A dozen 13 tips that I hope help you become a downwind expert!
- We need waves for hydrodynamic lift (Planing). To plane is to SURF! Surfing is FUN!
- Downwind boards are planing shapes but function as a displacement shape at low speeds. They really come alive when on a plane (i.e., surfing a bump) and that is the goal is downwind SUP, to catch waves and get the board on a plane.
- You catch waves, don’t let waves catch you.
- Paddle downhill.
- Keep your head on a swivel. Look forward, not behind.
- Downwinding is not straight-lining. You are often zigzagging when going from one bump to another.
- Develop two paddle speeds (one for cruising, one for acceleration to catch the bump).
- Paddle with purpose. Don't just put your head down and motor the whole time. Be efficient. Relax as much as you can, save your energy for short powerful bursts to catch bumps.
- Alter stance to maintain trim. This is crucial, gracefully move from parallel stance to off-set stance to surf stance and back again. You are constantly moving.
- Develop a solid, reliable low brace. You will use it a lot!
- Be aggressive! Want it more than you fear it.
- Use small bumps to catch large bumps, and link large bumps together. The goal is to plane as much as possible.
- Stay loose. Find a way to relax, keep your legs soft and just go with the ocean, don't fight it.
Here's a bonus; a video of Jeremy Riggs explaining how read bumps: