Pushing

  PUSHING

Pushing
The Cross Step Push
Push and cross push combination

 

Pushing

Pushing in surf style is done like in new school, with the front foot on the middle of the board and the back foot pushing. However, there are variations that keep up the flow of cross steps, tail stance and nose riding.

Once you've gotten past the shaky beginner stage of cross stepping, you'll be looking for ways to push your level and master the technique so it's solid and consistent, something you do second nature. Only with this kind of mastery will you be free to improvise and react to situations that arise. Some situations call for a speedy advance up the board, others demand a quick and secure retreat. Resorting to shuffling in these situations will always be slower and less consistent. Worst of all, in a shuffling retreat, you may come up short of the tail and not be able to turn out of danger.

 

The Cross Step Push

The cross push is a pushing technique that keeps up the flow of cross steps, tail stance and nose riding. I've heard of many skaters using alternating pushing legs, but I'm quite sure they adjust their stance in between. I've worked out a variation that I've never seen anyone else use, where the diagonal direction of the stance is held through the pushing changes. I think it's a really relaxing and efficient way to cross step and push alternately at the same time.

Simply put, the cross push works this way. From cross stance, pick up your back foot and push with it. Then turn your pushing foot in and replace it behind the front foot, back into cross stance.

Sounds easy enough, but it will be difficult at first. First of all it's a switch stance push. Your back foot is where your front foot usually is. You will be pushing with your normal front foot, which may feel incredibly awkward.

On top of this, your front foot will be diagonal and turned out on the board. You may not be able to balance on it at first in this strange stance. You may have to build up a new muscle or two.

Try the cross push footwork off the board first. Take both feet off the board and try to balance on the ground like in the cross push. Get on the board and hold onto a handrail. Take very small cross pushes and then put your foot back on in cross stance, behind the front foot.

 

Push and cross push combination

Once you have the basic cross push you can push with either leg from anywhere on the board. You can keep pushing in alternating strokes as you walk up and down the board. While the cross push is weaker than a regular push, it's enough to keep up your speed. Your long distance riding will improve, because you can conserve energy and rest using the cross push. Plus, it looks cool to be able to push smoothly with either leg, not changing stance. Spectators and other skaters may not notice that you're alternating, because the stance doesn't change and draw the eye to the feet.

You can push in all sorts of patterns, two pushes with the right, two with the left, walking from tail to nose and back, etc. This combination of pushes, shown in the pictures, walks the feet down the board, backpedalling and pushing at the same time.

I drop the board and push normally.

I replace my back pushing foot (right foot) on the board.

Next I cross push with my front foot (left foot), leaving my back foot turned out.

When I replace my left foot on the board it is placed in cross stance, behind the front foot.

The next push is normal, with my right foot. It's a tail push. When placed back on the board, it winds up in regular stance, on the tail.

 

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