Most of us have experienced this moment, you paddle out towards the line-up and you are caught in the impact zone, you see this enormous wall of white water rolling towards you. You look around, and you see everyone on the short board duckdiving underneath the wave. The problem is, you are stuck on a long board and youre trying to do the same thing, but you end up getting washed up and smacked around. Actually, what you are trying to do is nearly impossible. The long board is to big and buoyant to duckdive, the technique you should be using is the Eskimo roll. Now you are thinking: what on Earth is an Eskimo roll? Dont panic just yet, weve got that part covered for you in this article!
Just as we stated before, a long board is simply to big and to buoyant to duckdive underneath the wave and re-submerge with control. The easiest way to get to the line-up is by looking for rip currents that carry you beyond the break, or by waiting for those windows in-between sets of waves. If you still get caught in the impact zone there are only two options, return back to shore or battle your way through! With the Eskimo roll (also known as the Turtle roll) the second option becomes a lot easier. The Eskimo roll is simply flipping your board upside down with you on it, allowing the wave to roll over you. Sounds easy, but its a little bit trickier than you expect. To make you an Eskimo roll expert, weve summed up a simple list of steps, tips and tricks. Master these steps and youll be battling the waves without trouble within no time!
You need to paddle straight towards the wave. You might think: why should I paddle towards this wall of water? Well, the sole reason is speed. If you have some speed, the wave rolls over you more easily.
When the wave is about a boards length away, you should commence your Eskimo roll.
You start your roll by placing your hand next to your chest. Just like the pop-up chicken wing position. You grab the rails tightly; make sure your hands are in the right position! Holding the board to far to the nose or to far to the tail will result in a bad beating! Placing your hands next to your chest is the best way to go.
Once youve grabbed your rails, you push up and lean to one side, youll notice that youre now upside down! Once youre upside down in the water, sink your legs down straight (just like a nail). Your body will now function as a sea anchor. This will reduce the push back by the waves drastically.
The wave is now rolling over your board. Your face is facing the shore and your back is facing the open water. To make your board pass through the wave more easily, you can make a backwards-stabbing motion with your board. In this way you stab the nose of your board through the wave, making it easier for the wave to pass over.
The wave has just passed over, time to get up on your board! You push one side of the board, while pulling on the other side. Youll flip your board around in no time, and if you do it correctly, you can even let the rail of your board scoop you out of the water and youll be on your board immediately.
Now you are back on your board, time to put a few paddles in to get out of the impact zone! In order to get through the impact zone, you might have to repeat this list a couple of times, but if you do it correctly it wont be as hard!
Just like all things in life: practice makes perfect. Youll need to practice your Eskimo roll in order to get better, but we promise you, youll get a little bit better with every Eskimo roll you do!
If you have your own Eskimo roll story to share, or you have a few helpful tips, feel free to leave a comment! And if you are not a long board surfer, you might want to check out our Duckdive article!
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