Author Topic: Surfing Backside: video and discussion  (Read 9448 times)

ninja tuna

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Re: Surfing Backside: video and discussion
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2018, 08:25:24 PM »
Creek, the conversation on the  phone with you when we were talking about this stuff rattled something in my brain. And what better thing to do on a Friday night but add to your great video and instruction. My theories are much different than yours though.   But your video in slow motion is a huge help for explaining what I am going to explain.

I am going to start with my big paint brush statement and follow with the explanation and a bunch of example videos.  It is going to be long but please hang in there.

Here it goes.

 All of our turns need to be initiated with the rotation of our shoulders in relation to our hips. Not with where our head or our eyes are facing.  It all starts with the shoulders. Now when I proned surfed, I had big vertical backside lip hits and turns.  When I started SUsurfing, they kinda, no they did, disappear.  I have had a hard time putting it into words to be able to explain, but now I know how to explain it.  This is where our paddles are a problem because by holding on to them, they are acting as a hinderance.  With prone surfing, your leading hand is your direction and the trailing hand is your counter balance.  We do not have that counter balance by holding on to the paddle.  And being on bigger boards that do not react as fast as we can rotate our bodies causing a lag.

I am going to combine this with frontside turns also, but first let me explain (in my opinion) the body mechanics for shoulders vs heels and body weight, why we can control the board easier frontside vs backside.  From the shoulder point of view, it is much easier to rotate your shoulder around the front of your body than around the back of your body. For example, take your right arm and point it out to your right side. Rotate it across the front of your body, then rotate it around the back of your body. You could say that rotating your right arm around the front is the same as rotating the left arm around the back. Not the same. But you are surfing/SUsurfing with only one arm forward. That is your lead arm. Your control arm.

Now the hips and legs. Where they come in is following the arm, which controls the shoulder, which then controls the hips, which finally control the legs. We can control frontside easier on our toes because we have more hinges in the body to control the force exerted on the toes.  Because our hips bend forward, that allows us to apply more force to our toes just by bending forward at the hips. Now allow the flexing of the ankles and the compression of the knees allows us very fine control over the force on our toes.  Try it. You stand up and bend over at the hips.  You feel it on your toes pretty good. Now you can adjust that force real easy by flexing at the ankles and compressing the knees. It is very easy to do and there are endless ways to make those all work in unison to balance the forces on the front of our feet.

Now with going backside all these joints still play a part but differently.   Now we have to balance everything on the point of our heels with our ankle and hip joints working against us.  The knees still compress to help lower our center of gravity. The body does not bend  the same.  It is not easy to control the weight distribution on your heels. Try it.  Stand up and put your weight on your heels.  Try to lean back and put as much weight on your heels as possible.  Try it standing or squatting down.  It puts you in an awkward position and not well balanced.

Now letís put it all together. Stand up and use your right straight out to your right side.  Use your right arm to lead your right shoulder rotating around the front of your body. As your torso rotates, you should feel the tension in your right hip while wanting to pull your right knee forward, putting weight on youíre the front of your right foot along with some weight on your left foot. You can also adjust the pressure on the front of your feet by squatting down.

 Now rotate the opposite direction around the back of your body.  As your shoulders rotate around the back of your body, you again will feel the hips being pulled and pulling the right knee back. This time the weight is going on to the heel of your right foot and the heel and a little bit of inside of your left foot. If you squat down  more rotating around the back of your body, you should feel the weight shift a little more to the side outside of your right foot and the inside of your left foot.  But it gives some control to put that weight back on your heels more.

With prone surfing growing up, I naturally learned how to do this. When I learned how to snowboard, it was one of the first things my instructor taught us. Whatever hand is your downhill hand, that is your lead hand. Point it where you want you  and your body will follow.  After the snowboard school when I was progressing  on my own, there were times where I was looking where I wanted to go but not going that direction.  I remembered I was not moving my arm where I wanted to go. Once I did, I went where I wanted. Now it is second nature.

