midget : side slipper, 1970
Today in 1970, the greatest moment for any surfer is the same as it has been at anytime in the last ten years.
a cylinder of water is still considered the ultimate piece
So, where then is the 360 and the side-slip.
In every surfer's mind it must be decided whether to accept these two new manoeuvres or not.
This is the way it seems.
Australians tend to need to pass judgement on every facet of surfing.
Good, bad, functional, gimmick.
All I can really say is that if 'being tubed' feels good to the individual, wait 'till you go across a wave sideways, or backwards or even spinning.
The wave makes the difference of course as does the surfer's position on that wave in relation to the curl.
There are no rules in surfing, It's a free, form of physical expression motivated by a brain desiring to ?????????
There are too many reasons people surf the way they do, to record all or any.
spontaneous, or at least should appear that way.
Every surfer has a plan in his mind on how to approach each wave in a general pattern, but his actual performance always appears varied and hopefully unpredictable.
Australians tend to, want to, experience all things in a group i.e. re-entries.
Everyone did them all at the one time. People who act as a group do so because they are inadequate as individuals, and surfing is an individual thing, as if we didn't already know!
Still, we are a young surfing nation and perhaps we should all learn together.
But when it comes to creativity we should not stifle an individual approach nor reject alien ideas that we did not necessarily think of first.
is the simplest of manoeuvres employing the most
and release techniques.
Ultra-simple because the surfer only has to position himself high in the curl then un-weight by dragging his board in the fall.
The result is that the tail floats and the fin releases giving the board no fixed pivot point on the wave fall and this all results in the
board sliding side-ways until such time as the surfer puts his weight back on the tail by removing his dragging trail-board from the wave.
A surfer who wants to get back into the curl or lengthen time spent in the tube would employ the side-slip because all else would not suffice in the hollow wave fall.
be done to execute returning to the kind of tube position I
That is a hollow wave that is tight and moving reasonably fast.
side-slip is used very successfully to keep surfers under
the lip for fantastic
periods of time.
At Narrabeen on a good ...
tide day, it's amazing to see just how long guys can fend
behind that watery
veil that grinds across the hollow sand banks.
Side- slipping is not a new manoeuvre.
The surfers who rode twenty years ago on long, solid boards used it for similar effect, though they would have called it "boarding".
The thing that is so great about the side-slip is that it can be employed in so many different situations on every size wave, even Sunset Beach in Hawaii.
The best big wave riders in the world would use side-slip to hold them back into the curl to delay that last minute burst of acceleration that makes the vertical descent more exhilarating.
You don't require a special board to side-slip though you may need to reduce your fin area to eliminate drag.
Fins can be cut to just the right size to permit both slipping and enough good height for a hard, bottom turn.
So much depends on the surfer, his board and the wave he must ride that individuals should experiment for themselves.
Adjustable fin boxes are very handy for this kind of experimentation.
The thing I like so much about side-slipping is the freedom created for the surfer to ride in other than the forward nose-first direction.
Imagine someone turning and weaving backwards down a wave, fin first.
Then as the surfer hits the bottom of the wave and is now under the curl, the surfer puts pressure on the tail and accelerates forward in a driving bottom turn.
Or, alternatively, midway through a re-entry or roller-coaster the surfer slides backwards down the wave face, then prepares for another frontal attack on the wave.
These things I have already seen and may have done myself.
The 360 is
else entirely though it may begin as a side-slip and may
serve the same
That is, to kill time on the wave and allow the curl to catch up.
manoeuvres to link up the 360 is meaningless.
Performed in a tube there is nothing like it.
This may not be the seldom performed 360 rail turn, it may be on a 'twirlie', but do one for yourself in a curl sometime and experience first-hand the feelings of semi-weightlessness and lack of concern for the waves' immediate, threatening curl.
A 360 on a five foot wave looks good.
On a ten foot wave it's 'out-a-site'.
Where the contest judges draw the line matters not.
When you are tight to the curl and want to move closer, quickly, then by all means use one of these two manoeuvres to get you there.
You may find you are much nearer to that ultimate involvement we all seek.
Volume 13 Number 6, July 1970, page 31.
Volume 13 Number 6, July 1970, pages 30 to 31.