by Pete Devries, Tofino
Speed is the most important thing in surfing. Without it you won’t
be able to complete even the most basic moves. So when summer time
comes around, and you’re feeling slow because of the small mushy
waves, don’t blame it on your board, just go out there and practice
Paddle into a frontside wave with the nose of your board turned slightly
towards the open face. Get to your feet as quickly as you can. Instead
of going down the face of the wave to do an extended bottom turn, keep
your board turned down the line towards the open face of the wave.
Drive up the wave by applying pressure to your toe side rail. Most
of your weight should be on your front foot as you drive forward and
up the wave. Your back foot should be a bit farther forward than it
would be if you were about to do a turn. It will help guide your board
up the wave enabling you to get onto the flat portion of your board therefore
helping you gain speed.
As you drive up the wave your body will want to extend.
Try not to pump with your back arm extending over your head. Keep your back
arm bent at a 90-degree angle, and try to keep your style together.
When you reach the top of the wave you should have more speed than
you did at the bottom. Your eyes should be focused on the section
in front of you, and you should also be conscious of not digging your
rails in. Use the speed you’ve got to drive
down the wave. Push down on your front foot and lean slightly on your heel side
rail to turn your board back down towards the middle of the wave. Be sure to
keep your board pointed down the line, and be ready for a quick change to your
toe side rail, to accelerate up the wave again. When you reach the middle of
the wave start your pump up the wave as you did before to gain even more speed.
After a few pumps you should have enough speed to do a floater, hit the lip,
or bust an air even if you’re surfing a 2-foot wave.
The idea of getting speed is great, but controlling it is a different
story. This will take time and a lot of practice. You will find you
have to make decisions faster, and have better timing when you have
The best way to control it is to do a long bottom turn before you
hit the lip. After pumping down the line look for a turn section. Instead
of going straight into a turn fade down the wave and do a big bottom
turn. You will then realise how much speed you have because you will
be using your rail, and it will give you time to set up for a better
Generating Speed Tips