How To Catch An Unbroken Wave Video, Part 2

How To Catch An Unbroken Wave Video, Part 1
February 12, 2019
Best Surf Breaks in Canggu, Bali
March 5, 2019

How To Catch An Unbroken Wave Video, Part 2

A surf clothing company in the late 80s had this advertising slogan ‘only a surfer knows the feeling’.  I was working in a sports store as the Saturday girl and there was a tiny rail of boardshorts and rashguards in the basement next to the scuba diving department.  There was something about that slogan on the clothes tags that captivated me.  I wanted to know what the feeling was.  However surfing wasn’t really accessible to me because I didn’t drive, surfboards were expensive, and I didn’t know anyone who did it (except for two boys in my year at school, but they were in the ‘cool gang’ and I was a dork and too intimidated to ask them).

Luckily a friend of mine lived right opposite the surfing beach and her dad used to surf, so the two of us used to take turns on his knackered, old board.  We didn’t have a clue about what we were doing, but it was absolutely exhilarating.  I have clear, vivid memories of my first rides on the unbroken waves.  It was thrilling and liberating and beautiful – all at the same time.  So I think that’s what the ‘feeling’ is that the slogan refers to.  Nothing beats the feeling of dropping in on a glassy, open wave face.

Anything worth achieving in life is hard work, and surfing the unbroken waves is no exception.  At Pura Vida Adventures we get a lot of beginners and we make them start out in the whitewater on a board which is much bigger than what they were expecting.  Beginners must pay their dues in the whitewater first.  But after 3 or 4 days in the whitewater you might be ready to move into the intermediate group and have a go on the unbroken waves.  This video is part 2 on this subject, and I made it to help students overcome the inevitable obstacles, and because I want other people to feel ‘the feeling’…

Here’s a recap of the main points in the video:

  1. When you are paddling to catch an unbroken wave you have to find a whole new gear.  You have to paddle a lot harder and faster to catch an unbroken wave, in comparison to the whitewater waves.  Check out our ‘Paddling Techniques’ video for lots of help on this.  A common mistake that beginners make is they stop paddling too soon and they pop up prematurely.  We often tell students to take 2 extra paddles to ensure their board is into the wave.
  2. Always look back at the wave you are trying to catch.  Look back over both shoulders so you get a good view of it.  This will allow you to make last second adjustments to your positioning and paddle speed.  Also if it all goes wrong, at least you’ll have a visual in your head of what it looked like and the next time you are in that situation you might want to reassess.
  3. Ideally you should angle your take off so that you can negotiate the drop easier and stay on the open wave face.  Like most things in surfing it all starts with the eyes.  In your last 6 or 7 paddles start looking along the wave face in the direction you want to go.  Don’t angle too much because you risk taking yourself out of the wave.  If you’re a beginner draw an imaginary line along the mid-height point of the wave and aim for that.
  4. You have to 100 percent commit to the wave.  One of my many hippy dippy theories is that if you don’t fully commit, then the wave realizes this and it feels disrespected by you and it will try to teach you a lesson.  So give it everything you’ve got.

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