Adjusting to strong offshore conditions

Light offshore winds are easily the most sought after conditions, but if the wind’s blowing strong enough it can certainly affect your surfing (both for better or worse).

Here’s a few things to look out for during a stiff offshore & some ideas on how to adjust:

👉 Strong offshores often cause a delay in the wave breaking making it “stand up” for longer before it actually breaks. This can make reading waves a bit trickier, but if you recognise this is happening you can often catch waves that might otherwise look like they’re gonna break on your head.

Have a look at the the video below – notice how long it looks like it’s “about to break”?

👉 Similar to above, that same stiff wind that’s holding the wave up can also hold you up. I find a few extra strokes is often needed to really make sure you catch the wave & get down the face before you get blown off the back or caught in the lip.

👉 When noseriding, I love a decent offshore because it adds a lot of extra lift. As the wind blows up the wave face, it literally lifts your board from the bottom up so I find on these days I can often noseride in more situations & for longer periods.

👉 Similar to above, you can generally noseride lower in the wave face than you might normally. In fact, if the wind is strong enough you might have to so you don’t get blown off the back of the wave. Or shift your weight to the outside rail instead of the inside rail like you’d normally do.

Check out the photo below where my weight is on the outside rail doing my best not to get blown off the back.

Using the outside rail to combat the strong offshore wind. | 📷 @ramboestrada

👉 Where noseriding is often easier, turning can be harder especially on a longboard where there’s so much board that can be caught by the wind. It can sometimes feel like the nose of your board is getting blown hard in one direction & then as you get halfway through the turn it gets blown the other way.

On these days I always try to keep the nose as low as possible during turns as it seems to affect it less.

Hopefully that’s got you thinking about how you can adjust your technique depending on the conditions, in this case a strong offshore wind.

💬 Any other tips or adjustments you make when surfing a strong offshore?

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