Drop Knee - Kick Carves

  DROP KNEE KICK CARVES

Drop knee style: Upright turns and crouch tuns
The drop knee kick carve

 

Drop knee style: Upright turns and crouch tuns

In the previous pictures, the skater crouches deeply to do the drop knee turn and gets turning power by angling the board. The center of gravity is low so the turn is stable. The knees are deeply bent, so a large range of motion is available to steer and push the board. In the crouch style I am influenced by the surfer Kevin Miske.

Remaining upright is a different way to get control of a board than crouching down. When upright, the skater swings like an inverted pendulum above the board. Think of the pendulum on an old grandfather clock or on a metronome. It has lots of leverage when it swings, but the balance is more precarious. The skater or surfer can remain relaxed, do very little work, and get lots of pressure on the rails to do turns this way.

Phil Edwards was a 60s surfer who stayed upright yet had the balance and poise to drop knee his way through big waves and heavy whitewater. Nat Young has a very tall and arching drop knee style, with which he gets great leverage and turning power. Contemporary longboard surfer Wingnut adds a modern touch to the upright style.

In general, I would use the upright style and arch drop knee style in a slower and less critical situation. For power I will drop down low.

 

The drop knee kick carve

One flaw with the drop knee turn: it's not enough for your surf cross training. Getting used to drop knees with the forward weight placement that longskating encourages will have you digging a rail on a surfboard.

The drop knee kick carve takes tail weighting a step farther. Put your weight back all the way. I mean all the way-- so the board wheelies. This turn is a challenge to control, but when you get it you can bring the board around with lightning speed.

1) Prepare for the drop knee turn by reaching back with your toe. Place it on the heelside edge of the tail. You must have your heel hanging off because you're going to drag it through the turn. Therefore you must turn out the back foot a bit.

2) The back knee is dropped and most of the body weight is on the tail. Bring the board around in a wheelie kick carve. Push the tail away from you to speed the turn. Here, the skater remains upright and gets weight on the tail by leaning his shoulders back. There is an arch and lean to this turn, and no counter lean.

3) The skater has brought the board all the way around in a complete change of direction. The heel barely touches the ground. You drag the heel only if you need to to stabilize the turn. To end the turn the skater straightens the back knee to shift his weight forward. Momentarily he will lower the front trucks onto the ground.

 

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