Tofino surfing: Tuberiding
by Adam Smallwood, Tofino
Barrel, tube, box, keg, shack, pit, Bazza, crystal cathedral, green
room, blue room, Whatever you want to call it—this has to be
the ultimate place and time in surfing. Its not an easy one to describe
as it has to be one of the most dynamic and sacred experiences in surfing.
This is the stuff of dreams.
The Tofino area is not known for its barrels,
but I would have to say that there is at least one opportunity at every
go out to get a barrel. Most of them are closeouts and you will most
likely never make it out, but every once in a while you do and it can
keep you buzzing for days. I get flak from my friends for pulling into
anything that remotely looks like a barrel, only to travel a short
distance inside before getting eaten. “What’s the point” seems
to be the question. Well, first of all even a split second inside seems
longer. Don’t ask me how, but time slows down in there.
tube riding is not easy and this is a great way to learn how to ride
them. You need to learn how to find them and how to travel through
Sometimes the best waves are the ones that make their way to
the inside sandbars as the water is shallower making for hallow waves.
Your friends will be wondering why you seem to be caught inside with
a big smile on your face. Most barrelling waves break in shallow
water so watch out for the bottom. If your going to bail then pull
deeper and fall back into the foam.
You are trying to fit yourself in there so adjust your stance crouching
and leaning into it. You are really trying to squeeze yourself into
it so make yourself small enough, crouching and leaning forward.
rule that I have for our beach break barrels is once you get into
one its time to think about getting out. Remember this is a rare occurrence
and the wave will be clamping down soon. Momentum is key. There are
running barrels and stalling barrels and sometimes both, but its
your momentum that will get you through them. A forward stance can
sometimes be the ticket at achieving this.
seem to be the easiest for me but I’m very
much a kook when it comes to riding backside tubes. They can be very
intimidating as your back is to the wall and you feel like your going
to get flipped forward at any moment. The trick is contorting your
body to the shape of the wave and you will most likely have to grab
that outside rail.
I have found that if you just charge through it and don’t give
up you will survive longer inside. Getting tubed requires patience,
experience, and dedication. So just keep pulling in!