Ask Carroll

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Nick Carroll
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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by Nick Carroll » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:49 am

Hi 138cfh

I sorta find it limiting to think of surfing as a question of back foot or front foot. It's a lot more useful to think of it in terms of weighting. Surfing's all about weight shifts across and along the board, often quite subtly managed through hip, knees and ankles, with the upper body being the counterweight.

Rather than try to break down one or other specific kind of cutback, I'd encourage you to think of something simpler: Where's your weight placed in relation to the board's curves? That's what dictates the turn. Put your weight on a curve in the outline and the board will turn. Take the weight off that curve and shift it somewhere else, and the board may straighten up.

Most modern surfboards have the outline curve concentrated in the last two feet of board, around the fins. I think that's why people tend to think Back Foot. But anyone who's been watching the webcast of that Keramas event will have clear memories of numerous pro surfers shifting their weight forward during turns. Parko, the king of cutbacks -- go back and have a look at him on the replay system for many examples.

What's happening here? The surfer is initiating the turn by shifting some weight on to the outline curve. All well and good as described above.

But -- the outline curve can only carry a turn through a few degrees and a couple of metres. As the board rolls up on to the rail, the surfer needs to engage the board's rocker curve to draw and drive the turn through.

To fully engage the rocker curve, you've gotta shift your weight up toward the centre of the rail. The weight shift has to be smooth and timed to match the natural movement of board against wave face.

As the turn comes toward its natural end, the surfer needs to shift weight back out of the rocker curve and into the outline curve again, just to re-set for the next move. (You'll see this happen quite graphically in Parko's cutties as he sets himself for the rebound in the pocket).

I reckon just from observation that this shift in turns -- from outline curve weighting to rocker curve weighting and back again -- is one of the simple yet subtle skills that evades many surfers for perhaps their entire surfing lives. Numerous surfers never make it past the outline curve turn, preferring to stay with the "snap" effect and its 45-to-90-degree turn opportunities. (It's easy, after all -- that tail area with its fins and curve is the easiest part of a board for you to feel.) Others get from outline to rocker without ever quite realising what they're doing, and thus never (or rarely) manage to recover the turn back to the outline again -- they get locked in the rocker curve and can't get back out. Still others figure out one type of turn quite nicely but never quite manage to transfer their grasp of that turn to other turns; they'll do a nice fading frontside cuttie but when it comes to backside top turns, they're locked in Snap World.

What I suggest is, just try to take these thoughts out with you and see if you can feel some of this in practice. Feel your way into cutbacks. Shift your weight forward and back through the hips rather than through your feet. Make it conscious for a while until you find areas of the turn that begin to click for you. A slowish point type wave is the ideal practice zone if you can find that nearby, since you can repeat the turn several times on the same wave without too much consequence.

The movement is complex but the thought behind it is simple! K.I.S.S. in all things.

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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by aaronn » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:13 am

"don't think" - brad gerlach
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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by aaronn » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:16 am

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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by aaronn » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:19 am

hey nc
who have you looked to as your iinfluencers
over all years
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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by Legion » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:25 am

...
Last edited by Legion on Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nick Carroll
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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by Nick Carroll » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:59 pm

aaronn wrote:hey nc
who have you looked to as your iinfluencers
over all years

That's a big question a

In surfing, Michael Peterson, Shaun Tomson, TF, Larry Bertlemann, Simon, Tom Curren, Elko, Pottz, Kelly, AI and Parko along with Newport local David Jones, but there's heaps more too, you watch so many surfers over the years and absorb so many different ideas without being fully aware of it.

I reckon Andy was the best of them, his power and style and surfing imagination was unparallelled.

On a personal level, mostly just family really.

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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by Beanpole » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:57 pm

Loved the cutbacks in the Keramas Comp. Parko especially. Plus the barrels of course :-D-:

Re: cutbacks I always thought Nat original Young and Wayne Lynch wrote the book.

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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by Lucky Al » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:37 pm

nick, i read the other day that edward snowden was living in hawaii up until he took off for hong kong. do you reckon he knows how to surf?

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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by Nick Carroll » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:10 pm

Well Lucky Al I am sure if he does he will eventually visit us here at Realsurf.

By the way yesterday I read a lot of your early 90s work in ASL, good job!

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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by Lucky Al » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:00 am

wow thanks nick, it's a fairly long time ago but i still clearly remember tapping out stories on my dad's little apple computer and printing them and putting them in envelopes together with stamped envelopes for return (nobody ever returned them!) and posting them to asl and tracks and no doubt a few other mags trying to get anything published. i don't remember the first one that got run but it must have been something tim baker decided was okay because i remember a letter back from him saying something like well it's not as great as you said it was in your cover letter but we'll print it anyway - and a check for $70! exciting times, very exciting indeed. are you doing some archival work or something, what took you to early '90s asl mags?

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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by Nick Carroll » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:41 am

Yeah, it's coming up to ASL's 300th issue and I'm supposed to pick five photos out of everything that's ever been run in the mag, and write something about each of 'em. Those early 90s Baker edited mags were really funny shit. Ornate, slightly farcical almost British language framing some of the most merciless piss takes on professional surfers that you'd ever want to read. Plus a lot of really strong feature articles. Also really odd and interesting to see the vibe underlying Australian surfing visibly droop during the mid 90s as it struggled to deal with a long term droop in our competitive fortunes. Hard to believe today but it really mattered back then.

