Thursday, April 02, 2009

Longboard Helicopter! Shortboard Air?

Today I finally managed a surf move that I've been on working for over a year: a fin-forward take-off with a regular-footed pop-up, followed by a 180-degree spin and a goofy-footed ride, wrapped up with a switch-step back to regular. If you're not a surfer, that might not mean much to you, granted. Suffice it to so say that it rates as reasonably difficult longboard trick.

I can't say I exactly nailed the move, but neither did I just slop through it. It helped, I think, that I grabbed the rail during the turn and made sure to work up some momentum before trying to switch my stance. Perhaps on a longer board, with practice, I could pull off a graceful cross-step. As it was, on my 9'0", I had to sort of shuffle through the transition.

Next on my surfing "to do" list: Getting air. For that, I'll rely on my shortest and favorite board, the 6'10" hybrid fish that I added to my quiver about three years ago. These days, I surf it almost exclusively. I still remember fondly the first time I really figured out how to work a wave on that little pony: August 17, 2006. After a long, ripping ride on a waist-high right at Churches, I flopped down, grinned, and thought, "Ahhh! So that is why people shortboard!"

Since then, I've gotten ton of great rides on that board. I've figured out how to pump it down the line, stomp the tail, and even throw a little spray. But although I've had some pretty good drives off the lip, I don't think I've gotten it fully airborne; the fins have yet to disengage. Perhaps I need a shorter board or bigger waves. More likely, though, I just need more practice. That, I will find it a pleasure to try!

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