I love floaters.
Lately, I can't do enough.
Although some surfers only consider them a functional maneuver to get around a section, I think they are playful, look stylish and shouldn't be over-looked.
Situations where you can use a floater:
1. When a section of the wave closesout (crashes) in front of you and you need to do a maneuver that won't spend all your speed to get around it.
2. When you haven't set up properly with a decent bottom turn for a section that breaks in front of you.
3. When you want to do a casual maneuver that allows you to dance on the lip of the wave.
In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to do a casual floater.
Bend your knees! There's no need for a bottom turn with this maneuver. Eye the section you are going to float across.
Do a quick pump and aim the nose and inside rail of your board across the top of the oncoming section.
Glide up onto the lip.
Put your weight on your toes and your front foot.
For a casual floater, I stand rather straight. You can change your stance based on the look and feel you want your floater to have. This is a small mellow wave, so I can get away with casual posture. Had this wave been larger and more punishing, I would have elected to bend my knees more to maintain speed and prepare for the landing.
When you are up on the lip, continue to put your weight towards your toes and on your front foot. Doesn't it feel like dancing? Be in the moment, relax and let your personality show.
Feel the wave under your feet.
Ultimately, the wave will tell you how long you can float across it. Start coming back down when you feel you are loosing speed, or if you feel the wave is about to cave in on you.
Look where you want to land.
Ride down with the white wash, bending your knees to absorb the landing.
A different floater
Here's a view of a floater on a wave of more consequence. On this wave, I used a more crouched stance to maintain speed and prepare for the landing.
As always, have fun out there!
I learned so much of what I know from Taj Burrow's Book of Hot Surfing
Check it out!