The Unexpected Benefit of Letting Your Friend Drop in on You
"Go! I'll go behind you!"
When the waves are playful, I find myself shouting that to friends in the lineup more often than you'd think. Is it me being generous? Sure, partly wanting to see a friend get a good wave.
But there's a benefit to my surfing as well.
It's easy to focus our gaze down the line too much, in an effort to see what's coming, and surf in a way that prioritizes getting down the line quickly. I catch myself doing this a lot—racing down the line when I should be hanging back in the pocket, without a hurry in the world.
So when I invite a friend to share a wave, it changes the priorities. Instead of being worried about what's coming further down the beach, I find its much, much easier to surf off the tail and explore the pocket better. Can't go forward, so you gotta go up!
Sharing waves is not always the right call, especially when you didn't plan on it, but next time you find yourself calling a friend into a wave you're deeper on, use it as an opportunity to slow down and get really comfortable turning your board off the tail.
Without the pressure to get moving down the line, you might surprise yourself with how much control you have over your board.