29 April 2006

You Call That Praying?

I said pray for "decent, plentiful waves," not pray for gutless knee high waves. What? You didn't get the memo about the praying thing? Everything today went according to plans except for the waves. When the waves are that few, far between, and small, I always end up sitting out on my board saying, "This is stupid." And it was. It was just stupid. There was nothing out there. The little somethings that I got were not necessarily worth a paddle out at RPB. There simply wasn't enough swell in the water. Still, the session wasn't a complete wash. I went out there knowing it was time to start working on style. I'm ready to move to the next level in my longboard surfing, but it's taken me until now to figure out what's holding me back. So I've watched videos of pros and looked at pictures of myself, trying to determine what it is I need to be doing. Then it finally hit me: I need to be more relaxed. I need to look less like this—

and more like this

I've been thinking about this for weeks now. I've told myself to start surfing with my arms down. Of course your arms will go out as you balance yourself to walk the board or turn, but when you watch good longboard surfers you notice that the default position for their arms is down at their sides. So, I worked on that today. In fact, I did it without problem. Believe it or not, I think it helps. Even though I was forcing the issue, surfing with my arms down made me more relaxed. A longboard is not a tightrope. There's a lot of space there for your feet. Therefore there's no reason why your arms should be sticking out as if you're preparing to head down the runway for your take-off. I'd always wondered why some longboarders hunch when they surf. Then I felt myself doing it. I don't know where it came from. It's as if I had to do that little hunch in order to keep my arms down and stay relaxed. It's funny that I can't just be relaxed. I have to force it. Still, I think that's because I'm now ridding myself of bad habits which are second nature. Doing something new is confusing and stressful. But, hey, if you're going to ride a longboard with style, you've got to consciously develop your style. And that's what I'm doing. So the session wasn't a complete failure.


At 5/3/06, 10:13 AM, Blogger puttzle said...

Didn't the picture of 'yourself' that you have previously posted show you with your hands behind your back? Looked like you were stylish then. Stop being so concerned with style and have FUN! Hope all else is going well. Aloha.


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