Surf Tips: How to avoid the dreaded pearl dive (nosedive)

Amanda LeVettInstruction, Surf TipsLeave a Comment

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Don’t Grab Your Rails And Other Adjustments To Avoid the Dreaded Pearl Dive (nosedive)

The Pearl Dive. Diving for pearls. A term coined by someone some time ago. A right of passage for any surfer. To Pearl Dive is to nosedive—human and board, as one, torpedoing towards the ocean floor.

While the cleaning of our nasal passages has its benefits, the average human does not understand the flood of water pouring out of your nose hours after your surf while stirring your coffee at the local coffee shop. It just does not sound like the beginning of a love story.

So how do we remedy this? We don’t but we may be able to reduce the number of occurrences. Start by..

Never grabbing your rails!

This is a tip I find I give the most and often my students don’t even know they are doing it.

Imagine paddling into a wave with all of your might then in less than a second the nose of your board is making a bee line for the ocean floor. Our instinct is to grab the rails of our board, perhaps in an effort to yank the nose out of the water. Inevitably, this single action will secure your accommodations at the bottom of the sea.

So how do we avoid pearling (nosedive)?

Consider your entire body’s position on the board. If the nose is dipping then we want to shift our weight to the back of the board and off of the nose.

  • Try lifting your chest. In order to lift our chest we need to push weight into our pelvis. This action shifts your weight further back and thus off of the nose.
  • Lower your legs. Often when we are paddling into a wave we begin to lift our legs slightly to shit our weight forward. This is a good thing. It helps you generate speed but if the nose starts to dip, lower your legs to push weight into your tail. This lifts your nose.
  • Angle your nose slightly down the line of the wave. When your nose is pointed directly to the beach you are perpendicular to the face of the wave making for a larger drop and steeper angle. By pointing your nose slightly down the face of the wave (a right facing wave or a left facing wave) you are reducing this sharp angle. We can compare this to skiing across the face of the mountain versus pointing your skis straight down and praying you don’t run over a child.
  • And finally, DON’T GRAB YOUR RAILS! Grabbing your rails shifts your weight from side to side. If your right arm is dominate, you will likely push more weight into your right side. Driving a rail into the water is a very quick way to the ocean floor.

surfing nosedive

Think about it. When we pop to our feet we make sure we are centered on the board. So why wouldn’t we want our starting position to be centered as well? It will only make our board more stable.

So when that nose starts to drive under the water plant your hands at your ribcage in their ready position. Planting your hands and lifting your chest will shift your weight back. Taking it a step further and depending on where you are on the wave, popping to your feet can also shift your weight back and pull that nose out.

I hope this article has been helpful. And remember surfing is fun and pearl dives clean out your nasal passages.

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surfing nosedive

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