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When it comes to getting barreled on a longboard, stalling is everything. Especially at a beach break. If you feel like it’s starting to get steep, drop back and drag your arms and stalling the best you can.
I’ve taken notes and studied one of the great masters, Gerry Lopez. The way he holds his arm is so interesting. He lets his front arm lead the way on a frontside barrel. Mikala Jones, another amazing tube master, also recommends pointing your lead hand in the direction you want to go. You’ll follow it. Mark Healey says the same.
The greats are always just really hand-driving, and you’ll see that their hand is focusing forward and that’s where they’re going.
Follow that front arm, and lean into it without being too forward. Lean into it in a way that’s going to project you forward.
To get out of the barrel, lean forward and really follow that arm. Your position on the board is critical. Sometimes you’re more at two-thirds up on the board to get tubed, because if you’re all the way back, maybe you start a little bit back to kind of lean and stall. Then you might take one or two steps forward and lean into it. Maybe you grab a rail, but follow that arm out of the tube.
Lean forward toward the same arm when you’re getting out of the barrel so you don’t get sucked out the back.
You want to follow that front arm out of the tube and just maintain a strong stance. It’s the path of least resistance. Usually, it’s the middle to the top third of the board that is really going to help you get out of the tube, because you want to have that weight forward since everything’s sucking back when you’re in the tube.
Going backside, it’s even easier to stall. Sometimes if I’m surfing backside at Rincon, and it’s kind of tubey, I just go straight. I’ll drag my arm and then I’ll just get low and go straight into a parallel stance to navigate myself out of the tube.
Tubes are always interesting on longboards, because it’s a lot to fit in a wave. But those some key things to consider. Follow your front arm, remember to keep toward the middle to the front of the board, and just go for it. You’ll start to find the way that it all moves.
Keep an eye on the balance of your weight and how it shifts when you’re stalling or beginning to exit a tube.
Beach breaks aren’t as easy on longboards to get tubes, but you can still totally get tubed and come out. It’s really about following that arm and feeling that weight shift. How far back you are when you’re stalling, and the minute it catches you and starts to barrel, how you project your weight forward to make it out. Low and forward is a good rule of thumb. That…and just following your arm. That’s always key to a successful exit.
Access Kassia Meador’s Definitive Guide To Longboarding 2.0 to learn more longboarding tips, and save 10% with code INERTIA10. Take the next (cross) step today.