Many of our guests at Jaco hotel DoceLunas come to Jaco in part to learn to surf, so we like to provide some surfing tips to help www.docelunas.com.ebozavr.com you get started. Beginning surfers may face the challenging situation of being “caught inside” a set wave with a longboard. By “caught inside” we mean being in between the whitewater of the broken wave and the beach. A little whitewater is easy to handle, but a big wall of whitewater can be pretty intimidating and even potentially dangerous. The approach you take to handling this situation depends on the size of the wave, your experience, and your upper body strength.
For a small wall of whitewater where you can touch bottom, you may simply hold the board near the nose to one side of your body and slightly to the beach side so it doesnt get pushed onto and beat you up. If you are a little more confident, you might be able to simply lie on the board and let the whitewater wash over you. When the whitewater is a little more powerful, this can be tricky.
The “turtle roll” is a common technique for negotiating whitewater. Turn your back to the wave (but look over your shoulder and keep an eye on it), hold the board with both hands on either side of the nose with your body closer to the whitewater and the board closer to the beach, and as the wave reaches you, allow yourself to sink below the water and pull down on the nose. The board will flap in the whitewater around the pivot of your hands on the nose and allow the wave to pass under.
After you get a little more used to the board, you might be surprised to find that instead of turtle rolling, you can simply sit or lie on top of the board facing into the whitewater. By scooting up the board a little if you are sitting, or pushing down the nose you can miminize the amount of force the wave can put to surf the board towards the beach and hold your position. If you are really feeling confident, you can even push one side of the board down a little and knife the board into the water, leveling it out and pressing the nose down. You cant really duck dive a longboard, but if you get the nose underwater and put all your weight on it, you may be surprised how well you can hold your position, and you are still on top of the board ready to paddle.
If the whitewater is really big and you know it will knock the board out of your hands, you can flip the board around so the tail is closest to you and the nose is pointing toward the beach and grab the rail saver strap where the leash attaches to the board. Take care not to get your hand pinched and pull down on the tail to prevent the nose from getting pressed into the water and firing the board back at you. Flex your arms so that they are bent and the board is close to your chest and prepare to let your arms extend to absorb the shock of the whitewater impact. The whitewater will drag you and the board toward the beach, but you will still be holding the railsaver strap, so you can get quickly to the surface.
Only if you can not manage any other option, you can “tether” the board, that is just let it go and hope the leash does not break. If you do this, you risk severly injuring anyone withing about 20 feet to the beach side of you because you have around 10 feet of board and 10 feet of leash. Make sure no one is behind you! If someone is behind you, tethering is not an option. You don’t want to hurt someone, so just grab that strap or hold the nose tight and hope for the best.
You will find that if you stay on top the board and try to duck dive instead of turtle rolling or hold the strap instead of tethering, you will get back to the surface much faster and you will be able to get outside the impact zone where you want to be much quicker. Give it a try. Good luck, and have a happy and safe surfing experience!