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9 June, 2014

open the book

 Tropicsurf’s senior sensei The Adman came up with this coaching gem.


Beginner to intermediate surfers commonly struggle with backside surfing. Particularly in getting the initial turn around in a direction that they struggle to see clearly. In these instances, the problem is commonly caused by what I call a blocking shoulder.

You will recall the very important point I’ve made before – that where you look is where you go. So technically, you should look to where you want to travel, twist your upper body and then the board will follow in the direction. A little rotation in the correct sequence equals an easy yet magnified effect through the board. Little effort – maximum turn.

One tip to help initiate this rotation process is to ‘open the book’.

Imagine that you are reading and you grab the top corner of the page, rotate your wrist and turn to the next page of the book. This rotation action through the wrist can actually trigger the desired sequence to turn the board.

–       open the book (rotate the wrist)

–       open the leading shoulder

–       open the chest

–       twist through the trunk, torso and hips

–       finish with the trailing arm wrapping around

This sequence will steer the board very effectively with little effort.

Check out the image of Kelly Slater doing just that. With the pressure of a falling Pipe lip, he instinctively rolled the wrist to initiate a rapid rotation to steer him quickly up onto the face before the lip came crashing down on top of him.


Photo: ASP/Cestari – from

I reckon if it works for Kelly it could work for us.

Thanks Adman.



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