Surfing tight for a wave’s duration is a skill all surfers should be trying to create. By tight I mean performing their turns one metre either side of the breaking curl as the surfer surfs down the line. When a surfer surfs tight, they perform their turns in the most critical part of their waves, effectively accessing the maximum power available from the wave’s they ride.
A surfer wishing to surf tight, can create it at takeoff by positioning themself on the peak or behind the peak. This deep positioning will setup a tight 1st manoeuvre, by positioning the surfer’s first bottom turn under the breaking part of the wave.
As a surfer performs their bottom turns, they should be targeting the lip or section above their head. By looking straight up, the surfer directs their board to the tightest part of the wave, where all manoeuvres should be performed.
Another way to tighten a surfing performance, is by having a vertical exit out of some manoeuvres as they descend back down the wave-face. This can be seen during the exit phase out of cutbacks………….re-entries………, and snaps.
When necessary, surfers may need to perform a check-fade as they descend down the wave face, to tighten and delay the bottom turn, which results in a tighter manoeuvre off the top.
Finally, for competitive surfers – surfing performances where there are combinations of tight manoeuvres fit the judging criteria precisely, maximizing scores awarded by the judges. It is a big step forward for many developing competitive surfers to constantly be looking to surf tight in all sections faced.