The physics of noseriding & how it actually works

Last week we talked about what noseriding is, but how does it actually work? It seems to defy the laws of physics a bit doesn’t it? Surely standing on the nose of your board would end in a nose dive, right?

Well, oftentimes yes. But if you have an idea of what’s going on, you’ll be able to understand *why* you did a nosedive and how to correct it.

So let’s look at how noseriding actually works as this will give you a solid reference point for all the tips and tricks that will be coming in the weeks ahead.

So, how does noseriding work? Well it all comes down to how the board interacts with the wave.

The most common thing you’ll hear is that water on the tail creates downward pressure which creates lift in the nose allowing it to hold your weight.

downward pressure on the tail creates lift in the nose | surfer: @chrishetem | photo: @elke_mai

Essentially your board is acting like a lever and as long as there’s enough pressure on the tail, you’ll be able to stand on the nose. One thing to keep in mind is that this will only work when you’re in the *pocket* of the wave.

Another contributing factor is when your rail is engaged & in trim, water travelling up the face of the wave puts upward pressure on the bottom of the board helping to create lift. This is especially true on steeper waves.

water travelling up the wave face also helps to create lift | surfer: @chrishetem | photo: @elke_mai

A board’s design also plays a big part:

  • Concave in the bottom contours of the nose allow air underneath helping to create lift.
  • A board’s soft, round rails allow the water to “grip” the board creating hold. - A wide-nosed board will offer up some extra buoyancy in the nose and act as a platform to stand on.
  • And finally, the right fin can help create extra hold & stability & keep you “locked in” to the wave face.

So there you have it – your board’s design & fin setup mixed with the right positioning allows the board to interact with the wave in such as a way that you can work with the laws of physics rather than defy them and acheive the elusive noseride.

💬 Have I lost you at “physics” or are you still with me? 😅

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