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10 February, 2012

Volcom Pipe Pro

Some of you might have just watched some of the online heats from the Volcom Pipe Pro. I love that stuff.

Now you might not be planning to go surf big Pipe and mix it up with Jamie and the boys. I know I’m not. However I reckon there are some interesting observations that surfers of all abilities should relate to. If you’ve ever wanted to take a later, steep drop (whatever that means for you…) then take a look at some of the footage … then let’s talk:-

When it comes to these steep drops, here’s what I see these guys doing:-

Leaning forward … a LOT! It’s counter-intuitive, but the steeper the drop, the more you should lean forward and try to match your body plane to the steepness of the face. Your aim is to keep your body at a perpendicular angle to the face of the wave. The steeper the drop, the more you lean forward. Nose over nose in waves like this.

Gripping Toes – you can see their toes pushing down hard in order to get that front rail to bite and steer. Feet are not flat. Toes give edge control.

Early bottom turn – With a throwing lip like Pipe, there’s no time for dilly- dallying at the bottom. When I travel and surf fast peeling reef waves, I often see intermediate surfers making the drop, but doing their bottom turn too late. The trick to avoiding that is to paddle in straight at 12 o’clock, but then to engage the toes (or heels) a little bit as soon as you stand up. Do this and the board’s rocker will subtly start to bring you around to avoid that throwing lip and make that section.

Pig Dog – All the late backside drops are squatting on the board and grabbing rail in pigdog stance. If it’s good enough for these guys, it’s good enough for you. Any time you are challenged on your backhand, get low and grab the rail.

Peak – They are paddling in at the most powerful part of the wave. Mind over matter perhaps, but this power zone is where you can catch the wave easier and stand up earlier. Try shoulder hopping on a sucky wave and you’ll get hung up.

Belief – You can almost see it in their determined approach. They are not paddling in wondering what might happen if they get axed. Their body language is all about getting forward and down. Their mind set says “I am soooooooo making this wave.”

Hopefully these few surf coaching observations help you take your own performance to a new level of excitement. Two feet or twenty feet – the coaching principles are the same.

Ross Phillips

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