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Lots of people love surfing. Some of them love throwing tricks. But it’s a small and refined group which devotes their time and energy into looking constantly posh and stylish in all aspects of being on a wave. Here I will give five definitive steps to help transition into this most sacred group.

  1. Full Tricks are Out

The majority of your tricks shouldn’t be fast inverting flips. One of the keys to steeze is half tricks- sidekicks, flip turns, sasquatches, etc. Throwing full tricks makes you look like you’re trying too hard. See how short this first paragraph is? Just like that.


2. Wrist and Finger Positioning 

There should be no point at which all ten of your fingers are in full contact with the paddle. While just surfing, simply a loose/open grip in is okay, but while doing anything such as a clean blunt, grind, or spin, at least three fingers on one hand should be removed. Ideal positioning will have only your thumb and pointer finger in contact with the paddle. Similarly, wrists should never be in a direct line with your forearm, keeping a minimum of 30 degrees from straight. The ideal here is 70 degrees up while landing tricks backwards, and 80 degrees down landing forwards or during rotations- “broken wrist” style.

3. Float Out and Cork Landings

On the few full flip tricks that you do end up doing, try to avoid quick rotations that land straight. Inverts should hang in the air for as long as possible, and land around 30-90 degrees from straight, either grinding on the landing or skipping back to straight on a hop. Never float a trick out for so long that you don’t land flat, however. When landing an invert wonky (between 30- 60 degrees) make sure to never appear to be forcing the boat back forwards. It should always move back to straight off a skip. Spinning out is also a good alternative, so long as it goes for at least 270 additional degrees.

4. Squeaky Clean

Paddles are out, bro. If it weren’t for paddling on and off the wave we’d be handsurfing. Alas, this presents a problem- now you have a 200cm stick you need to keep out of the water during tricks. Luckily there are ways to do this that not only work, but keep you looking possibly even steezier! Keep your elbows high taking off. Like, maybe TOO high. Like above your head. This won’t look too neat if you miss a pass, but if you get that big trick your paddle will already be so far away from the water it’s not gonna make it down in time. And going back to the hand positioning- maximum fingers up also means if your use your paddle you’re much more likely to lose it. Good. Cleeeeeeans.

5. Watch Plenty of Edits

Like, all the time. I recommend STAKEOUT, any Benny Marr freestyle clips (Shapeshifter especially), all that stuff. Much steeze can be learned through watching steezy individuals in person or through a screen. People to check out for next level ultramodern style- Ben Marr, Pat Camblin, Paul Palmer, Luke Pomeroy, Devyn Scott, Quinton Kennedy, Dane Jackson, and the absolute and unchallenged god, James Rowlinson.

Bonus. Be Baggy

While this one isn’t imperative, baggy gear certainly helps. Big drysuits, jerseys over em, all that good stuff.  No one will deny the benefit of a ballin’ jersey.

I hope this has help inspired some to pursue this life on into the future! Keep in mind, it will become all-consuming. Many of the other aspects of your life may also increase in steeze as you learn. Life will look brighter, the world better. A life of being ultramodern is a life in the fast lane. I hope I may have helped you on this road, and to see you being mad stylish on the river.

-David Silk