Master Class in Surf Technique

Monday, 24 September 2018 20:40 | Written by 
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Sharon Armstrong - sometime during the seven minute wait in the mid-break...  Sharon Armstrong - sometime during the seven minute wait in the mid-break... Credits: Sharon "Durban Downwind Queen" Armstrong

Downwind fiend and avid surfski videographer Sharon Armstrong does it again - and produces a video that is a Master Class in how to get through monster surf.   Watch and learn!

So what are we looking at?

Getting Out

The first 1:50 of the video shows Sharon exercising the first key skill - patience! 

She sits in the mid-break, watching the monster (yep, the video makes them look much smaller than they are in reality!) waves breaking in front of her.  At times she paddles backwards so as not to get too close to the break zone.

Eventually there's a lull between the sets, and she sprints out...

"I waited 7 minutes for back line to give me a break..." 

Getting In

"...those videos at the end weren't me," she said.  "But I was lucky to get a clean run in after waiting for sets again but my GoPro battery was flat by then so had no footage."

In the video the paddlers exercise more restraint, avoiding the temptation to ride those swells in to the beach...  Eventually, they choose their moment, let the wave roll under them and chase the back of it...  It only takes about 20-40 strokes and you're past the impact zone.  Easy to say, difficult to do.

The second paddler has to do it twice.

Sharon's had some practice though - this was her 80th downwind this year!  The Queen of Durban Downwind!


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