4 ways to improve your takeoff

The learning curve from catching whitewater to unbroken waves is steep, but here’s 4 tips that can help you improve your takeoff & increase consistency:

1️⃣ Move forward on your board.

One of the most common mistakes I see among newer surfers is being too far back on their board. I suspect this may have to do with not wanting to nosedive, but it can actually cause you to nosedive.

What happens when you’re too far back is the board creates drag & slows you down causing you to either miss the wave or not be able to match its speed (which you need to do).

While I can’t say for certain you need to move forward, if you’re struggling to catch waves or are often nosediving then consider moving foward a bit to get into waves sooner.

2️⃣ Angle your takeoff.

This one you’ve probably heard before but it bears repeating. Angling your takeoff helps prevent nosedives & sets you up for going down the line. Angling your takeoff like this is a foundational aspect of surfing & is done by everyone from beginners to the pros.

3️⃣ Look down the line.

In other words, look where you want to go. This is another foundational aspect of surfing & is used not just for the takeoff but lots of other maneuvers as well (like turning – see tip 21).

4️⃣ Make your last 2 strokes the strongest.

Another really common mistake I see is people slowing down their paddle or “pulling back” just as it’s time to really give it a good nudge. Doing this has a similar effect of being too far back on your board – it slows you down & the wave ends up picking you up by the tail & sending you head over heels. Or you miss the wave entirely.

Instead, commit those last couple of strokes so that you’re matching the speed of the wave & catching it early. This may even give you an extra second or two to nail your pop up.

💬 Anything else you’ve learned that has helped improve your takeoff?

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