Saturday, July 02, 2005

Feet Feats

A quick question about foot placement for more experienced surfers than me:

How do you get your feet in the right place when you pop up?

I seem to always jump up and find myself riding toward the middle of my board. I even bought a tail pad so that I'd be able to feel when my back foot is in the right place. I can get my foot back on the tail if I consciously shuffle back after the drop, but shouldn't it already be there? I literally can see my footprints in my wax and by back foot mark is right in front of the traction pad and to the left of the stringer. This makes sense, since I always seem to be going left on smallish waves, but I want my back foot to be in a more active spot from the giddyup. When I'm trimming, it seems to be no big deal, but I have noticed that turning really is a super bitch from the center of my stick. Any tips?

I'm doing the traditional "American small town 4th of July" this weekend in Ashland, so I won't be able to put your suggestions into action until next week. Oh the woes of being landlocked again...

Music: The Wedding Present - "Kennedy"

6 comments:

Whiffleboy said...

For what it's worth, I have a traction pad on two of my boards and, I tell ya, I can't feel that damn thing in the heat of the moment. With water splashing around, adrenalin pumping, and tons of things to concetrate on, my foot and what it thinks is under it just aren't on my radar at times.

To counteract this, sometimes when I'm waxing up, I look at where I want my foot to be and tell myself "put your foot there. It has worked remarkably on several occasions.

You can always do the practice on dry ground thing with your popups but, personally, I was too embarassed to do that.

Chum said...

Thanks Whiff,

I've also practiced the dry ground popup (to the amusement of my wife), and it did help a little. Too bad my board isn't as predictable as a massive area rug...

RuggerJay said...

Chum - just surf, surf, surf. One of the things with surfing is that there's a great deal of "muscle memory" involved with your pop-ups. The more you do it the more natural it will become. The trouble with dry land practice is just that - it's on dry land, and I know that in my popups I can make very slight adjustments depending how I'm dropping into a wave. Another thing is that a popup is an explosive movement; as you become fatigued, you're going to get less power out of your muscles and that'll affect things (good exercise for this is doing power cleans with weights).

The other bit of advice - enlist the wife to videotape your sessions.

Great blog, BTW!

Chum said...

The fatigue thing is huge with me. I've been known to stay out four hours at a time. The end of a marathon session is when I feel the lamest, doing summersaults during takeoffs, etc, because I just don't have it in the tank anymore. Luckily, I usually don't feel too bad when a perfect wave peels away unridden when the only souls to scoff at me are my buddies and a seal lion or two. Thanks for checking out my blog!

Anonymous said...

I assume up there in Oregon you're probably wearing booties which will really affect how much you can feel the tail pad. You might try to remove your pad and replace it with one of those one inch wide, one inch high strips that goes over the stringer and then put wax on the rest of the tail area. Then you will feel it even though you have on booties. Or don't wear booties. Putting a tail pad definitely helped me out with the same problem. You need have your foot over the fins on a thruster to make it turn well.

Country Honk said...

I have a feeling that your board (I assume shortboard) may be too long or to small for the waves you are riding. If, when you pop up you are farther up on the board, but you are trimming then that is where you should be on that board. If not you would be pushing water and slugging. When I ride a 7'0" single fin I tend to ride closer to the middle as the wide point is farther up towards the nose. Without seeing your board it will be hard to give any other advice.You could always get a fish where there is really only one spot for your feet to be. :?)