Your Feet Follow Your Eyes
Whether riding a surfboard, a bicycle, or driving a car, your eyes will dictate the direction of your travel.
If you want to make small, measurable improvements to your surfing, practice setting your gaze on where you want to go.
Situations to put this into practice:
- Dropping into a wave
- Drawing a higher line
- Cross-stepping to the nose
- Completing a cut-back
When you're dropping into a wave, keep your eyes down the line where you want to set your bottom turn.
While surfing on the face of a wave, and fighting to stay ahead of the section, keep your eyes down the line and work to get up the face—a higher line will generally help you beat those sections.
While cross-stepping to the nose, keep your eyes fixed on the stringer as a guide for your feet to stay centered and balanced as you go.
While completing a cutback (the most beautiful turn in surfing) you want to get out ahead of the wave and then cut back toward the breaking section. Too often I see people throw everything they have into the initial turn, as though it's a finishing move. To complete the cutback more effectively, look back over your shoulder at the oncoming section and your feet and board will follow.
Next time you paddle out, think about where your eyes are leading you. And for goodness sakes, catch waves earlier. Everything comes together so much nicer when you catch the wave 1-2 strokes earlier.
See you out there.
The featured photo is Drew Meseck riding a 5'2 Secret Menu. Photo by Jeffrey Allee