If we learn this phase well right from the start, we will progress faster and have more fun surfing. At this stage it is very important to be in control of your body and have a good balance.
People who practice yoga or skateboarding often manage take-offs very quickly and naturally.
First of all, we need to be clear about the position in which we are going to stand on the board. "Goofy" is when the right foot is in front of the board, "Regular" when the left foot is in front.
If you still don't know which stance is more comfortable for you, there is different ways to find out.
It is very important to be in the correct position on the surfboard, as this makes it easier to paddle and does not lose your balance. The most important principle for success is that the center of gravity of our body weight, which for most of us is the stomach area, is above the center of the board. We are not talking about the geometric center of the surfboard, but about the middle of the volume. For boards with a wide nose and narrow tail it will be a bit more in front, on sharper boards it will be more in the back.
Once we are well positioned, we paddle towards the beach with a view of the wave behind us. If we don't look back, the wave will surprise us and the whole ascent will become a struggle for balance. The right moment to get up is when we notice that the wave is taking our board with it and we begin to slide off the wave. The most common mistake made by beginners is to stop paddling too early. The first blow of the foam is perceived as if it were already on the wave. In most cases this will result in the wave being lost.
For the first step, we place the open palms of the hands on the board at the level of the ribs. It is very important that we pull our elbows close to our bodies and not grab the edges of the board. When we hold on to the rails, the load is transferred from the rib cage to the much weaker triceps, which usually causes us to lose balance.
For the second step, we pull the back foot into position over the fin of the board. The most important thing is to put your foot straight and across the board so that it is in the correct position at the end of the take-off.
The third and final step of the take-off requires the most skill and strength. Immediately after pulling the back foot up, we push ourselves up with our hands and place the front foot on the board. Ideally, the foot lands where our hands were, namely exactly in the middle of the board.
We need to direct our line of vision to where we want to go. Looking down leads to a fall in most cases.
The knees should always be slightly bent, we don't stretch our legs.
Our body is oriented in the same direction as we are looking at. Our weight is evenly distributed on both legs.
We keep the arms in a comfortable position, preferably slightly open to the side.
Remember to keep your back straight. A curved back leads to loss of balance and a fall, mostly in the same direction as we are bending.
If you feel that you are losing your balance, lowering your center of gravity will help. If a fall is inevitable, protect your head as soon as you can. Safety first!
If you have any questions about the take-off, please write us an email or visit us at our surf school in Lanzarote!
Avenida el Marinero 9
35558 Caleta de Famara
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain