Author Topic: Steep beach break waves  (Read 599 times)

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Offline jboosted92

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Steep beach break waves
« on: January 15, 2017, 10:02:33 PM »
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  • Hola peoples...


    So I surf Delmarva area, but this forum has a more robust following, so figured i could get some help :), and given the similarities in beach breaks, figured some advice/support


    So i started surfing on a 9' foot board and have transititioned my way now to a Triple Stringer 7'6" Mini mal board. As expected with the 9 foot board, i was able to catch the wave a bit earlier, but with the 7'6", i have to get into the pocket a bit later.  So far about 10 sessions in , here is my question/predicament...


    I noticed on average wave days, i improved my pop up techinque by using a style similar to this (
    SURFPRO TECHNIQUES: PERFECT YOUR POP UP ) , where i extend the arms, "very small pause" then bring my feet underneath me, ( as oppose to popping "up" )


    Issue is, when the waves get steep....it doesnt even have to be a big day 3-4 feet, on this d**n s***ty sandbar... the waves can peak and pitch. I dont believe i have the luxury of popping up like the above, because the wave doesnt have time for this patience...lol...


    Althletically speaking, i have the flexibiilty strength and speed to pop up fast. I have increased my paddle power. I see guys on shortboards catch this steep ones and get into the wave fast and maybe get a bottom turn before it closes out... im good at paddling into waves, but wondering about my "technique" .... chest position, chin down..etc..


    So far, if i also noticed, if i do those "Extra couple paddles" i end up to far down the face, and when i pop up, the wave lost its power, but if i pop up to soon.....then im riding hte top of the wave trying to use my front foot to bounce it down over the wave or go for a dump :)...


    im not one to ever blame it on "Board" or "tough waves" , especially if i see guys riding 5 11's making the drop....


    any tips?

    Online drumwell

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 10:36:32 AM »
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  • Angle more. Look down the line, don't look straight, especially on a board of that length or you'll pearl.

    Offline samsurfer001

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #2 on: January 17, 2017, 02:51:32 AM »
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  • Angle more. Look down the line, don't look straight, especially on a board of that length or you'll pearl.


    This. Starting angled will help you get in front of the break and down the line faster rather than going over the falls constantly.


    I'd also reco a shorter board.

    Offline jboosted92

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #3 on: January 17, 2017, 11:22:55 AM »
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  • thanks for tips...


    as for angle.... talking 10-15% ? Paddle into the angle, right off the peak?

    Offline Mark E

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #4 on: January 17, 2017, 03:30:18 PM »
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  • Might also be wave knowledge. On any given day a beach break will present you with a myriad of different waves. Some will be steep and pitchy and some will be rolling through barely  breaking until they are all the way at the shore line. Some will peel down the beach while others will close out. You have to learn to recognize the ones that are steep enough to let you in but also have a corner on them that will give you  enough time to angle down the line and pop to your feet.


    If you look at the vid the wave is pitching but the surfer has found steep but not pitching section of the wave to pop up on. Then he drives down the line getting past the pitching section of the wave as it breaks.
    "Take care of your knees, you'll miss them when they are gone"

    Online The Lone Surfer

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 12:47:28 PM »
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  • How old are you? When did you start surfing? Unfortunately, there tends to be an age limit to learning some of the finer points of surfing, like surfing barreling shorebreak waves. If you started learning as an adult, your energy might be better committed to finding less critical waves. This may sound harsh, or like i'm just trying to be an asshole, but I am being sincere. Taking off under the curtain in NJ/Delmarva type surf is a serious skill that most all the guys that can do it developed as youngsters. There are just too many variables for learning on the east coast where you don't get enough chance to practice. Yes, you might be able to angle in. . .until you can't, because the conditions call for a straight take off to lightning quick bottom turn and snap into the pocket.


    If you can spend some months at a consistent, steep, break somewhere else in the world, then I think it's probably possible to learn even as an adult.

    Online jeffbhall

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #6 on: January 18, 2017, 12:50:50 PM »
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  • What your experiencing is a normal challenge for surfers who want to progress, so 'good on ya' for getting to this point.   At every stage of your progression, you'll realize how much you don't know about surfing, this is just one example. 

    Don't make the mistake and think that the solution to what you are experiencing is just one thing, i.e. "if I can just angle down the line more"...since you've stepped down you'll basically need to relearn EVERY aspect of what you already know.  You'll need to rethink your positioning in the lineup (more inside), you'll need to relearn wave shapes and how and when they break (the inside wave is a very different thing than the outside wave), you'll need to relearn your paddling technique (you're not just cruising into a bump, you're completing a much more technical and powerful maneuver) and your pop-up speed will need to be much quicker.  I know I'm missing things, but you see my point, you don't need to learn one thing, you basically need to relearn everything. But this is when it starts to get really fun.

