How (and why) to fade your takeoff

A fade takeoff is a really fun & functional way to set up your wave right from, well, takeoff. This can be especially useful if you’re not in the prime takeoff spot (i.e. too far on the shoulder) or if you’re surfing shorter waves where every little bit counts.

So what is a fade take off?

👉 A fade take off is when you “fade” or turn slightly during your takeoff in the opposite direction than you ultimately want to go. So if you’re about to take off on a right, you would actually drop into the wave going left before going right.

It’s pretty much the opposite of what you might learn earlier on in your surf journey about angling your takeoff in the direction you want to go.

But what's the point of the fade takeoff? If you want to go right, why go left first? 🤔

Well, it's all about positioning. If you’ve been following along with this series, you would’ve seen me talk about the “pocket” a lot because pretty much every maneuver in surfing shares a common goal – to be as close to the pocket of the wave as possible.

Whether that's shortboarding or longboarding, you're constantly trying to be in the pocket (more about the pocket here & ways to get there here).

And with the goal of being in the pocket, the fade takeoff is one of your first opportunities to get there by dropping in going the opposite direction, making your turn, & approaching the pocket from behind.

As far as how to do it, it’s a lot like any other turn (see tip 21) so once you’re comfortable dropping in & turning your board, it isn’t that much of a stretch to do.

You still angle your board at takeoff, just in the opposite direction. Then you do a cutback-style turn after dropping in to go the other direction.

The hard part is actually getting your timing right & knowing how much to fade so you end up in the right place at the right time. But that will come with practice 😉

💬 Have you tried fading your takeoff?

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