Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Bob McTavish's Complete Malibu Board Repertoire, circa 1966


mctavish explains:
Today's dynamic positive surfing places tremendous demands upon the surfer's initiative and ability. He is pushed into some pretty tight positions and he must pull himself out of them. An expansive range of manoeuvres - ranging from the obvious to the obscure, has evolved as a result of this trend to push things to the limit. Progressive surfers are refining and developing this range so rapidly that we figured it was time we paused, took a break, and reviewed our progress this far.
Here is a rundown of manoeuvres that are partially or fully adopted by the van- guard of Australia's progressive surfing push.

The direction is involvement. Getting into tight spots and getting back out of them. This is of course a supplement direction to the all powerful "make of wave" motive.

The way to get involved, obviously, is place yourself in a hairy position, under, in over, around the curl, quite often in contact with it. You can place your self in the actIon in two basic methods, turning and stalling. That's simple enough. But the actual variety of turn or stall is the diary part.

Working firstly on turns:


(a) DEEP BOTTOM TURN is virtually a stall, as you are holding back from travelling across the wall till the hook is hovering overhead.
When you actually lean into the turn there is a redirection of momentum gained by taking the drop, so it's also an obscure manner of acceleration.
Fig. 1
(b) CURL ACCELERATION TURN is virtually a bottom turn minus stall.
There is no wait while the hook catches up.
This turn then, must be executed deeper, sometimes following a fade into the hook.
The basic acceleration of the bottom turn is still there.
Fig. 2.
(c) TOP RAIL PIVOT TURN, used to get hammering across the already hot wall, is hardly a turn at all, just a slight bank performed on the inside rail, on the widest point of the board.
(d) CUT BACK followed by one of the above turns is a pretty obvious way to jam back into the hook.
Fig. 13The turns indicate how to get into the action from below, above, or behind the eye. But to slip back into the pocket from ahead? Employ one of the many stalls. Try these.

(a) THE TAIL STALL is the oldest, most obvious stall.
By jamming all your weight on the back half, or less, of your board, means you bury the in- side half and fin pretty deep, creating a mean drag.
The big hang-up with this stall is the acceleration that fol- lows, as it's a damn long way to the fast points from on the back.
Very handy of course to allow you to get to the tip, and hold the stall from there for a while.
Fig. 3

Which leads us to ...
(b) THE NOSE STALL.
To perform this, simply bury the inside rail while on the tip. Most noserides are performed this way, but the stall effect can be heightened by putting most weight on the inside, which establishes heavy drag down the entire rail.
Acceleration from here is a snap. A quick backpedal or sideslip to throw the board back into instant trim.
Fig. 4.
(c) DRAG BODY STALL is obvious.
Just create a resistance by getting yourself smashed by the curl.
Fig. 5.

(d) BOUNCE OR CHOP STALL can be performed in any uneven conditions.
Any bounce or chop upsets both trim and break-away effect from rail by establishing turbulence, hence drag.
Fig. 6.
(e) INSIDE RAIL ON FAST POINT STALL
two-thirds towards the tip is a safe bet for speed on most boards.
It's a simple matter to establish a trim here, also simple to upset the trim by burying the inside rail and creating the usual drag.
Fig. 7.
(f) FIN DROP-OUT STALL is by far the most efficient, most difficult.
If performed correctly, it can eliminate a cutback.
Everyone has experienced a fin drop-out and its main effect - loss of forward motion.
When emerging from a hot hollow section it's possible to remove the fin from the wave intentionally, and establish a sideways drift towards the beach. Perfect stall. No forward motion.
As the wave recovers and starts to wall, drop the fin in by back-peddling, recover some sort of trim, and move out.
Nat Young and I spent two days at Noosa working on this, succeeded about four times each.
The big problem is knowing just when the fin is going to break out.
We are working on special nose and fin shapes for this purpose.
Right: There are the various techniques of getting in the tight spots. Get your jollies back in there, and then try to get out, and make the wave.
To get out of the hot parts you'll need three things. Acceleration, speed, knowledge of handling trouble spots. A few handy acceleration techniques.

