TECHNIQUE – ALAN STOKES HOW TO CARVE THE BACK OUT OF IT

Carving Alan Stokes by Jason Feast UNLEASHED SURFER (1)

PIC 1 – in the first shot I’m basically slicing as high up on the face as I can get. Fins play a big role in this stage of the turn a big raked fin is ideal I’m using AM FSC here. You want to be gaining as much speed as you can down the line and you really want to tee up this first slice with a long fast driven bottom turn. Speed here is your friend the faster the better.

Carving Alan Stokes by Jason Feast UNLEASHED SURFER (2)PIC 2- In this shot the trick is timing and rail control if you get to this section to early it’s not going to be steep enough for you to bury a rail and engage through the rest of the manoeuvre, if you try this to late the crumbling lip will pop your fins and turn it into a drifting tail slide.

Once you have decided to turn really commit to that outside rail the harder you push the better the carve and the more stability you will have on your turning axis. Remember feel everything at this point the flex of the board the flex of the fins and what part of the rail you are surfing on are all subtle touches that will add to your body’s mechanics resulting in style flow and power. Notice my out stretched leading arm with the palm facing down, use this arm to tell your brain where you want this turn to go you don’t need to look at it for your brain and body to know where it is, this is essentially your hand visualising the turn before you have done it.

Carving Alan Stokes by Jason Feast UNLEASHED SURFER (3)PIC 3 – The next shot is all about turning the power on. You have your line; your rail is engaged, now its time to carve. My legs are starting to straighten as I push more force on to that outside rail and fin. Notice my trailing arm has now started to pull across my body creating a downward twisting motion through my upper torso and down into my legs. My shoulders are starting to really open up the turn and my leading arm and hand, still palm down, are drawing the turn. At this point you want to almost hunch your shoulders curve your back and use your heads weight as you twist to really maximise power basically you’re trying to engage all of your body’s core muscles so that all force is directly translated into your board.

Carving Alan Stokes by Jason Feast UNLEASHED SURFER (4)Carving Alan Stokes by Jason Feast UNLEASHED SURFER (5)PIC 4/5 – Now my shoulders and arms palm still facing down are fully extended, Opening up your shoulders allows you to use every inch of your surf boards rail. I’m starting to draw my turn with my leading arm back up the face behind me. This is probably the hardest part of the manoeuvre, notice the spray coming of my inside rail near my front foot this is where the rail is buried up to my heel, speed and rail control will play a big part in recovering from this stage. Wetsuits boots will make this stage of the turn even harder. My head is tucked towards my chest creating a downward force and my trailing arm is really starting to pull across the front of my torso.

Carving Alan Stokes by Jason Feast UNLEASHED SURFER (6)PIC 6- Now its time to absorb the turn and force by bending the knees this is the recovery stage, my trailing arm is now out in front of my body palm down also almost like I’m trying to grab something just out of reach, this movement is counter acting the off balanced position I have put my body in and will allow me to keep the fins and rail engaged. My leading arm is now pretty much where I want the turn to finish.

Carving Alan Stokes by Jason Feast UNLEASHED SURFER (7)PIC 7 – The wave has started to fatten out now and it’s getting harder to control drift through the turn at this point composure is the key, try to relax because at some point those fins are going to pop or you’re going to have to deal with the oncoming white water.

Surfer/Words ALAN STOKES

Photos: JASON FEAST

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