The Forehand Surfer

It’s not so much that the forehand surfer loves surfing on his forehand, more that he becomes physically sick at the thought of surfing on their backhand. This anti ambidextrous predisposition is usually a result of environment rather than genetics. It is often the case that these surfers started to surf on a stretch of coast where the best and most consistent local breaks all went the one way. If that happened to match their forehand, surfing waves with their backs to the wall just wasn’t on their radar. For example Australia’s Gold Coast is a breeding ground for naturalfooters whose forehand features a quicksilver groomed style and backhand that looks like two donkeys having unprotected sex with an athritic badger. If we can put it another way, have you ever seen Parko or Fanning go left? Other pockets of one-wayitis include Australia’s north-west desert coast (I present Exhibit A, Ryan Craike), the endless lefts of Chile and the righthand points of Baja, Mexico.

Ever seen Parko, Fanning or Curren go left? OK, yes, but can you remember it? TC, Indo. Photo: Nate Lawrence

Thus having grown up with waves favouring the traditionally easier forehand, these surfers tend to find themselves hardwired on to their one directional path and unable to go back(side). This favouritism becomes so entrenched that these surfers will often choose a fat, crowded forehand waves over double the size, double the quality backhand waves. They will also carefully select their holiday destinations based on the waves forehand ratio. European forehanders tend head to Morocco and it’s series of rightpoints and settle in for a couple of pigdog free months. In fact these dudes would prefer their chances at ordering a round of mojitos at the local mosque than successfully tracking down some of the slabby lefts that the country offers.

Of course this turning a blind eye to half the waves on offer can’t be considered a positive. To these surfers shifting beachbreaks is a living nightmare, while in the odd occasion when they are forced backside (say when the alternative is a 10 wave set on the head) they know deep down what they have, or more correctly haven’t, turned their back on. Eventually, after so many years of disuse the backhand, like a gangrenous arm, will eventually drop off. No longer part of their surfing armory, they will go to their salty graves, their backhand like a drooping cock of no use, to nobody. Still that doesn’t seem to worry them.


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