how arched their backs are. I am probably looking at the nose of the board too much also.


Like Uncle Grumpy said a rider will tend to be more stretched out and horizontal on those long, narrow wood boards. I hadn't given it much thought to head posture until you mentioned it so went back to look at some of my own pictures. Yeah, my head and back appears arched... not nearly so when I paddle out.




LoTekSurf wrote:
Maybe this fall when the swells are bigger things will click a little more. I often feel like I'm missing something when I read posts and articles about board flex and different rail designs. My rides never seem long enough to tell any difference and I keep wondering if I'm doing something wrong that I'm not getting more out of the waves I catch.


There are lots of options and preferences out there when it comes to board design. Nobody has the patent on the perfect design! Most designs are optimized or are tradeoffs. For example, if you maximize speed in your design then it becomes harder to turn. Then we all have preferences for different styles of wave riding and for the different types of waves we ride. Also, being a fellow DelMarVa East Coast sand bar break rider our waves are just going to be different than riding at tropical reefs or point breaks. Sounds like we need to get you on a good overseas trip for some serious water time!

LoTekSurf wrote:
BTW, I recently built my first paipo (solid wood, Wegener type shape) and rode it for the first time last weekend. Wow, it feels so much more natural than riding foam. I can't wait to get it into some bigger waves.


Good for ya! But, I am still hooked on my poly/glass boards Wink
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I love my papa li`ili`i
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kage
Dolphin Glider


Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 286
Location: Santa Cruz

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dang! Lots of opinions on this topic, I think arched back gives you some better view, and I'm with Rod on the problem of too much spray in the face messing up the vision. But my first thought was maybe you are a little late on the wave? If you are traveling down the face of a wave and it's clean you should be able to see all over the place.
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LoTekSurf



Joined: 02 Jul 2011
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Location: Philadelphia PA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kage wrote:
If you are traveling down the face of a wave and it's clean you should be able to see all over the place.


Yep, I can catch waves pretty well and I can see well directly in front of me. I was comparing prone riding to stand up riding on smaller waves where you can see what's happening in front of you, directly next to you and even behind you. I felt like that kind wider vision lets you know whether to speed up, slow down, position higher or lower on the face, and where and it's starting to close out.

I spent a couple of hours last night watching youtube videos of prone riding and stand up alaia and I realized that knowing where that sweet spot is on the wave has little to do with vision. Most, if not all, riders are looking directly down the line unless they are trick riding small waves on the alaia. I think I just need more time in the water to get the feel for it, and maybe take that overseas trip to a nice point break Very Happy

rodndtube wrote:


Good for ya! But, I am still hooked on my poly/glass boards Wink


Ha, I still want to ride an Austin paipo! I was thinking more in comparison to my foam bodyboard. I like the solid feeling of the wood, the bodyboard always feels like a toy even though it is not a cheap model. A poly/glass board will give the same solid feel, though having been a professional woodworker in the past i think I have a affinity for wood.
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ted



Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Hawaii, Big Island

PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Photos, video and people paddling out help the most. The first time I got barreled in Samoa, it took an Aussie paddling out to explain that thrumming waterfall sound!

Looking around, especially over your waveside shoulder, definitely helps. Cutting back or stalling will tell you how far out in front you were. The best way to find out if you're going to make a section is to take a deep breath, trim forward and pray.

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global ernie



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
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Location: northern nsw

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think that wave position awareness is more of a feel/zen thing. to much thinking about what you are doing on a wave will impede rather than enhance the experience, you can replay the event in your mind after you have had the surf. my wife was a competitive ice figure skater and expert trampolinist, she has a natural ability to know where she is in both space
and time. this "body" or kinaesthetic memory is due to two factors. one is lots of repetition and the other factor is your own unique ability. the part of your brain that "contains" this ability is the cerebellum (its the part that gives you that positional awareness relative to space and time). this natural and learnt skill gives my wife way above average potential surfing ability relative to her actual surfing ability, she occassionaly rides a 8' mal in small surf and rides quite well considering her lack of wave knowledge.but she does understand edges and balance, if you have ever skated on ice you will know what i mean. i dont know if there is any real
difference between positional awareness comparing standup to prone.i think the greatest positional awareness exponent of the last 20 years(and this is tough for an aussie to say) is K. Slater by light years.
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Nels
Dolphin Glider


Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Posts: 340
Location: Ventura County, California

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i dont know if there is any real
difference between positional awareness comparing standup to prone.


As one who has done both for a long time, I'd have to say there is vastly more positional awareness in relation to the wave when you stand up. At least overall, if you combine all your surfing experience. If you just ride perfectly formed waves, maybe not so much...and if you do that and there's an open slot, please PM me with your location. Wink

Beyond that I think one's positional awareness is more related/dependent upon past experience - and more so the lower you are as you travel the waves (kneeboard/bodyboard or paipo/handboard/bodysurf).

All that has a downside for me anyway....sometimes I can sit on the beach and watch the waves and evaluate..."I'm there and I'd like to get to there but the waves are closing out a bit or the tide is too high and that section is fat and flat and I'd never make it, which means I have a takeoff and ploop...so what's the point of going out?"

Thinking too much makes life complicated

Nels
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geoffreylevens



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
All that has a downside for me anyway....sometimes I can sit on the beach and watch the waves and evaluate..."I'm there and I'd like to get to there but the waves are closing out a bit or the tide is too high and that section is fat and flat and I'd never make it, which means I have a takeoff and ploop...so what's the point of going out?"

Thinking too much makes life complicated
Well that is certainly familiar. I am always glad though, when I can work my way the rest of the way around the circle and manage to go out. No matter how crappy the conditions, wet is always better. Heck, check some of those videos of Eef in Holland or wherever he is and look close at his big grin! That dude knows which way is up and that's a fact.
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geoffreylevens



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GRRRR Evil or Very Mad Didn't even try to post twice this time. Just hit the "pause" during the upload so I could change some spelling. Oh well

edit: HOLY CRAP! This one was an edit of the above post and it was put up as a new one instead. I'm jinxed, I'm cursed, Huie hates me!!! He hates me because I am free...
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