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3 March, 2012

Pig Dogging in Fiji

Thankfully the surf is never flat forever. This week I’ve attached a photo of Tropicsurf guide and friend Timmy Mitchell pig-dogging a nice left in Fiji. Few do it better than Timmy.

Photo by Scott Winer

Personally I am a big fan of the pig dog. I find it works for beginners, pros and intermediates alike. However many surfers cannot get their head around it.


The purpose of the pigdog stance is stability in times of compromised balance. What this means is that you should pig dog any time you are going backside and worried about falling off. This could be for:-

– A beginner going backhand for the first time in their life
– An intermediate surfer who struggles setting their line on backhand takeoffs
– A pro trying to make a backside drop at 12 foot Teahupoo
– Anybody trying to squeeze into a tight backhand barrel

Why it works

– It gets you extra low and when you are low you are better balanced
– You have an extra connection point to your board (your hand grab)
– It opens up your vision in your line of travel


Take a look at the photo to observe these key features:

– Drop the back knee like a bodyboarder
– Grab the outside rail in between your front foot and knee
– Open your chest so you are forward facing
– You are now virtually glued to your board – it’s almost impossible to fall off
– Steer with your rail-grabbing hand by pushing or pulling on the rail


Don’t expect it to happen naturally. You’ll need practice:

– Do lots of practice assuming the position on dry land.
– Do yoga or stretching for those creaky joints
– Practice it in small or fat waves when you are otherwise underwhelmed
– Study videos and images of the pros then visualize yourself doing same

Like I said – any time you are challenged on your backside, this stance can really help you nail it.


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