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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by saltman » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:58 pm

Beanpole wrote:Loved the cutbacks in the Keramas Comp. Parko especially. Plus the barrels of course :-D-:

Re: cutbacks I always thought Nat original Young and Wayne Lynch wrote the book.


The latest issue of SW has an interview with Wayne Lynch. He credits Peter Drouyn as the role model for his and Nats cutbacks
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138cfh
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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by 138cfh » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:38 pm

Nick Carroll wrote:Hi 138cfh

I sorta find it limiting to think of surfing as a question of back foot or front foot. It's a lot more useful to think of it in terms of weighting. Surfing's all about weight shifts across and along the board, often quite subtly managed through hip, knees and ankles, with the upper body being the counterweight.

Rather than try to break down one or other specific kind of cutback, I'd encourage you to think of something simpler: Where's your weight placed in relation to the board's curves? That's what dictates the turn. Put your weight on a curve in the outline and the board will turn. Take the weight off that curve and shift it somewhere else, and the board may straighten up.

Most modern surfboards have the outline curve concentrated in the last two feet of board, around the fins. I think that's why people tend to think Back Foot. But anyone who's been watching the webcast of that Keramas event will have clear memories of numerous pro surfers shifting their weight forward during turns. Parko, the king of cutbacks -- go back and have a look at him on the replay system for many examples.

What's happening here? The surfer is initiating the turn by shifting some weight on to the outline curve. All well and good as described above.

But -- the outline curve can only carry a turn through a few degrees and a couple of metres. As the board rolls up on to the rail, the surfer needs to engage the board's rocker curve to draw and drive the turn through.

To fully engage the rocker curve, you've gotta shift your weight up toward the centre of the rail. The weight shift has to be smooth and timed to match the natural movement of board against wave face.

As the turn comes toward its natural end, the surfer needs to shift weight back out of the rocker curve and into the outline curve again, just to re-set for the next move. (You'll see this happen quite graphically in Parko's cutties as he sets himself for the rebound in the pocket).

I reckon just from observation that this shift in turns -- from outline curve weighting to rocker curve weighting and back again -- is one of the simple yet subtle skills that evades many surfers for perhaps their entire surfing lives. Numerous surfers never make it past the outline curve turn, preferring to stay with the "snap" effect and its 45-to-90-degree turn opportunities. (It's easy, after all -- that tail area with its fins and curve is the easiest part of a board for you to feel.) Others get from outline to rocker without ever quite realising what they're doing, and thus never (or rarely) manage to recover the turn back to the outline again -- they get locked in the rocker curve and can't get back out. Still others figure out one type of turn quite nicely but never quite manage to transfer their grasp of that turn to other turns; they'll do a nice fading frontside cuttie but when it comes to backside top turns, they're locked in Snap World.

What I suggest is, just try to take these thoughts out with you and see if you can feel some of this in practice. Feel your way into cutbacks. Shift your weight forward and back through the hips rather than through your feet. Make it conscious for a while until you find areas of the turn that begin to click for you. A slowish point type wave is the ideal practice zone if you can find that nearby, since you can repeat the turn several times on the same wave without too much consequence.

The movement is complex but the thought behind it is simple! K.I.S.S. in all things.


Wow, thanks for the advies and taking the time for the long detailed answer!
Sadly the waves are crap where i live, but tried to be more aware and to use my hips and knees more yesterday. Felt just better, one cutback just felt good and more controlled.

I try to sort of 'reinvent' my surfing, Just tired of being some sort of kook, (my surfbuddy doesnt think that way, but i think i can do so much better). And stuff like this is golden to help me to get better.
Anymore of this is very welcome! 8)

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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by northeasterly » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:57 pm

Nick Carroll wrote:
What's happening here? The surfer is initiating the turn by shifting some weight on to the outline curve. All well and good as described above.

But -- the outline curve can only carry a turn through a few degrees and a couple of metres. As the board rolls up on to the rail, the surfer needs to engage the board's rocker curve to draw and drive the turn through.

As the turn comes toward its natural end, the surfer needs to shift weight back out of the rocker curve and into the outline curve again, just to re-set for the next move. (You'll see this happen quite graphically in Parko's cutties as he sets himself for the rebound in the pocket).




Penny.........drop.

Thanks so much NC for this simple analysis of a really complex action. Something's been happening under foot for decades and i never really knew what it was.

Just went back to the OakleyPro Heats On Demand and watched a few of Parko's cutbacks. His third turn on his last wave in the final is a great example of what you're saying - you can see him going from the rocker to rail and back in the slow mo replay but somehow he's able to do it all in the blink of an eye. Amazing surfer.

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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by JaxonB » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:32 pm

wow Nick Carroll, i'm gonna print that instructional on a4 paper and glass it onto the nose of my board

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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by Beanpole » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:34 pm

Do you wear aloha shirts?

Nick Carroll
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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by Nick Carroll » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:09 am

I do have one shirt that could be described as Aloha, but I only wear it ironically.

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Re: Ask Carroll

Post by Buff_Brad » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:44 pm

Have you ever had a threesome Nicholas?

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