I just returned from a surf holiday with my mate Stu. Some mighty fine waves were enjoyed (see image below) and it was nice to get offline away from connectivity.
The wave we surfed packed some punch. The take-offs were fast, sucky and powerful. I found myself lacking many times – dropping in too steep and too late, often behind the game and not making the miniscule opportunity granted to tuck under the menacing lip.
It took me a while to realize how half-hearted I was about my paddle-ins. Being a scrawny little fella, and naturally lack a strong paddle. Genetically, maybe I am behind the eight ball already? (My excuse and I’m sticking to it.)
In the end, what I found helped me the most was to add a strong and powerful freestyle kick to boost my paddle power.
For years, I had taught paddlers lacking in power to kick in order to increase their speed and get into the wave earlier. However many people told me that they don’t like it for varying reasons. It puts them off balance. It spoils their glide. They’d rather just do a double-arm paddle should they need speed.
Well for my liking, I am going back to recommending the kick. A good hard, freestyle kick combined with a serious intention to catch that damned wave – early and definitively. In the end it did wonders for me in steep, sucky waves and I still think it will do wonders for you.
Looks easy right?
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