    When I first stepped down from proper longboards to a 7'4 I had the same problem.  I would encourage you to stick with your new shorter board.  Surf on it as much as possible, even on flat days, get used to paddling the shorter shape and developing more power.  I would also look for less steep waves to get used to the new board.  I know Delmarva fairly well, its where I'm from.  There is a right point break in Delaware (PM me for details) that would be a good wave to train on because its the least pitchy wave on that part of the coast.  Once your able to manage a wave like that on your shorter board you can head to a place like the north side of the Indian River Inlet to get used to more pitchy waves, and then finally to the south side of the same inlet for the most pitchy waves in that area.

    The bottom line...the more you learn, the more you realize how much there is to learn.  You'll go through this cycle again and again, especially if you keep downsizing your boards, but the reward is worth it. 







    Online jeffbhall

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #7 on: January 18, 2017, 01:01:47 PM »
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  • If you can spend some months at a consistent, steep, break somewhere else in the world, then I think it's probably possible to learn even as an adult.

    I agree 1000% with this.  I spent weeks and weeks at Colorados before I was able to surf that wave (and not well).  As it turns out, its not really my favorite type of wave, but yeah, because I'm older it took me a lot longer to get my timing down.   

    Offline jboosted92

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #8 on: January 18, 2017, 07:52:00 PM »
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  • How old are you? When did you start surfing? Unfortunately, there tends to be an age limit to learning some of the finer points of surfing, like surfing barreling shorebreak waves. If you started learning as an adult, your energy might be better committed to finding less critical waves. This may sound harsh, or like i'm just trying to be an asshole, but I am being sincere. Taking off under the curtain in NJ/Delmarva type surf is a serious skill that most all the guys that can do it developed as youngsters. There are just too many variables for learning on the east coast where you don't get enough chance to practice. Yes, you might be able to angle in. . .until you can't, because the conditions call for a straight take off to lightning quick bottom turn and snap into the pocket.


    If you can spend some months at a consistent, steep, break somewhere else in the world, then I think it's probably possible to learn even as an adult.




    I follow you, and i dont take it that way....  im in my 30s, and one determined M-F'r.... i figure i will get in the water ( Delmarva + surf trips) about 140 days a year..... first trip is Costa Rica in June for 3.5 weeks... hope that helps!! :)

    Offline Smiley's people

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #9 on: January 18, 2017, 08:16:08 PM »
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  •  Thinking about it is not going to help, this is not an intellectual pursuit - particularly in the beginning years. Surf more, have fun while you are doing it, get better. 
    ‘closed mouth don’t catch any foot.’

    Offline jboosted92

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #10 on: January 19, 2017, 07:44:53 PM »
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  • appreciate it... i love to surf...if im not in the water, im training, (gym, pool ,balance).... always trying to advance. living 150 miles from shore, has its difficuilties, but i make it work

    Offline little_nasty

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #11 on: February 06, 2017, 09:36:12 PM »
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  • good advice here.  you really are tackling one of the tougher skills, so i'd advise to be patient with yourself.  you can also try easing into it by working the tide.  there are spots that i've surfed that are just unmakeable (at least for someone of my skill level) on low tide for example.   So on a dropping tide, it may start easy then get progressively harder until it gets to the point that i either wait for the next time, go to work, or ditch the board and put on some fins.  hope it helps and keep us updated on your progress.

    Offline uncutproducts

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #12 on: February 07, 2017, 11:13:56 AM »
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  • a 7'4 is a bit big for steep beach break waves. when it's heaving i jump on the chippiest board i have (5'10 rounded pin thruster) and make way more than I would on any other board. Taking off really angled helps, sometimes you need to drop straight and turn up into it to get barreled. Too angled and you're outrunning the wave.


    I also stopped surfing with a leash in steep beachbreak and got real sticky fingers. Sucks getting hit by your own board or ditching it and hitting someone else. Not having it attached to you makes you way more conscious of it. Usually surf uncrowded beachbreak so not really recco'd if its a zoo.

    Offline SeaCliff

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #13 on: February 07, 2017, 01:20:42 PM »
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  • A board with the appropriate amount of rocker for the wave also helps greatly.

    Offline Looseness

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    Re: Steep beach break waves
    « Reply #14 on: February 15, 2017, 10:51:48 AM »
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  • A board with the appropriate amount of rocker for the wave also helps greatly.


    Some of the new "regular guy" boards have flat overall rocker but some flip in the nose which helps with this {steep wave} scenario.
    It's no better to be safe than sorry....