Author Topic: Catching waves from your “weak” side?  (Read 1036 times)

SpaceRacer

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Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« on: September 22, 2019, 06:00:50 AM »
Hi, I am an intermediate regular footed sup surfer and use the paddling stance whereby my feet are shoulder width apart over the stringer with left foot slightly forward and rear foot slightly back. When paddling for a wave on my right side I’m locked in and golden but when paddling for a wave on my left side, I lack power, etc. because I feel like I am paddling off of my back shoulder, which I basically am. My question is do I avoid that side, learn to live with it or switch my stance a bit with my right foot slightly forward and left foot slightly back (which I can do but seems weird). Anyway, I’m sure you know what I’m dealing with and any advice would be appreciated. SR
« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 06:03:20 AM by SpaceRacer »

Badger

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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2019, 09:23:39 AM »
I think everyone has a more powerful stroke when paddling on their toe side and that's what we tend to use most.

Heelside paddling can be useful when your back is to the wave you are going for. You might use that tactic when you want to be closer to the peak of the wave. Once you've caught the wave you usually have to switch hands on the paddle. I had difficulty with it at first but it gets easier the more you do it and with practice you will also learn how to get more power from the stroke. Keep your feet where you normally do for paddling and hop into surf stance as you start to accelerate into the wave.

Once on the wave, I tell all beginners to make a habit of always surfing with your front foot on the centerline of the board. This is very important for board control and learning how to turn properly. If that causes you to fall, the problem is with your back foot, not your front foot. With practice, the back foot will naturally go to where it should be. There is no need to look at your back foot. It's all about feel.

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« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 10:06:48 AM by Badger »
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Tom

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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2019, 02:34:04 PM »
I catch waves paddling on my heal/weak side a lot. To get a good stroke you need to be in a more parallel stance. As a regular surf stance, the farther your back foot is back, the worst your stroke will be.
If you need to turn right down the line quick, quickly swing your right hand towards the inside of the wave to initiate your turn and then switch the paddle blade to the inside.

TallDude

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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2019, 02:56:45 PM »
When it gets crowded I like to turn paddle on my weak side because it forces me to see if anyone is taking off (and making it) deeper than I am. When I paddle om my strong side, I tend to immediately look down the line in go.. mode. Next thing I know someone is next to me and I kick out. I was blind to the fact that they were deeper and had priority. I have to remember to check over my shoulder when I paddle with my strong side. Either way, I have my forward foot just about centered on the stringer and at the top edge of the deck pad. rear foot is a little off of center. Definitely not standard paddling position. 

Badger

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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2019, 05:44:02 PM »
Good point TD, about paddling heelside to avoid dropping in on someone. I'm going to try that next session

My take off stance is the same as yours in the picture when paddling on my toe side but when paddling on my heel side, my feet need to be a little more parallel for more power as Tom suggested. I'm still learning the heelside stroke so I'm no expert at it.

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« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 05:55:05 PM by Badger »
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FRP

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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2019, 08:07:43 PM »
I am hoping Creek chimes . I think if I remember his strong side is to paddle on the heal side. Hopefully he has some clips so that we can see what he is doing. Creek?

Bob
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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2019, 08:29:09 PM »
ha ha.... how's this for quick FRP??

Badger said:
"I think everyone has a more powerful stroke when paddling on their toe side and that's what we tend to use most"

There are no absolutes, only personal preference.... everyone is different.

I always consider my "heel side" to be my strong side.
Regular foot and paddle into 95% of all waves on my left side.

Why?
I always paddle in with feet in semi surf stance, which puts my left foot forward, and left of the stringer.
That puts my weight and shoulder over my left foot, on my left side.
I have much more leverage on my paddle stroke, if I am reaching forward over my left foot, with the paddle on the same side.... it is a very strong stance.

and.... call me odd, but I like the paddle switch at the top of a critical drop. ;D

Badger

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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2019, 11:21:59 PM »
It might be habit as much as preference. Once a particular side dominates your wave catching, that's the one you go with most of the time.

