One of the most asked questions to me by my clients and other learner surfers is how to get to the back line or the take-off. For most this is the obstacle that may be limiting them to progress from being a beginner surfer to an intermediate surfer. This is because knowing the nature of the ocean is vital for any surfers in progress.
Most people would ask how they can strengthen their bodies for this and even though body fitness in surfing is important in this case it’s only a factor. My honest advice about going back to the line-up or take-off area is to remember that it is not about power or strength, instead, it’s more about having proper technique and knowing how the right timing.
If you don’t know what I mean by these two, then this is what you need to know. The technique is knowing how to move with the water rather than moving against it. While timing is about knowing when to paddle out by waiting for the sets ( a group of waves ) to break.
TECHNIQUE; Never forget that when we surf we are playing by nature’s rules which give the ocean A LOT of power and are stronger than we are. If you persist to fight against the waves or continue to move against them, it will not only be hard and inefficient but it can easily tire us.
Knowing this try to move with the water, or wait until the strength of the current is weaker, and then take a few more paddles, always paying attention to where the waves are breaking. You don't want to be approaching or getting close to the impact zone, just before a set arrives.
Now, this is where we overflow into the timing part.
If you are not paying attention to when the sets arrive, you will more than likely get knocked around by every wave of the set, if you are too close to the impact zone when the set arrives. Which makes timing very important in your approach back to the impact zone.
On your approach to the impact zone, make sure you can see when and where the sets arrive, and then the time you are paddling out to when the last wave of the set breaks. This will save you a lot of energy and trips to the chiropractor.