Surfers give a lot of attention to mastering the mechanics of pop-ups, turning, cross-steps, and a laundry list of other puzzle pieces that make up riding waves. But how we finish a wave is one piece of that same puzzle that can easily be overlooked, even though doing so safely is just as important to avoiding injuries as any other moment in a session.
This is one of the many topics Kassia Meador addresses in her brand new course, Kassia Meador’s Longboarding Level-Up 3.0, a fresh addition to her Definitive Guide to Longboarding 3.0. The entire course is, in her words, designed to help others “improve (their) surfing on a faster timeline.” In doing so, Kassia identifies three things to avoid doing when the end of each ride comes, from a soft roller approaching the sand to navigating big closeouts on the beach.
1. Diving Off Your Board
This one sounds obvious but a reminder will never hurt. Treating your surfboard like a diving board can be disastrous and it’s the first thing Kassia reminds us not to do when finishing a wave. Imagine going head first into that reef or sandbar you didn’t realize was so shallow.
2. Running Off Your Board
For the same reason, Kassia says you should never just run or jump off your board onto the sand. It’s a tactic that deserves being singled out here because we’re easily tempted to do it on smaller days with slower waves.
“Even if you know it’s shallow, you never know what can happen,” she says in her brand new course, Kassia Meador’s Longboarding Level-Up 3.0. “I’ve had so many friends, myself included, who’ve jumped off a board onto the shore, tried to run it out, and sprained an ankle. I had a friend who broke her shinbone doing this. So, really, you don’t want to run out of a wave and run off your board.”
3. Attempt a Kick Out With Offshore Winds
This one is a little more complex. The kick out is a common technique longboarders will apply to ending most waves in a way that typically ensures safety for themselves and everybody else in the immediate area. Kassia breaks down the finer points on how, when, and where to execute this maneuver in her new course.
“The more you practice kicking out, the better you’re going to get at it,” she says. “And it’s definitely a good maneuver. It gets you back on the board and paddling out faster.”
But Kassia is also sure to remind us that kick outs aren’t a great option when surfing in offshore winds. Why’s that? Because the board could fly back and hit you or somebody else nearby.
“In this situation, the best thing to do is get on your knees or lay back down on the board and ride it out.”
Learn more about kick outs from Kassia along with other tutorials on parallel stance, turning, fade take offs, and more in the Longboarding Level-Up 3.0. You can also check out Kassia’s 45-video lesson Definitive Guide to Longboarding 3.0 here. The Inertia readers save 10 percent by using code WELCOME10 at checkout.