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12 April, 2014

Behind the Peak

Sorry … today’s post is not for the kiddies.

Normally I try to write something that is relevant to beginners, intermediates and surfers of all abilities. But then I was watching Aussie surfer Josh Kerr at the ASP Margaret River Pro and I couldn’t help but comment on his adept approach to taking off at one of the world’s trickier waves – The Box which is just a few hundred metres North of the famed Margaret River surf break.

Whilst some of the best surfers in the world were getting hung up in the lip at take off and subsequently thrown over the falls, Kerrzy basically figured out that taking off in the steepest part of the pitching lip was a lot more suicidal than finding a gentler slope-in on the back-side of the peak.

He humbly commented that taking off deeper, behind the peak was really easy – just more of a mind over matter feat than anything.

He seemed to be onto it because he progressed to the quarter finals with a flawless performance and stand-out performance. He definitely made it look easier than everybody else.

Think about it right? Why take off in the steepest, throwing part of the pitching lip when just a few metres deeper is a less threatening area to allow you the time to get to your feet, get organized and set your line.

Many steep waves around the world have what surfers might call a ‘ramp-in’ or a ‘button.’ Don’t assume the entire face is all the same. Look for a tiny area of wave face that is less steep and try to take off from there. In many cases, this could actually be ‘behind the peak.’

In Kerrzy’s case, not only did he get into the wave early, but it also positioned him deeper which allowed him to get well and truly barrelled.

Like he said – it’s just a bit of mind over matter. But when you understand the mechanics in action, and the logic behind the decision, you can at least develop a better game plan aimed at giving you the best chance of getting in early.

Then all you need to do is harden up.



Getting in Early – Behind the Peak:-

(Images by Jamie Scott)

Reaping the Rewards:

Result of taking off IN the Peak:-

Image by ASP / Kelly Cestari


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