(a) WALKING OFF A TURN.
Most surfers "safe it:' and turn, allow the board to climb, and then run forward. If you walk to faster regions of your board while you are finishing off your turn, still banked, you relieve the back of the board of your weight which allows it to climb faster. Also your weight keeps the front lower, creating a driving attitude much sooner. Very little loss of momentum.
Fig. 8.

(b) SIDE SLIPS can be performed any-where on the front half of the board.
They throw the board out of an inside rail stall, and set up a highly efficient trim for half a second while the board is banked outwards.
This half second or so allows the board to leap forward.
The acceleration is noticed as soon as the sideslip is checked, and the momentum gained from the small drop is redirected.
Fig. 9.


(c) BACK PEDAL OFF TIP onto fast point is an obvious accelerator.
(d) JUMPING INSIDE RAIL OUT of the wave face and dropping a couple of feet places the nose lower than the tail, again in a drive attitude.
Push an inside rail stall to the limit, where the board is horizontal, way out of trim, right at the top of the wave.
The only part of the board still in the wave will be the inside rail and a little piece of fin.
A quick flicking action onto the outside rail and the board is virtually airborne.
As the rail re-enters, jam your weight onto the inside, once again there is a redirection of momentum from a drop. (e) UTILIZING DROPPING WHITE WATER OR CURL employs the same prin- ciple as (d), but
instead of flicking the rail out, employ falling water to propel the drop.
This method can also be
used while in trim on a hot wall.
Instead of back-pedalling and destroying trim to work around the section, just use the dropping section itself to accelerate you around it.


(f) WALKING TO THE TIP OUT OF THE CURL releases your legs and body from the resistance of the falling curl.
Also places the back of the board clear of white water inside the curl, which means more speed.
Fig. 10.
Once you've accelerated into a screaming long wall, you'll want all possible speed.

(a) OBVIOUS FAST POINT two thirds from back.
Fig.15

(b) FASTEST POINT is on the tip on the outside rail.
Very delicate. Very fast. So far it's only been used in small waves as an actual dive position.
As we get touchier we'll use it on bigger waes. It is a great sensation, jammed up front moving so fast it doesn't feel right. Very simple thing to dig outside rai! and get a board in the head.
Fig. 16 Joey Cabell

(c) A FEW TIPS. Keep the board clear of falling white water.
Go low through chop.
Crouch low in hard offshore winds.
All these things mean a little extra when it's needed.
Speed itself isn't all that important, it's acceleration that makes the difference usually.
Knowledge. Just when to accelerate. Just how to get around trouble.
How to get out of it, too.
Here are a few assorted helpful manoeuvres which can be used to get out of dicey spots, or to get a little more out of a wave


(a) WALKING TO TIP OUT OF A PEARL transfers more weight over a longer area of rail, hence drag, which often will "suck" the nose out of the pearl and place it up into the wall.
Fig. 11.
(b) USING HEAD DIPS AS A THIRD POINT OF STABILITY.
Punching low under a dropping section and the dropping curl is exploding on the deck of your board, upsetting stability.
By throwing your head, shoulders, arms, hands into the curl you have a "solid" point, at least a point of contact to maintain balance.
Work your head up against the curl, your feet pushing the opposite direction, down hard, onto the inside rail.
Helps avoid many bomb-outs.
Fig. 12.
(c) USING THE HEAD DIP TO BLOCK THE CURL from crashing on the deck also means less downward resistance.


(d) STRADDLING WHITE WATER means stability.
One foot on each rail.
Fig. 17 Kevin Brennan

(e) POWERING TURNS AND CUTBACKS OFF CURLS AND WHITE WATER means faster turns, higher manoeuvrability.
Fig. 18

(f) CUT BACK "OVER THE FALLS" After wave has closed out, or section has dropped, take the drop with curl. Means you don't get pummelled by initial curl.
Fig. 19 Nat Young

Well there are the actual manoeuvres.
Selecting the instant to utilise them is up to you.
The tighter you push them, the longer you hold them, the more involved you are, the more situations you can overcome, the hotter you are.
Surfing World Magazine January 1967 pages 15 to 21
Original photographs by John Witzig, possibly others.
Copyright Bob McTavish, 1967 re via http://www.surfresearch.com.au

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