How to row and rake waves efficiently
Here’s a fact for you: 90% of surfing is rowing. It is necessary to rake into the ocean, one must choose the right place there, swim in priority and hold it, scoop into the wave, after which those blissful few seconds without rowing will follow, and then repeat everything again until you roll or spend all your strength. On how well and technically correct a person is rowing, his surfer efficiency directly depends, that is, how many waves he takes. Because to see a good wave is not enough, you also need to rake it.
Rowing is important!
Experienced surfers per second in the ocean calculate beginners precisely by rowing. When it seems from the side that a person is not rowing, but stroking his hands with his hands, it does not seem that he really does not row. In this article I will describe the technical nuances of effective rowing, but first I have to make two important points. Firstly, in order to learn how to row well, you really need to love surfing. Because at first two hours in the ocean, especially on a large 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 quickly get used to, it’s like legs: when you go for a long walk, your leg muscles are unlikely to hurt, you just feel general tiredness, and with rowing too. In the moments when the hands will “fall off”, remember the feeling that you experience on the wave, a second wind will immediately open.
The second point is that you still need to swing your hands. Ideal exercises for surfers are pull-ups and push-ups. It is worthwhile for girls to pull up, so that it is easier to use a special long elastic band, cling it with a loop to the horizontal bar and rest with one knee. It is recommended to do push-ups with different arms. Exercises with TRX work well too. And personally, my favorite in increasing hand endurance is jumping rope: I often arrange myself circular exercises, for example, from 5 to 10 repetitions of the cycle: 2 minutes of jumping rope, 15 push-ups and 10 burpees. Hands are burning, bitsukha is growing.
Technique rowing on flat water
Power saving mode
It is necessary to row with effort, literally push from the water. Imagine that you climb a mountain, stretch your arm up, cling to a ledge and pull up the body. Rowing is the same, only in the horizontal plane. The palm should be deployed perpendicular to the direction of movement (increase the area of the “oar”), and the hand should be lowered into the water deeply (increase the lever). In general, you can even rake your hand a little under the board, so it will turn out to put more power 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 much and tightly compress your fingers. On the contrary, professional swimmers leave a small distance between the fingers (about half the width of the finger, as when the palm is completely relaxed). Due to viscosity, water will practically not leak out between them, which means that the area of the “rowing” surface 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 force during the stroke does not come from the palm or elbow, but from the shoulder itself.
Now about energy saving. The result of the right technique should be uniform acceleration and smooth sliding of the board across 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: as the shoulders are torn off the board, hands are rowed, 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, moving your hand through the air. There is no practical benefit, so at least not to 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 in order to reduce the lever and spend less power on keeping the hand above the water.
To maintain movement, one should row evenly, like swimmers using a crawl, one hand in antiphase to the other, that is, when the right hand makes a stroke, the left one moves forward above the water at the same speed, and vice versa. Long boards are more inert than short ones, that is, it is more difficult to move them from the place, but then it slides almost by itself, you can pick it up without much effort. It is easy to start moving on a shortboard, but to keep it from braking, you need to constantly work.
Another very important 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 better to even lift them out of the water. Because the legs on the sides of the board are anchors that slow you down. Swimming like that is like trying to drive a car with the hand brake raised. If you can’t keep your balance on the board without spreading your legs, then you need to take a bigger board.