Author Topic: Watching and adjusting to a "retrograde" shifting peak...  (Read 405 times)

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Offline SeaCliff

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Watching and adjusting to a "retrograde" shifting peak...
« on: March 29, 2009, 09:34:09 PM »
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  • Fatal flaw in my surfing #728: I frequently give away the power of the wave by not recognizing and adjusting aggressively enough to a "retrograde" shifting peak.

    We're all of course familiar with adjusting to a shifting peak, and we all make last second adjustments, that's not what I'm referring to here. What I'm talking about is this:

    Imagine you are sitting in the lineup on a south facing beach with an ESE swell. You see a wave approaching some 300 yards out - at the time you first notice the wave, the apparent peak looks like it will be some 20 yards to your west, but by the time the wave actually reaches you, the peak has moved slowly and consistently to the point where it is actually 10 yards to the east of you, shifting diagonally and against the apparent wave direction.

    Of course not every swell provides this scenario, but when it's there, every good surfer I know sees it, adjusts, and works well in advance to take advantage of the shift and get into prime position. Not me, not well enough. All too often I find myself off the peak, essentially on the shoulder because I didnt anticipate and adjust early enough, or just flat out didnt work hard enough to get into position.

    Last evening and this morning provided just this scenario, despite the relatively disorganized nature. It was def there: A discernible and predictable 'east shift' or 'drift' to the peak as the cleaner lines of the day approached, retrograde to the swell angle. It gave me a chance to work on better positioning to capture the power of the wave...and (not shockingly) it helped.

    Now if I can just focus more (and more consistently) on picking it up.
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