Surf Better: Lose the Rudders and Surf Black Ball

Find improvement by refining hip and shoulder movements and foot placement. 
Julian Wilson, Owning Lowers © ASP/Rowland
By Derek Rielly

You want technical? How about losing the three-finner (or the quad) for the day, for the week even, and get some alone time on a craft that requires more than a heavy back foot and a frenzy of hip shaking to turn.

Get thee finless.

Buy or borrow a Catch Surf, El Nino, whatevs. And take that finless piece of foam to the swimming area where there ain't a soul who's going to rain on your trip.

It ain't easy.

You try and paddle and the tail swings out. You eventually catch a wave, a pretty little roll-in, and you're into a 360 before you've had a chance to get your bearings. This keeps happening.

But then you learn: keep low, one foot on a back corner, the other way up front. You realise it's all in the shoulders and the hips. Swing your shoulders and the turn starts, crane your neck and the spin completes. Your back foot holds the tail into the wave's face.

Pretty soon you're achieving top speeds that are kinda blinding. Forehand reverses with frontside and backside spins. And you start doing 'em consecutively! Get dizzy!

And you're improving! If you couldn't do spin tricks on your regular board before, now you have a grounding on the fundamentals.

Don't write in. I know, I know. Adding fins to the equation changes shit.

But now you've got three-quarters of the game down, loosing and reconnecting fins is the final puzzle.

Keep improving! Keep thinking!

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