Surfing is unique in the sports world because it involves three moving objects: the surfer, the board, and the wave, all operating independently yet in synch with each other. Surfing then becomes a science in physically and mentally understanding how to implement the successful coordination of the three moving objects. Fortunately, longboard surfing is the easiest way to accomplish this quest.
The true essence of longboard surfing is discovered through mastering the style and flow of cross stepping. No one has ever said “Wow! Did you see that nice shuffle to the nose?”.
“Cross stepping defines the difference between ugly and beautiful…” says Joel Tudor when asked about the state of the art of longboarding. Joel goes further in pointing out the real difference between shortboards and longboards is that we can walk on our boards. That’s easy for Joel to say, but what about the multitudes that desire to learn this almost mystical experience of walking on water? (I was thinking “biblical experience” but offer mystical as a safe option)
The essential elements required to implement cross stepping are basic and easy to comprehend. Breaking down the fundamental physical and mental aspects into simple terms will help immensely in speeding up the learning process. However, practice makes perfect and repetitive training is how to speed up the learning process.
Repetitive training is prevalent in all other sports (i.e., tennis, golf, snowboarding, et cetera). The Indo Board offers you the opportunity to practice without having to wait for the ocean to produce the right wave section in which you can cross step.
How to Cross Step
The 4 Basic elements of cross stepping to remember are:
- Mentally overcome your natural reactions to being unbalanced
- Maintain a centered posture
- Learn to be balanced on one foot
- Improve your leg strength
Pay attention to the basic points of being balanced and centered:
- Knees bent at least 3 to 5 inches
- Head and shoulders up without breaking forward at the waist
- Arms down and hips slightly pushed forward
- Knees slightly in towards one another (not bow legged), with the feet slightly rolled to the insides
Movement comes from the knees not the waist, head, or shoulders. This lesson in cross stepping can be used to improve all aspects of your surfing.
This lesson in cross stepping can be used to improve all aspects of your surfing because the basic elements of centered posture and bent knees apply throughout the act of riding a wave. You can use an Indo Board to practice these techniques on dry land (practice on a flat surface before trying it on the Indo Board). This will help you get the feel of cross stepping correctly!
Click here to download and view the complete “How to Cross Step” document in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
The Walkabout DVD
Learn everything you need to know about Cross Step Training from the best longboarders in the world, Core Training, and Surfing the Right Way.
Interviews with Donald Takayama, Bob McTavish, Nat Young, Joel Tudor, Kevin Connelly, Dane Peterson, Kassia Meador, and Josh Baxter.
Go to the “Accessories” category to order the “The Walkabout” DVD.