How to row and rake efficiently

A correctly placed technique allows you to spend little energy and take a lot of waves

Here’s a fact: 90% of surfing is rowing. You need to row into the ocean; you need to choose the right place there, swim in priority and hold it, rake on the wave, after which those blissful few seconds without rowing will follow, and then repeat all over again until you roll or spend all your strength.

So his surfer efficiency directly depends on how well and technically correct a person can row, that is, how many waves he takes.

Because it is not enough to see a sound wave, you also have to raze on it.

Rowing is important!

Experienced surfers in a second calculate beginners in the ocean by rowing

From the side, it seems that a person is not rowing, but stroking the water with his hands does not seem; he does not fight.

In this article, I will cover the technical nuances of effective rowing, but first, there are two critical points to make.

First, to learn how to row well, you have to love surfing. Because at first, two hours in the ocean, especially on a giant board, is a real torment.

And only strong motivation, namely the desire to ride, can help overcome this difficult stage
It won’t last long, if you row every day, your hands will quickly get used to it, it will be like with your legs: when you go on a long walk, your leg muscles are unlikely to hurt, you feel general fatigue, and that’s the case with rowing as well.

At the moments when your hands will “fall off,” remember the feeling you experience on the wave; the second wind will immediately open.

The second point is that you still need to swing your arms.

Ideal exercises for surfers are pull-ups and push-ups

Girls should also pull themselves up to make using a unique long elastic band easier, hook it with a loop on the horizontal bar and lean on one knee.

It is recommended to do push-ups with a different set of hands. TRX exercises also work well.

And personally, my favorite in increasing hand endurance is jumping rope: I often arrange circuit training for myself, for example, from 5 to 10 repetitions of a cycle: 2 minutes of jumping rope, 15 push-ups, and ten burpees. Hands are burning, Tabitha is growing.

Rowing technique on flat water

Power saving mode

It is necessary to row with effort, literally push against the water

Imagine yourself climbing a mountain, reaching your arm up, grabbing onto a ledge, and tightening your body. Rowing is the same, only in the horizontal plane.

The palm should be turned perpendicular to the direction of movement (we increase the area of ​​the “paddle”), and the hand should be lowered deep into the water (we grow the lever). In general, you can even rake with your hand a little under the board, so it will turn out to put more force into the stroke since the torso will also be included in the work.

As for the palm itself, you do not need to strain it too much and squeeze your fingers tightly.

In contrast, professional swimmers leave a small distance between the fingers (about half the width of a finger, as when the palm is entirely relaxed)

Due to the viscosity, water practically will not seep between them, which means that the “rowing” surface area will be larger than when the fingers are tightly compressed.

The palm itself can even be held a little with a bucket, but the wrist and elbow joints must be rigid so that the effort during the stroke does not come from the palm or elbow but from the shoulder itself.

Now about energy saving. The correct technique should result in uniform acceleration and smooth board gliding through the water.

If the board sways from side to side, then your center of gravity is dancing, and the energy is dissipated, that is, wasted

To prevent this from happening, surfers need a good deflection: when the shoulders are torn off the board, the arms are rowing, and the torso is almost motionless, the board does not swing.

The second moment when you can save strength, and this, by the way, is a good half of rowing, transferring your hand through the air.

There is no practical use, so at least one should not overdo it: you should not raise your elbow high or raise your hand higher; on the contrary, you should lead it from the side, along the surface of the water.

It is better to bend the elbow at this moment to reduce the lever and spend less force on maintaining the arm above the water

To maintain the movement, it is necessary to row evenly, like crawl swimmers, one hand in antiphase to the other.

When the right one row underwater, the left one moves forward above the water at the same speed, and vice versa.

Longboards are more inert than short ones; that is, it is more difficult to move them from their place, but then it slides almost by itself; you can rake without much effort.

It’s easy to start moving on a shortboard, but you need to work to keep it from slowing down constantly

Another critical point is the legs. In no case do not hang your legs along the edges of the board; on the contrary, they must be kept strictly together, and it is even better to lift them out of the water because the feet on the sides of the board are the anchors that slow you down.

Swimming like this is like trying to drive a car with the handbrake raised. If you cannot keep your balance on the board without spreading your legs, you need to take a giant board.

Rowing technique on waves

High power mode

If rowing on flat water is compared to a marathon, then rowing on a wave is a sprint: an explosive effort you must give all your best

The position of the hands and the stroke technique are precisely the same; only you need to put in more effort to the maximum.

If the wave is sharp, it can push the board almost from its place; there is even such an expression “No paddle take-off,” which means the surfer went without raking.

Although by chance, this will not work, there is also a technique – you have to be in the most critical section of the wave, that is, where the wall is as steep as possible and will collapse in a split second, and at the right moment go from a sitting position to a lying place.

Shifting the center of gravity gives a little forward momentum, and the board moves when it perfectly aligns with the incoming wave

But this is a rare case, and the remaining 99% of the surfers still rake on the waves.

The flatter the wave, the higher the speed the surfer needs to pick up to catch it.

Deflection also helps here: when starting to rake on a wave, you need to bend your back as much as possible, just like that, which is impossible more strongly, and at the moment when the tail of the board begins to rise in an approaching wave, reduce the deflection, literally lie down with your chin towards the nose of the board.

This movement will shift the center of gravity forward, giving the board additional momentum

Shortboarders use the pushing technique; on Peikoff, when they straighten their arms to jump onto the board, their body does not go up from the board, but vice versa; their hands push the board down.

A punching trick will not work; the board’s nose is too bulky and oversized to push it through.

But longboarders can perform a “shrimp” – bend their knees sharply, that is, conventionally hit themselves on the bottom with their heels; this will also be a shift in the center of gravity and an additional impulse


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