Volume Forward Performance Boards

Lohena

OTF status
Oct 30, 2019
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Whatever may be true on the wave speed equations discussed above, here is a fact I observed for myself this evening:

I watched a few of Rob's videos, and then paddled out at crappy Topanga, on a lower volumed board than what I normally ride, and caught more waves in a shorter amount of time than what would normally have occurred.

Just a few simple tips - not over reaching, pushing BACK, not DOWN, focusing on staying horizontal - made a huge difference. I caught more waves than I expected, and got into them earlier than expected (so much so that I repeatedly found myself surprised, "Oh! I already caught this!")

Clearly, Rob is onto something with his approach to paddling. I noticed a difference with just a superficial study of his material. Now I am keen to learn more, and may just have to sign up for one of his online courses. Results speak.

Sorry to sort of hijack the thread here, but this is a game changer for me (and I've been surfing far longer than I'd care to admit...)
For me the key benefits are from keeping the head looking straight and not zig zagging, lifting with the elbow high out of the water, keeping the elbow bent, pulling back strongly on the initial part of the stroke.
 
Apr 6, 2015
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Had my second surf today since watching Rob Case's videos. My wave count has doubled. I'm getting in earlier, and making more waves.

I'm going to start a separate thread on the subject instead of continuing to hijack this one talking about it...but man. Total game changer.
 
Aug 16, 2020
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Whatever may be true on the wave speed equations discussed above, here is a fact I observed for myself this evening:

I watched a few of Rob's videos, and then paddled out at crappy Topanga, on a lower volumed board than what I normally ride, and caught more waves in a shorter amount of time than what would normally have occurred.

Just a few simple tips - not over reaching, pushing BACK, not DOWN, focusing on staying horizontal - made a huge difference. I caught more waves than I expected, and got into them earlier than expected (so much so that I repeatedly found myself surprised, "Oh! I already caught this!")

Clearly, Rob is onto something with his approach to paddling. I noticed a difference with just a superficial study of his material. Now I am keen to learn more, and may just have to sign up for one of his online courses. Results speak.

Sorry to sort of hijack the thread here, but this is a game changer for me (and I've been surfing far longer than I'd care to admit...)
That's awesome - great to hear! Do you think the lower volume board helps at all with this position? Curious if you tried a few different boards.
 
Apr 6, 2015
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doubled?

big call.
Yes, I know, but definitely feels like that. Maybe it's more accurate to say the number of waves I catch has gone up significantly, but the number I catch and MAKE has doubled. At least.

I generally caught a lot of waves, but often found myself hanging up and dropping in too late, exactly like that video of Case's where he filmed people at the Wave Pool. I was definitely over-reaching. Big change.
 
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Apr 6, 2015
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On the actual subject of this thread, I've been riding a used Fred Rubble I picked on CL lately, and it goes amazingly well in spite of my overly front-footed habits. Felt natural and easy to surf from the first wave, lots of drive and speed generation and doesn't bog with heavy front foot pressure. Yet super whippy in turns off the back foot. Great all around board for CA.

Love the FR, it's now my go-to up to head high or so. After that it's the Ghost, which is also super front foot friendly, as others have noted.
 

Lohena

OTF status
Oct 30, 2019
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Now knowing that volume forward doesn't help paddling, maybe it's the low entry rockers that we all like in these style of boards. Aruka made a good point in saying that you need forward volume for low entry rockers, but is it necessary? I haven't ridden one, but the CI B&W seems like an example of low entry without a lot of forward volume. Any feedback on these or any similar boards?
 
Apr 6, 2015
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That's awesome - great to hear! Do you think the lower volume board helps at all with this position? Curious if you tried a few different boards.
I don't think the lower volume was particularly helpful, I expected it to diminish wave count, which is what happened on lower volume boards in the past. But I haven't yet tried my higher volume boards to see the difference. That will be an interesting experiment.

I can say this, I'm spending way less time envying (and silently cursing!) guys on thick fishes or mid-lengths, since i'm catching most of the waves I'm paddling for now...
 

drainer

Gerry Lopez status
Jan 27, 2009
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Lewdcadia
Some info in this thread I think is a bit inaccurate.

- Somewhere it was mentioned there's a right way and a wrong way to have your lower back or lay your chest on the board or don't. That just doesn't make sense. Wave type, winds, crowds - all of these can influence your paddling technique. I don't have just one technique, I use different techniques and positions on the board in different situations.

- Someone is mentioning volume. It's just a number, a reference point. I'm riding a board that's 23.3 L right now, normally I ride something very close to 24. In the correct conditions for the board the 23.3L board catches waves better than any other higher volumed performance board I have.

- Low entry rockers aren't the only kind of rocker that can have volume forward.

- If I'm not mistaken the Fred Rubble lends itself toward front footed surfing(?)