Another factor is the wave itself.  Its force to go with it or against it also helps us.  So on a front side cutback, the easier front side turn gets us up and against the wave. To make the turn down the wave, we point/rotate our forward hand back down the wave and our hips and legs follow with the board.  With prone surfers this is naturally how it happens.  With SUsurfing , the paddle kinda hangs us up. Examples to come. The wave pushing us backwards and down allows us to power through this turn with slight shoulder movement and more hip and leg drive.  When we are going backside, the more awkward turn is now going against/up the wave.  This is where the shoulder rotation commitment needs to come in to play along with some knee compression. Once up the wave, the easier frontside turn along with the help of the wave pushing forward and down makes this turn very easy.

I am going to start off using Creeks excellent slow motion video at the beginning of this thread to start with the examples. The slow motion makes this video excellent to see these slight movements VERY easy.  But first.  Skip to  1:26 in the video to see if you can see the shoulder movements.  Stop reading and do it .


Now here are the points of recognition. At 0:27 mark he shifts his feet to the heelside of the board and leans the board into a nice backside bottom turn.  Right at about the 0:29-0:30 mark you see him rotate  his forward shoulder (his left shoulder) around behind his hips and the board takes a more drastic backside cut. At the 0:33 second mark, he pulls the shoulder back straight and the board straightens out. Then 2 second later, that leading shoulder comes around the front and the board completes the turn down the wave. He straightens out and then gets a leaning backside turn. The second turn is a little harder to see. But it looks like the 0:41 second mark, you see the shoulder turn again with the turn initiation.  The third turn is much easier to see with the shoulder rotation at the 0:51 second mark. He does lean into the backside turn,  but watch how that turn becomes much sharper as his lead shoulder rotates back. I love this slow  motion video. And then at 0:53 seconds he brings that shoulder back around the front making the turn.  He straightens out down the wave and then watch at 1:01.  He makes a heelside  (backside) slight turn just by rotating that shoulder a hair while looking about 90 degrees to the direction he is going.  And then follows it with the big frontside turn by pulling that left shoulder way around which pulls the hips and legs making it look sooooo fluid.  I think he has done this before.  And the dismount at about 1:13 after just riding straight for a few seconds.  Not setting his heels or his weight. He just rotated that left shoulder around the back of his body and the board just went that way.  Watch the slow motion sections at the times I have indicated several times so that you make sure you see everything I am talking about.  Now watch it at regular speed again.

Now letís look at prone surfing to see how they use their shoulders.

First, take a look at the video of Bobby Martinez at Rincon the SUPsports posted.  Each time he goes to initiate that backside turn, his right arm (his lead arm) gets throw way behind him getting him vertical.  His left arm is 180 degrees opposite counterbalancing him. As SUsurfers we get put it a little bit more of an awkward position from holding a paddle most likely not twisting back around far enough with our lead hand.  Looking more that direction will definitely help to bring the shoulders around as well as bend the knees and compressing more.

The other movie about Larry Bertlemann has several great examples.  At 1:24 mark, he drags his lead arm in the water and that really pulls his lead shoulder back. Look how hard that resulting backside cut is. Then watch the next wave.  He is going backside again and looking back over his shoulder at 1:35 and seeing where he is going to cut without cutting up the wave.  Not until he rotates that shoulder back at 1:36-1:37 area is where the back side initiation starts.

This is a great still from Creek of that shoulder back initiating the turn back down.

https://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=e3b7137867de49d99c46e2f570558a27&action=dlattach;topic=33227.0;attach=92721;image

Here are some frontside examples of prone surfing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DakIREctusk

at the 0:56 mark there are some good examples of finishing the frontside cutback with the backside turn as the second part of the turn.  That lead arm gets swung back behind and the turn just happens with the wave also helping out.  The more vertical the wave and/or the faster that lead arm get swung back, the more powerful the cutback is.

