Tutorial 1, Topic 1
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Positioning at take off

The position where you drop in is very important. This is your starting point to use gravity to gain speed towards the shoulder.

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Steeper Wave at Take Off: More Speed thanks to Gravity

Because the drop is more gentle further on the shoulder, surfers can’t gain as much speed by dropping in on this weaker part of the wave and this often results in poor maneuvers on the shoulder. By dropping in on a steeper part of the wave, you will gain speed right from the start thanks to gravitational force and generally, you will get a better ride. You don’t want to paddle on the safer, more flat end part of the wave.

Different Skill Level = Different Positioning

It’s not just about dropping in on a steep section though. To be able to create speed down the line, a surfer needs to position himself to take off somewhere where he/she will have a decent wave face to generate speed on by moving from top to bottom.

This position will be different according to your speed generation skills. A low intermediate surfer that is just learning how to pump down the line will have his ideal take-off spot further on the shoulder in comparison to an advanced surfer who generally would prefer taking off deeper on a steeper part of the wave to generate more speed. You need to adjust your positioning to the line you believe you can draw on the wave. As you progress and practise the skills in this course, you should start taking off deeper and deeper, maximizing your speed generation potential on waves.