If you’re looking to progress in waves, already have a solid take off and can crank a decent bottom turn the next step is aiming for the lip.
Some choose to bounce off down the line, happy to be racing along a liquid wall, but that feathering curtain is just begging for your attention. Here’s five ‘off the lip’ moves to have a bash at next time you’re out in some juice.
Grab your Loco stand up paddle board and go ‘hit it!’
Arguably the easiest of SUP surfing moves to achieve is the seemingly humble smack. Lining yourself up with a pitching section, or close out, and banging full pelt into the curl is immense fun and a great move to finish off your ride.
As you polish your technique it’s possible to present the entire underside of your Loco SUP to the lip, thereby giving you a faster, more critical and rewarding turn, as the power of the wave punches you round.
Burying the whole length of the your outside rail, throwing a massive rooster tail and generating enough Gs to throw even the most hardened of NASA astronauts off balance – the hack is a pure surfing move and one that impresses the most cynical of critics.
To achieve a full power arcing turn you’ll need a steep wall, oodles of speed, supple and compressed legs and whole boat load of commitment.
For many paddle surfers getting vertical is the aim of the game. Big carving turns are arguably more technical but the re-entry looks dazzling and will elevate your stand up paddle surfing status to that of ‘rockstar’.
Called a re-entry as you punt your Loco stand up paddle board as vertically as you can, out of the top of the wave, before pivoting and re-directing back down to the trough.
Re-entry hit – pic SUP Nationals 2012
If done with any degree of speed then it’s possible to break the fins loose during the ‘pivot’ part of the manoeuvre which scores even more ‘sickness’ points.
This is a move you can really ‘style’ out once you get the initial technique dialed.
Cutbacks were initially a way for surfers to re-position themselves back in the pocket (the curling and most powerful section) if they should run out onto a ‘fat’ part of the wave. Over the years this has become a high performance manoeuvre in its own right, although it still remains functional.
Keeping a high line as you project off the bottom, stick your stand up paddle board on its outside rail, throw a few buckets (spray), ‘squirt’ your back foot to bring the tail all the way round – pointing the nose back towards the pocket. The trick is keeping enough speed to throttle back into the throwing section and bang a re-direct off the froth – setting you up for the rest of your ride.
Floaters are a great way to ‘make’ the next section of the wave and look pretty stylish in their own right. Travelling across the roof of a throwing lip seemingly defies all physics and is a move which will command respect from all your peers.
Quite tricky to stomp; the idea is to ollie, or bunny hop, onto the pitching lip as it throws – riding across it to the next section of open face.
Initially floaters can be unsettling as a deft technique is needed. The lip is aerated and you’ll get next to no traction from your fins. With a bit of practice it’s definitely achievable for intermediate SUP surfers though.
Draw your own Lines
There are, of course, plenty more ‘off the lips’ that you can throw into your stand up paddle surfing repertoire. A wave is a blank canvas and, as the artist, you can draw whatever lines you choose. How you interpret each of these moves is your call -a little thing Loco stand up paddle boarding calls style.
There’s no right or wrong way, get out there with your Loco SUP, experiment and above all have fun!