Even though I'm still weak and wobbly paddling on that side, I get more confident the more I do it. If I hadn't seen Creek paddling that way years ago, I might never have bothered trying it.   :)

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« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 11:28:14 PM by Badger »
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supsean

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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2019, 04:44:45 AM »
Funny I switch often at the top of the wave. I feel like I used to have a heel side preference, but lately I will go with either side. I also paddle staggered with heel side back. This video really has helped me a lot accelerating  into waves in a stable fashion on both sides.   With this technique it really has helped my balance which I didn’t expect I think because it gets the board on a plane quicker and in a more balanced fashion. Also chase had a great vid on the J stroke which comes in handy paddling straight on one side.
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Badger

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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2019, 06:45:48 AM »
Yeah, Chase makes some great instructional videos. In the videos I've watched, he always paddles toeside when catching waves as we see here in the J stroke vid.


« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 06:49:32 AM by Badger »
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FRP

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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2019, 09:49:10 AM »
ha ha.... how's this for quick FRP??

Badger said:
"I think everyone has a more powerful stroke when paddling on their toe side and that's what we tend to use most"

There are no absolutes, only personal preference.... everyone is different.

I always consider my "heel side" to be my strong side.
Regular foot and paddle into 95% of all waves on my left side.

Why?
I always paddle in with feet in semi surf stance, which puts my left foot forward, and left of the stringer.
That puts my weight and shoulder over my left foot, on my left side.
I have much more leverage on my paddle stroke, if I am reaching forward over my left foot, with the paddle on the same side.... it is a very strong stance.

and.... call me odd, but I like the paddle switch at the top of a critical drop. ;D

Thanks Creek

I am trying to see what you are doing at take off. It looks like your shoulders are squared to the board and that your front foot is mostly pointing forward, sort of a fencing stance almost a lunge?

Aside. Nice “little wave”. At the top you are definitely staring into the pit. It has me thinking about why it is so hard to compress on the drop. It is unnatural to do that when falling. When falling our instinct is to extend our legs to prepare for hitting the bottom. When we hit the bottom and starting our turn we should already be compressed and starting to unwind.

Cheers

Bob
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supsean

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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2019, 12:38:44 PM »
Yeah, Chase makes some great instructional videos. In the videos I've watched, he always paddles toeside when catching waves as we see here in the J stroke vid.


I agree that is a great video for paddling on one side and staying straight--definitely one I use a lot. 

But I was very surprised how much his paddle stroke technique helped my balance on the board, and getting into waves, as it wasn't expressly about balance. In one session of flat water practice, and the next one in waves, my stability was hugely improved. Like night and day. Perhaps it was because my paddle technique was awful before, but it was a revalation nonetheless. And the speed bump from it helped as well when getting on a wave. And now I start on whichever side I need to in a staggered stance without an issue.
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eastbound

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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2019, 01:59:22 PM »
i find it important to be able to turn either direction into waves, so the weak side is matters--often when on my natural weak side, i switch stance to goofy, and switch back before or after the drop (for lefts, which are prevalent in NY--i am reg-footed)

learned to surf, and then years later, SUP, on LI so it was backside or nuttin

used to skate fakeys all day in pipes so switch feels ok to me
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ospreysup

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Re: Catching waves from your “weak” side?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2019, 05:24:47 PM »
 I am regular footed and almost exclusively paddle into a wave with the paddle on my toe/right side. This has less to do with paddling into a wave and more to do with my preferred method of bottom turning backside. I find it easier to really sink my hips over the rails and then throw my top hand and eyes towards the lip. When bottom turning frontside I will use the paddle as a pivot point. I have really learned to enjoy backside surfing this in this manner as I find I can be far more aggressive in my turn and simply bring my paddle back to top turn.

The only time I paddle in on my heel side is when there is a stronger wind out of the south  so I can maintain my position on the takeoff.  Hence the wind doesn't push me off course on take off but after takeoff the paddle goes to my toe side.

Focusing on my turns and not the side  the paddle was on was just easier for me.

As Creek said "There are no absolutes, only personal preference.... everyone is different."

Plenty of videos of Colin McPhillips on Youtube. The only time you see the paddle on his left is when he is doing a 360.

Here is one video of Colin but there are plenty. He goes backside second half of the video.