Author Topic: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts  (Read 3185 times)

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Offline Bru

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Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
« on: March 10, 2014, 10:18:10 PM »
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  • I'm a strong, smooth swimmer and at this stage I'm comfortable surfing waves up to around 6-8'.  However I've begun to realize my form in swimming to the surface after a wipeout probably bears more resemblance to a cat thrown in a bathtub.  It didn't matter much in smaller waves, but on the bigger stuff I wonder if I'm wasting a lot of energy/breath and not getting to the surface as quickly as I could.


    If anyone cares to share their strokes or tips in getting up after being pushed deep, it would be super helpful.

    Offline Smiley's people

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 10:28:26 PM »
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  • broke my leash on my second wave on sat morn. Had a pretty long and cold swim in. The only advice I have is when coming to the surface keep your hands in front of you cause there is a decent chance you will knock your board coming up, and try to stay calm. Waste more energy thrashing around than anything else
    ‘closed mouth don’t catch any foot.’

    Offline jeanjacket

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 10:31:24 PM »
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  • Take your beating and dont fight it while you are in the washing machine, always come up with hands up to avoid board and to let people know you are there.
    Wastes too much energy if you push, get your rag doll on!!
    no need to rush to surface.


    Offline Patches O'houlihan

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 10:55:02 PM »
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  • Relax, keep heart rate down and conserve energy. The more you thrash and fight it the more oxygen in your blood your using and losing energy. Keep EVERYTHING relaxed. Your best off letting the energy of the wave trash you until it lets you go, then make a go for the surface. If needed feel around for leash and pull yourself up or to figure out which was is up.

    Offline reddognoyz

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 11:20:12 PM »
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  •  
    Relax, keep heart rate down and conserve energy. The more you thrash and fight it the more oxygen in your blood your using and losing energy. Keep EVERYTHING relaxed. Your best off letting the energy of the wave trash you until it lets you go, then make a go for the surface. If needed feel around for leash and pull yourself up or to figure out which was is up.

    What he said. It's worth practicing, try swimming underwater, not when your fresh, when you're out of breath. Swimmers call it hypoxic training. Surfers should call it " relax, you're going to survive this epic four second hold down with out drowning" : )  It's the natural reaction, when you're getting thrashed about and you can't feel the surface and you can't feel the bottom, and you can't get traction in the foam, to feel like you really need a breath. You probably don't, you might feel a little of the body's natural reaction to the carbon dioxide buildup, that guttural spasm to gasp in some air, but that's a long way from being in any real trouble. Re----lax. Make it a conditioned response by practicing it a little.


    Now that's relaxed. (also just for fun, count how many strokes it takes to get from one side of the other)
    « Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 11:28:43 PM by reddognoyz »
    -Stuart---------------------------------
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    Offline Bru

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 07:35:51 AM »
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  • Thanks - good advice, all.  And that video was a lesson in itself...did 50 yards underwater like this a couple years ago but never thought to apply it to surfing!


    The thing I really want to know is what strokes are people doing - breast stroke?  Dog paddle?  Flutter kick with hands in front of head?

    Offline handy

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 02:09:03 PM »
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  • I usually let myself get rag dolled or tuck myself into a ball until I feel the leash tug. Like everyone else that chimed in, come up with your hands in front of your head. If the tide is low you might consider trying to extend your hands above your head to protect it from possibly hitting the bottom. The stroke in the video is effective at depth, away from the surface of the ocean where you might encounter more turbulence. Last winter I lost my board and ended up having to swim to shore. Swimming in a 6/5/4 is pretty tough (for me). I was not making progress with the crawl, or breaststroke and seemed to be taking water on the head every time I came up or turned for air. I was already exhausted from surfing, out of breath, and starting to panic. Ended up doing a combination of the survival float and elementary backstroke. Survival float gave me an opportunity to calm down and regulate my breathing. Elementary backstroke allowed me to continue breathing while being able to glide effectively toward the shore. Once on the inside I watched for a wave and bodysurfed in. Not panicking required a conscious effort on my part, I had to stop and realize what was happening, which is not always the easiest thing to do when suddenly confronted by a situation. 

    Offline SurfCoach Brent

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 11:17:08 PM »
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  • I definitely do the ball up and let the wave pass technique.   Better off not fighting the wave because it will always win....also, in sand bottom breaks, I try to sink to the bottom away from the wave energy, and that way I know that when the wave passes I can push straight up towards the surface!

    Offline Yuppers913

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #8 on: March 24, 2014, 03:11:46 PM »
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  • When I fall I tend to cover my head and face by reaching my hands back and holding the back of my head. I figure it's the best way to avoid getting hit in the head by my board or the bottom.


    If I'm falling in shallow water I try to spread out my body (rather than balling up) so I don't penetrate the water as much and to avoid hitting the bottom.


    Surfacing its the same as what everyone here says: Relax and wait to get let go.  I realized when I was a kid that I had a perfect record of re-surfacing without incident.  I use that thought now as a comforting thought when I'm getting rag-dolled.   :D


    My worst fear isn't really the hold downs in the conditions I surf in, its hitting the sand/rocks/jetties on a fall.
     Nothing like finding yourself laid out flat on the bottom...

