Practice the quintessential Nose-ride with these 3 land drills
Updated: Oct 3, 2022
With the ocean's ever-changing variables, practicing and learning a new maneuver in the water can feel next to impossible. Here are 3 ways you can use your time on land to build the wave knowledge and the muscle memory required to perform the quintessential nose ride.
If you've been following me for a while, you'll know, it's my goal to nose ride this year. It's actually been my goal to nose ride for the last decade. Until recently, I naively never understood the amount of knowledge and mastery required to truly perform a nose ride.
Creating The Surf Société, a unique women's surfing community where we come together to learn more and surf better, has opened my eyes to the nuances and intricacies of mastering the craft of surfing. Inside The Surf Société, we come together and learn from our Surf Société Mentor and Master Surf Instructor Kim 'Danger Woman' Hamrock as well as Surf Guides like Nick Peterson of the Lazy Surfer App and Leah Donatiello of the Her Surf Nutrition Method.
I've learned so much on land (in The Surf Société) that has deepened my relationship and appreciation for the sport AND has provided me with tools to becoming a better surfer so that I can chase that nose ride goal! If you're also chasing that nose ride goal here are a few ways you can practice on land.
Practice the quintessential Nose-ride with these 3 land drills
1. Build a relationship with your board with this cross-step land drill
In Episode 13 of our podcast Confessions of a Surf Lady, Carla Zamora of The Surf Institute suggests removing your fin and using 4 - 5 half inflated balance discs under your board to simulate the instability of surfing in the water. She also mentions that it's a great way to get in cross-step training.
I've been doing this drill for a few weeks and I have to mention that it's a GAME-CHANGER. Being able to practice cross-stepping and nose-riding on land AND on your board allows you to build a relationship with your board and explore the nuances of each movement.
Before trying this drill I didn't realize that my steps forward are more spread apart than my steps backward. I also didn't realize that going from a cross-step to a nose ride requires you to shift the position of your body from side to front. These are details that I would NOT have the chance to learn in the water.
As an added bonus, you can film yourself doing this drill and analyze your movements. From doing this, I've noticed that I need to move slower and lighter, something that i've been working on in the water.
If you're looking to practice cross-stepping and you're itching to perform that nose ride one day, this drill is a MUST. You'll have a chance to learn more about your board, develop muscle memory and critique yourself.
See the complete set-up in my IG REEL: https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cb3G7RLAhSL/
Options for balance disks on Amazon: Shop for balance disks on Amazon
2. Analyze videos of your favorite surfers cross-stepping and nose riding
The next time you're stoking out watching your favorite surf vid take a moment to analyze what's going on.
In our Surf Société workshop series The Set-up, The Take-Off, The Approach: Essential techniques to ride down the line, noseride, or get barreled, Surf Mentor Kim 'Danger Woman' Hamrock, teaches 7 approaches to accomplishing the nose ride.
These approaches include: the glide technique, fade technique, crumbly section, a nice wall, the stall, bottom turn stall, the cut-back, and the nose ride takeoff.
Understanding the physics of nose riding and being able to identify a proper nose ride wave is imperative to performing the maneuver. Studying nose ride surf videos will give you a chance to learn what types of waves are conducive to nose riding and how the surfers Set-Up, Take-Off, and Approach the wave.
Following our workshop, The Approach, Kim assigned homework. She asked us to watch 3 nose ride videos and analyze each of them by asking these questions:
What is the wave doing when the surfer sets up for the nose ride?
What part of the wave are they surfing on when they start walking?
What is their body doing on different sections of the wave to stay on the nose?
Pay close attention to how they use their knees and how the board responds.
How are they weighting and unweighting the board?
How do they use their hands and arms for balance?
So, start doing your nose ride homework and analyze those surf videos! By using Kim's 6 questions there's no doubt you'll learn a few things about nose-ride technique.
Get access to Kim's workshop The Set-Up, The Take-Off, The Approach: Essential Techniques to Ride Down the Line, Nose ride, or Get Barreled when you become a member at The Surf Société. You can also explore more on-demand workshops here or become a member here.
3. Use surf visualization to reduce the learning curve
Opportunities to practice one maneuver, consistently on a wave is rare, especially if you're surfing fickle breaks and crowded spots. There is one way you can get around this! According to Kim Hamrock, our Surf Société Mentor and Sub-Rosa Surf Visualization Coach, you can use surf visualization to "Surf any wave, Anywhere, Anytime."
Guided visualization is practicing a skill, maneuver, or routine in your mind to program your body for success. This proven technique is widely used in sports and sports training.
YES, it really works! Kim Hamrock, has used visualization to win (and even lose!) numerous surf competitions and she's now teaching us how to utilize visualization to pursue our goals in the surf through her Sub-Rosa Guided Visualizations.
Here's how you can start using visualization to learn the nose ride:
After watching and analyzing your nose ride videos (step 2), use visualization to imagine yourself as the surfer performing the nose ride. You can take yourself into in-depth visualizations as long and detailed as paddling out and waiting for waves OR you can simply visualize the moment your 10 toes hang off the nose. Practice your visualizations as often as you can. If you don't have time for a long session Kim recommends using small moments throughout the day to get your Sub-Rosa Visualizations in. The next time you're standing in the grocery line or pumping your gas, try gliding Into a perfect right hand peeler and lightly stepping your way up to the nose!
Be sure your visualizations include all the senses. Don't forget about the sounds of waves, smell of the ocean, and feeling of the sun and water on your skin.
If this feels too 'out there' here's something to get you started! Try a FREE guided nose ride visualization recording from Sub-Rosa Visualization surf coach Kim 'Danger Woman' Hamrock.
While there's nothing that can replace water time, there are many things you do on land to become a better surfer and achieve you goals in the surf. Spending that extra time will not only reduce your learning curve but it will give you a chance to develop a deeper relationship and appreciation for the sport of surfing.
If you happen to practice any of these drills I would love to hear how they went!
Drop a comment or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). When you successfully perform that nose ride be sure to message me so we can celebrate together!
If you're working toward your cross-step and nose ride goals and you want some company, come join me at The Surf Société and pursue your goals in the surf with an amazing community of women to cheer you on!
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