Here is Occy at chicama in Peru

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZgGK15g4H0

More frontside stuff but watch his lead arm at 1:15 to 1:30.   A mellower wave but still. A sharp jerk with the lead shoulder in the first turn and it is a harder turn. Then a longer drawn out turn where he keeps that lead shoulder way back.  Another example in this video are 3:00 and 3:45.

Now for some SUsurfing comparison

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaLuVp5Rh-o

This video is Kai Lenny and someone else.

At the 0:24 second mark watch it a few times and try and pause it right at the 0:24 second mark. Look how rotated to his left he is  It looks like his shoulders are rotated 90 degrees to his hips. 

At the 0:50 second mark he does it again to just pull out of the wave.  Like Creek was talking about practicing.

At the 0:58 mark, watch the blonde guy initiate his backside turn. Again, his shoulders rotate what looks like about 90 degrees back around compared to his hips.

At 1:15 watch kai. I just kept hitting the pause/play button as fast as I could from his take off. He is riding backside just slightly rotated to his left (his backside). When he wants to hip the lip, then rotates that left shoulder right around behind him and the body follows. Once he gets the board up the wave, the easier part is getting back down. It is easier turning across the front of his body, and he has the downward angle and push of the wave helping him.

Progression project

 https://www.supthemag.com/videos/sup-surfing-film-the-progression-project/

starting at 1:29, there are 2 backside turns watch the rearward rotation to get up the wave for the cutback.
Now watch Gorgio at 1:45 do the frontside hit. He can do it with really rotating down the wave because to the wave helping him.  I think the bigger board compared to a surfboard, on the sharp fast frontside cuts like that the counterbalance keeps a susurfer from rotating farther down the wave.

And same with Fisher doing a big frontside off the lip at 2:01.

At 3:02 watch how far he can pull the board around on the front side when he rotates his shoulders back down the wave. And he makes it look effortless.

At 3:15, again hitting the play/pause as fast as you can. You can see the initiation of the backside turn to get up the by the rotation of the shoulders behind the hips.

This is just a great movie to watch hitting play/pause over and over. I wish it had a slow motion feature.

Here is a video of Zane

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ULzUBb_Qc8

At 0:26 he has a good front side cutback and the paddle then has to drag as a counter balance because his shoulder did not rotate through.  Then watch his next turn where he rotates the shoulders through and see how much more the board comes around.  At the 1:30 there is a good backside turn filmed from in front of him and you can see him really rotate the shoulders.





eastbound

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Re: Surfing Backside: video and discussion
« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2018, 04:59:52 AM »
good stuff nt--big effort to produce, clearly--thx

wont be able to not think about this in the water--a good thing--good will also be when a window opens for bombogeniacal bombs!

for now staring at cams and reading your post!
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Tom

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Re: Surfing Backside: video and discussion
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2018, 09:39:57 AM »
NT, That's very helpful. When I was at the Nosara Standup Camp the taught us something similar with a dry-land exercise. We stood on a board that sat on two rolled up yoga mats in our surf stance. We'd hold the paddle in front of us with our hands shoulder length apart and the paddle parallel to the floor. One end of the paddle would point forward. To turn right, we'd move our paddle to the right , left - we'd move paddle to the left, easy peasy.  To drop down the wave turning right we'd move our front hand down and to the right, to move up the wave to the right we'd move our front hand up and to the right. We'd also compress and extend out bodies when we turned up or down the face.

This was an easy way to accomplish what you described. Your weight automatically shifts to your heal and toes by following your shoulders.

supthecreek

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Re: Surfing Backside: video and discussion
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2018, 06:45:54 PM »
Thanks Ninja..... great info, and nicely laid out. Using videos always makes it easier to understand.
The breakdown really lets you see how it all flows together.

You are correct, surfing frontside is easier.
Body mechanics work, mostly, in our favor.

My body doesn't rotate all that well anymore, so I use my feet to take up the slack in my rotation.
I am very sure that I broke my neck 4 years ago (cracked... not broken) while surfing alone one winter day.
My neck hardly rotates at all anymore, thank God I have pretty good peripheral vision!