    Offline CJsurf

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #9 on: March 24, 2014, 06:33:00 PM »
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  • Watch on video and time the most hideous north shore wipe outs you can find.  You will see that even in pretty big surf the actual amount of time that the person is under water after a wipeout is in reality very short.  Its easier said than done when you are tumbling like a rag doll and worrying about breaking your neck but you just have to relax because the wave will let you go. 


    In 32 years I've only had one serious near blackout hold down and that was a huge day at Wilderness in PR and that was more because when I came up from the first hold down there was another massive wave detonating right on top of me before I got a good breath.  Went up and over twice with both waves.


    Believe it or not I worry more about getting hurt when its waist to chest than any other conditions.  That's when your guard is down and you're doing floaters and such in knee deep water.  I fear hitting the bottom way more than being held down.

    Offline SeaCliff

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #10 on: March 24, 2014, 09:41:57 PM »
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  • When I fall I tend to cover my head and face by reaching my hands back and holding the back of my head. I figure it's the best way to avoid getting hit in the head by my board or the bottom.


    If I'm falling in shallow water I try to spread out my body (rather than balling up) so I don't penetrate the water as much and to avoid hitting the bottom.


    Surfacing its the same as what everyone here says: Relax and wait to get let go.  I realized when I was a kid that I had a perfect record of re-surfacing without incident.  I use that thought now as a comforting thought when I'm getting rag-dolled.   :D


    My worst fear isn't really the hold downs in the conditions I surf in, its hitting the sand/rocks/jetties on a fall.
     Nothing like finding yourself laid out flat on the bottom...


    I'm with Yuppers on this: Rule #1 for me anytime I've been pitched is always to protect my head to whatever extent humanly possible - the arm wrap over the head method Yuppers describes has most definitely saved me stitches on more than one occasion.


    As far as the hold down itself - it really is true, it's all about just relaxing and waiting it out until you feel the pressure of the hold down let go - then coming up with your hands first (see rule #1).







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    Offline Looseness

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #11 on: March 30, 2014, 09:26:49 PM »
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  • Relax, keep heart rate down and conserve energy. The more you thrash and fight it the more oxygen in your blood your using and losing energy. Keep EVERYTHING relaxed. Your best off letting the energy of the wave trash you until it lets you go, then make a go for the surface. If needed feel around for leash and pull yourself up or to figure out which was is up.

    What he said. It's worth practicing, try swimming underwater, not when your fresh, when you're out of breath. Swimmers call it hypoxic training. Surfers should call it " relax, you're going to survive this epic four second hold down with out drowning" : )  It's the natural reaction, when you're getting thrashed about and you can't feel the surface and you can't feel the bottom, and you can't get traction in the foam, to feel like you really need a breath. You probably don't, you might feel a little of the body's natural reaction to the carbon dioxide buildup, that guttural spasm to gasp in some air, but that's a long way from being in any real trouble. Re----lax. Make it a conditioned response by practicing it a little.


    Now that's relaxed. (also just for fun, count how many strokes it takes to get from one side of the other)

    I'm pretty happy when I pull off a down and back 50 yard underwater....that's nuts. But it really it is about what he's doing, relaxed, efficient. If you frantically claw for the surface before the hold let's go you're wasting oxygen. I like doing sets of under-overs or over-unders in the pool. You go down one way, as in 25yds underwater, back freestyle, rest 15 seconds repeat. You need a spotter if you're doing more than 3, depending on your ability/fitness, if you push it to 10 or more you can pass out. I find starting with the freestyle and coming back underwater harder, but it's more of a simulation of what happens in surfing, pulling hard for 25, then being under for a while.
    « Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 12:13:27 PM by Looseness »
    It's no better to be safe than sorry....

    Offline uncutproducts

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #12 on: May 21, 2014, 07:23:50 AM »
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  • Small surf wipeouts make for bad body/board contact. Had fin miss my balls by inches more than a few times. Snapped nose off boards and had my nose on my face shattered by my board in small surf. Since then always cover up face and head when falling.

    Offline JayI

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    Re: Surfacing efficiently after heavier wipeouts
    « Reply #13 on: September 01, 2014, 09:55:23 PM »
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  • Relax, keep heart rate down and conserve energy. The more you thrash and fight it the more oxygen in your blood your using and losing energy. Keep EVERYTHING relaxed. Your best off letting the energy of the wave trash you until it lets you go, then make a go for the surface. If needed feel around for leash and pull yourself up or to figure out which was is up.

    What he said. It's worth practicing, try swimming underwater, not when your fresh, when you're out of breath. Swimmers call it hypoxic training. Surfers should call it " relax, you're going to survive this epic four second hold down with out drowning" : )  It's the natural reaction, when you're getting thrashed about and you can't feel the surface and you can't feel the bottom, and you can't get traction in the foam, to feel like you really need a breath. You probably don't, you might feel a little of the body's natural reaction to the carbon dioxide buildup, that guttural spasm to gasp in some air, but that's a long way from being in any real trouble. Re----lax. Make it a conditioned response by practicing it a little.


    Now that's relaxed. (also just for fun, count how many strokes it takes to get from one side of the other)


    I know this is old but I just want to make sure people are aware of SWB (shallow water blackout) and if you do "practice" holding your breath please do it with a buddy assisting you. Since I've been spearfishing people die very often from this. Even in a pool of 3ft of water. Lifeguards aren't enough. A buddy right next to you watching you and only you.