How to Nose Ride in Surfing
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To nose ride in surfing, you walk to the tip of your longboard and hold your stance there for the duration of the wave. A basic knowledge and skill of how to longboard is a requirement for learning how to nose ride. Nose rides often warrant a hang five or 10, where you put five or 10 toes over the front edge of your surfboard. Learning how to nose ride takes time, practice and lots of patience. Having the right board is also essential.
Have the right type of longboard. Not all longboards are made for nose riding. To nose ride, you need a longboard that will stabilize when you catch the wave so you can walk to the nose. Look for a longboard that has a nice wide nose and minimal rocker and is 9 feet or longer. Also, boards with longer single center fins create more stability and make it easier to nose ride than tri-fin setups. Although you can walk to the nose on shorter boards with narrower noses, riding a board made for nose riding shortens your learning curve.
Make a big bottom turn. After you catch the wave, make a big bottom turn and stabilize your board into the wave. Your tail should be buried in the curl of the wave to help counterbalance your body weight as you walk to the front of the board.
Cross step to the nose. You can get to the nose of your board numerous ways: shuffle, hop, step or cross step. Most surfers who longboard prefer to cross step. Shuffling is considered at many breaks an incorrect way to get to the nose, and hopping can throw you off balance, causing you to fall. To cross step, slowly lift your back foot and place it over your front foot, then place your front foot over behind your back foot, until you reach the nose of your surfboard.
Practice stepping two to four steps out of your sweet spot. Getting to the actual nose of your longboard may take some time. Begin by trying to get a few steps in front of your sweet spot by cross stepping one to two steps. Once you can stabilize the board in this position, add a few more steps. Increase your steps until you get to the nose.
Keep you weight slightly behind you on the nose. Once you can make it to the nose without falling, keep your position by leaning your torso back. Many surfers place their hands behind their backs as they lean back, making it a classic nose riding stance.
Hang five or 10. Once you have mastered getting to the nose and holding this position, you can practice hanging five or 10. To hang five, place one foot at the very edge of your board and curl your toes around the nose. To hang 10, place both feet at the very edge of your board and curl all 10 toes around the nose.
Practice on a balance board. There are many styles and makes of balance boards available. These boards are excellent for practicing your balance for surfing. Once you can stabilize yourself on your balance board, practice cross stepping to the end of the board. This will help build the balance and muscle coordination needed for walking the nose of your surfboard.
Always use caution when falling, and protect yourself from your board by placing your hands and arms in front of your face.
- "Surfs Up, the Girls Guide to Surfing": Louise Southerden; 2003
- "Sister Surfer": Mary Osborne and Kia Afcari; 2005
Based in Malibu, Calif., Shannon Sukovaty has been writing health-related articles since 1992. Her work has appeared in “Colorado Health” magazine, “Health and Fitness Journal” magazine and on various websites. Sukovaty is a certified personal trainer with undergraduate studies in exercise physiology and credentials from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and the American College of Sports Medicine.