One significant element to our surfboards—one that we always find ourselves talking about in the shop—is the length we have gone to to prioritize early wave catching.
My personal experience surfing, as well as watching other surfers in the water, seems to continually reaffirm the fact that the ability to consistently catch waves early in their formation results in far greater overall success. Beyond simply surfing well, great surfers catch waves consistently and efficiently, and get to their feet early.
When you catch the wave earlier, it allows you to get to your feet earlier, and you are presented with many more options for how you want to approach the wave.
As an example of this: You will see instances where Andy Nieblas will catch waves at Sano so early that he literally runs to the nose and is noseriding straight towards shore, waiting for the wave to continue to form, crest and break. Once the wave actually starts to truly break, he retreats to the tail and bottom turns, like any other surfer would do on any other wave. He has already had a wave’s worth of action while many of us would still be prone and paddling. A true testament to his ability to catch waves early on his 9'9 Walks on Water.
Andy Nieblas by Andrea Coleman Vol. 3 from Almond Surfboards on Vimeo.
Conversely, when a surfer has too little foam for the conditions it forces him/her to catch the wave much later in the breaking process. This puts the surfer at a distinct disadvantage and puts the emphasis on catching up to the section and trying to generate speed. The margin of error is far less friendly when you get into a wave late, and get to your feet late.
If you watch a beginner surf, and pay attention to what they are doing wrong, it is likely you will see them getting to their feet too slowly-which is why they are relegated to riding the whitewash. It is much more difficult to generate the proper speed required for “good” surfing when you start off late and behind the section. You will see this same scene play out when even a fairly competent surfer has far too little foam for the conditions.
For the average surfer on the average day, the ability to get into waves earlier will equate to longer, better rides, the choice of better waves in a set, and more overall waves ridden per session.
How do we help you catch more waves?
By giving you:
- Enough foam to paddle confidently
- Low, continuous rocker that planes efficiently across the surface of the water
- An outline that helps the surfer approach the wave in the manner that most closely aligns with his/her desired surfing approach.
Once you are up and riding, we still aim to give you the correct tools to noseride, fade, turn hard, get barreled; go fast, or do whatever else you intend to do on a wave.
Catch waves early and often on an Almond Surfboard