- a good rocker for paddling in one situation is a terrible rocker for paddling in other situations
 
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Mr J

Gerry Lopez status
Aug 18, 2003
1,140
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Regional Vic, Australia
Some info in this thread I think is a bit inaccurate.

- Somewhere it was mentioned there's a right way and a wrong way to have your lower back or lay your chest on the board or don't. That just doesn't make sense. Wave type, winds, crowds - all of these can influence your paddling technique. I don't have just one technique, I use different techniques and positions on the board in different situations.

- Someone is mentioning volume. It's just a number, a reference point. I'm riding a board that's 23.3 L right now, normally I ride something very close to 24. In the correct conditions for the board the 23.3L board catches waves better than any other higher volumed performance board I have.

- Low entry rockers aren't the only kind of rocker that can have volume forward.

- If I'm not mistaken the Fred Rubble lends itself toward front footed surfing(?)

- a good rocker for paddling in one situation is a terrible rocker for paddling in other situations
Then, I think we should get some accurate information before the forum evaporates. So I said a few posts back that I have trained myself to arch the mid back rather than my lower back and that I like to keep some tension in my stomach muscles, so that my belly is not directly resting on the deck. This was my own derived response to a massage therapist who told me that I was "hyper extending" my lower back. If you think this is wrong don't hesitate to say, I am fine with disagreement, particularly after participating in the "myths about lower back pain thread". I also don't claim ownership of the truth and acknowledge that we are all built with our individual imperfections and techniques, so what applies to one person may not be applicable to another.

I gave 2 types of paddling where this personal technique of mine applies - paddling at cruising speed and also that explosive surge for a wave situation. Since writing my previous post I have self observed my sprint paddling posture - I do maintain the same technique for lower back/stomach, but the difference is there I have less mid back arch - my head is therefore closer to the board when sprint paddling - say when trying beat an incoming set on the paddle out.

So that is three paddling techniques. I have one more 4th paddling technique that I am aware of. Actually not so much paddling as wave catching. This one is the exception to the 3 previous ones I mentioned - it breaks my personal belly off the deck rule. It is a white water takeoff technique the sort where I go ahead with a takeoff where the wave is breaking, sometimes angled where I hope to belly board it to the shoulder or more straight in with the hope that the wave is going to back off. In these situations the pop to the feet is delayed and I first get myself into the "cobra" yoga position - lower back arched and belly on the deck, then I spring to my feet. I do not consider this erroneous, because I am using my arms to push myself up into the arched position and not hyper extending my lower back muscles. However, if you think this whitewater technique of mine is wrong, let us know.

Tell us what your techniques are and also explain what design features make your 23.3L board catch waves better than your 24L

TLDR - there isn't one. I have difficulty with short posts. However I do have a PS

PS I do planking exercises to protect the lower back. Side planks as well as front planks - some which also work the adductors, and some that do the abductors as well as sartorius flexor - I needed to toughen them up because I have taken up skimboarding and the run and drop was giving those muscles grief. I believe that a strong core helps transfer paddling power to the board more efficiently than a weak core. However, I am not sure if anyone should listen to me because I am not a strong paddler.
 
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Apr 6, 2015
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So I said a few posts back that I have trained myself to arch the mid back rather than my lower back and that I like to keep some tension in my stomach muscles, so that my belly is not directly resting on the deck. This was my own derived response to a massage therapist who told me that I was "hyper extending" my lower back.

PS I do planking exercises to protect the lower back. Side planks as well as front planks - some which also work the adductors, and some that do the abductors as well as sartorius flexor - I needed to toughen them up because I have taken up skimboarding and the run and drop was giving those muscles grief. I believe that a strong core helps transfer paddling power to the board more efficiently than a weak core.
So, in a classic demonstration of Murphy's Law, I am now consistently catching more waves since incorporating Rob Case's paddling techniques...but my lower back is killing me!

This might have something to do with going down slightly in volume, but I only went down a liter, and rode that same volume for most of last year without lower back pain. So I figure it must be due to the paddling changes. I just don't know what change is causing it.

I see that there is a staggeringly long thread on low back pain in the discussion forum, which I'm reluctant to dive into at the moment. Just curious whether anyone else has found Mr. J's two recommendations above - keeping one's belly slightly off the board and planks - to be helpful with alleviating pain in the low back.
 
Apr 6, 2015
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So I said a few posts back that I have trained myself to arch the mid back rather than my lower back and that I like to keep some tension in my stomach muscles, so that my belly is not directly resting on the deck. This was my own derived response to a massage therapist who told me that I was "hyper extending" my lower back.
Tried this yesterday, when I remembered to do so, and it definitely make a difference. Surfed 5 hours straight (flaky!) with very little back pain. And I'm sure I forgot to do it when sprinting for waves, so something to keep working on. Thanks!