Adjusting your cross steps for surfing backside
You may have heard that when cross stepping you should be centered on your board with the centerline (which is often the stringer) going directly through the middle of your feet, with your toes on one side & heels on the other.
And you know what? This is great advice & the best place to start.
If you’re still getting comfortable taking a couple steps, keep following the centerline until it starts to feel more natural (& if you’re not already doing this, start 😅).
This is because the centerline offers a guideline to follow & keeps you from stepping on alternating sides of the centerline (a common mistake that causes rocking side-to-side which you definitely don’t want).
But as you start getting comfortable with your cross steps you’ll want to fine-tune them a bit so you can keep calibrating yourself to the wave, especially when going backside.
Following the centerline when going frontside still works great. As you take a step, the ball of your foot will land first which helps to apply some pressure on your inside rail (remember that inside = closer to wave) & keep it engaged.
When going backside though, if you follow the centerline the ball of your foot will actually be on the outside rail when it lands. Unless you’re intentionally trying to put pressure on your outside rail, this can actually steer you out of position or cause the board to disengage.
So instead of being perfectly centered, you actually want your steps to favour the inside rail a bit more when going backside. The ball of your foot should land on the centerline or possibly even just inside of it.
Doing this will help keep your rail engaged & your positioning high up in the wave face. Just be careful not to overdo it or you may climb yourself up & over the wave.
The other way to deal with backside cross stepping? Go switch 😆
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