Tips and Techniques - Front Surfing Part.3(Timing of the Stern Draw)
This is the third of a four part series on Front Surfing. This part deals with timing, waiting to do that perfect stern draw. (The same applies to the stern pry when the boat looses it’s angle to the offside.)
When we are on a wave and going off to our onside and need to bring the boat back, we use a stern draw. This is probably the most difficult of the recoveries. One of the major mistakes I see, is doing the stern draw to soon. When done to soon, it pushes the bow of the boat against the wave and buries it even deeper and thus insures that the boat is pushed off the wave. The key here is to hold the draw position with some pressure on the blade and wait. Wait until the bow is pulled back a little and is free of the wave and the boats pivot point is just on the front of the peak of the surf wave. At that point, you make the stern draw active and the boat swings back. We lean forward and the boat slides back in line.
This is done more by feel than any thing else. You feel the boat sliding up the face of the wave. As you hold the paddle in the draw position, you feel the pressure on the bow and feel when the pressure lets up. The center of the boat feels like it is on ball bearing and spins easily.
Then way to practice this and get a feel, is to get on a moderate wave and let the boat fall off to the on side and then explore feeling when the boat is free to spine and when to do the stern draw. When you get this feel, you can let the boat loose it’s angle close to 90 degrees to the current and still bring it back.
When you watch the video clip, notice how the draw does not become active until the bow is free. At times, you can seen air under the bow before the draw again. Sometimes the most important stroke we can do, is the “wait, wait, wait” stroke.