Looking where you want to go is an easy start.... and good rotation puts all the pieces in play.

Tom.... that's a great visual/feeling aid
I love stuff like that, which give you the feeling, so you understand why it works!


I truly believe that backside can sometimes be less complicated than frontside, for the exact reason that there are less moving parts.

In Florida mush, I find it much easier to surf on my backhand, because heels work very effectively when there is no power in the waves.
The solid contact that the heels have with the rail, takes just a tiny weight shift to get big results.

Case in point..... in my slo-mo vid..... my 1st turn was hardly a turn at all... it was a little "check" turn, to set me up for the next, more driving turn.
I didn't look left
I didn't rotate anything.... (Pic #1)
I simply put heels closer to the rail..... my weight did the rest.

the turn was half way through before I looked left or rotated ( pic #2) , which I did to get a little "squirt" to set up the next, more driving turn.

Backside should be explored and not feared.
Start with a simple concept and take it one step at a time.

Keep the info coming!
Ask questions..... tell us what issues you have going backside!
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yugi

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Re: Surfing Backside: video and discussion
« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2018, 08:43:14 AM »
I was wondering when someone would point out looking and engaging shoulders first.

Iíve noticed you donít, Creek. Now I get it. How did you tweak your neck?


supthecreek

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Re: Surfing Backside: video and discussion
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2018, 03:11:51 PM »
 I was noseriding little waves on my 8'10 Allwave 4-5 years ago on Cape Cod
In shallow water, I noseride the last bit before close out so I can gently sink into the shallows and fall away from the board.
I KNOW not to dive or fall wrong in shallows. I am hyper aware of how shallow the water is.

I have zero idea how it happened, but there I was.... pile driving totally upside down.
Sailor dove head first, into damp sand, no hands.

I heard a champagne bottle explode in my neck.

Crawled around on the sand for a minute, stunned, then picked my board up to leave.... when friends came.
I wanted to see how "F@#*^D I was, so I went back out.... then drove to RI and surfed all afternoon.

I had no insurance, so I was used to shaking things off.... but I have had restricted motion since that day.
Someday I'll have it xray'd to see what I did.
It still hurts.

My body is stiffening with age anyway.... so I work around it  ;D
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eastbound

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Re: Surfing Backside: video and discussion
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2018, 02:12:29 PM »
the most helpful thing i was told while working with blue zone (among a whole lotta good things) was to keep my GD front foot centered, left to right---moving it fore aft is fine, but not to the rail and back to center--ever--only the back foot--which certainly needs to move side to side and front to back too---so obvious, but until i saw my errant position on video in bigger waves, it wasnt clear--currently fightin/winning in breaking bad frt foot habit--results are immediate and obvious
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APPST_Paddle

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Re: Surfing Backside: video and discussion
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2018, 05:13:37 AM »
the most helpful thing i was told while working with blue zone (among a whole lotta good things) was to keep my GD front foot centered, left to right---moving it fore aft is fine, but not to the rail and back to center--ever--only the back foot--which certainly needs to move side to side and front to back too---so obvious, but until i saw my errant position on video in bigger waves, it wasnt clear--currently fightin/winning in breaking bad frt foot habit--results are immediate and obvious

Agreed with all of this - I didn't realize this until I saw video of myself from GoPro, I thought it was an occasional mistake, but it was consistent. Pretty easy to correct, and then it really opens things up.
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eastbound

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Re: Surfing Backside: video and discussion
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2018, 12:36:43 PM »
ya i can be resistant to being taught--but sometimes a good teacher sees that one tweak which id never see or think to try, which, easy enough to correct, imroves performance markedly

same with waterstarting back in the day--flailed doing all sortsa shit wrong forever for some painful blow aways--one lesson and it became like riding a bike. and being taight by a woman nearby in a chase dinghy helped too--butit was the little tweaks that immediately fixed me.

unfortunately she did not fix me in other ways!!!?>>()*}!! id have been a very good learner for that!
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