Simple Steps to Improve Your Cross-Stepping
Today we are talking about the art of the cross-step—the preferred means of travel up and down the length of your longboard.
When done properly, cross-stepping is an elegant and effective way to navigate a surfboard (and more importantly a wave) properly.
When done poorly, cross-stepping looks clumsy, forced, and usually ends up with the surfer going bow-over-stern off the front of the board.
Here's how to do it right...
Remember the purpose of cross-stepping
The purpose of cross-stepping it to put you, the rider, in the best position on the board to inflict the necessary forces to direct the board. (Read: not only to get to the nose.)
- Stepping slightly forward to speed up.
- Stepping slightly backward to slow down.
- Stepping all the way back to the tail to: stall, kick-out, or turn.
- And lastly, stepping all the way to the nose for a noseride.
Even the best three-point shooters warm up from about 4 feet in front of the hoop, before gradually. stepping out until they reach full-range. Do the right things small before attempting to do them big.
The same rule applies for your. cross-stepping, don't stand up and run straight to the nose. Instead, cross-step forward once. See what the the change in position does to your speed. Then cross-step back twice. Feel the board start to (likely) fall behind the speed of the wave. Take one or two more small steps forward, and feel your board accelerate once more.
Take Smaller Steps
Whenever you wish to change your position on your board, take small steps. There is no need for big, lurching stomps. Practice smaller steps, so when you do need to get somewhere quickly, you can take several quick, small steps.
Keep Your Eyes On The Stringer
This one is borrowed from our article titled 4 Tips for Improving Your Noseriding, but it's worth repeating here.
Your feet will follow your eyes. If you keep your eyes locked on the stringer as a guideline, your feet will stay centered on the board. If your eyes wander, your feet will wander as well. You will need to stay centered and balanced when venturing forward.
Step Up Your Cross-Stepping Game: