Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Happy Thoughts {+ Frontside Off-The-Lip Tips}

I check to make sure no one is taking off down the line.

I'm kind of nervous to have Chris shooting photos of me. 

I put it in my mind that I was going to shoot with him since I began reading Jetty Girl in the early 2000s and here I was determined not to blow it.

The wave that comes to me opens up perfectly and by some miracle, no one else is around to paddle for it.

The sound of the train whistle drifts across the water with the off-shore winds as I stand up. 

I immediately focus on the last section of the wave that is breaking towards me now. If I do something special with this wave, it will stay with me in more ways than just the photos from Chris' camera. 

As I hit the lip with all my energies, the wave explodes back up at me, but the whitewash lets me free.

There's children playing at a playground, weird seaweed-eating tractors and policemen on the beach, but I don't notice any of this until I get out of the water because I am so focused on the ocean. 

I run back to my car to avoid an expired meter ticket and drive away from Oceanside thinking happy thoughts. 

Frontside Off-The-Lip Tutorial

Step 1: Drop into the wave and gain as much speed as you can by pumping across its open face. The more speed, the more powerful your turn will be. 
Step 2: Time your bottom turn so that you are at the bottom of the wave, laying into your toe-side rail, just as the lip or whitewash is appearing. A strong bottom turn is key because it will give you the drive you need to make it up the face of the wave. 
Step 3: Make sure you have your back foot pushing towards the tail. Begin to move up the face of the wave and aim your upper body at the lip.
Step 4: Hit the lip of the wave as high as you can. 
Step 5: Turn your upper body towards the beach and spot your landing. Distribute your weight evenly between both feet and keep your chest open and your head up. If it's a steep section then you are really going to have to stomp on the tail to keep from pearling  (nose diving). 

Photos by : Chris Grant


  1. That is awesome!! Great pictures and way to take on that wave:)

  2. Oh WOW. Utterly sensational photos. And oh to be able to do that, it must feel fantastic, like flying I think. You must get such a buzz. Will you be putting the photos up in your home? I think they deserve a place of honour.

    1. Thanks CJ. You are always so encouraging and sweet. Chris did such a nice job getting the photos. You wouldn't believe the conditions he had to deal with.... rip currents, taking tons of waves on the head, no channel to swim in.... I can't believe he got so many cool shots! I am very happy to have them and I haven't decided quite what to do with them yet.

  3. this is awesome! i think it takes courage to let yourself really out there in the sea and let the waves washed you out. and it takes strength to pull out that action. you are awesome.

  4. Haha...I love that surfers have the cutest term (pearling) for the most gnarly thing ever (nose diving.) That shit is seriously awesome. And, PS, you rock :) :)

    1. haha! I never thought of it that way. ps. you rock!

  5. Wow! Really! I would love to be able to do this! The photos are amazing and capture the power of the waves and your talent perfectly!


  6. Replies
    1. Thanks John. It was and I was lucky to have Chris there to capture it.

  7. Love this and it does look like a fun session. It is my goal to learn to do more than just go down the line i.e. learn to turn haha :-)

    1. You will never forget your first turn, I promise. It feels so fun!

  8. Devon, I love this line... "I put it in my mind that I was going to shoot with him since I began reading Jetty Girl in the early 2000s and here I was determined not to blow it." The reason I love it is because I'm always thinking along the same lines... "Ok Chris, Devon's flying down the line toward you and getting ready to hit the section. Don't blow it." Hahaha!!! Glad to know I'm in good company :)


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