It’s All in the Hips

How to
“You’re a lot stronger when your hips are ahead of your shoulders. Even if you bend your knees, keep your hip-to-shoulder alignment the same rather than breaking at the waist.” – Tarah Mikacich Photo: Bill Doster

If you want to go higher in the air once you hit the wake, the secret is in your edge. When you are edging, pressure from the water flows against the bottom of the board and propels the board along its edge. The more pressure against the bottom of the board, the faster you will go on edge and the higher you will go when you hold that edge through the wake.

This pressure can be increased by simply leaning harder onto your edge while your body is in a tall leverage position. Think of your body as a long lever, or as the handle of a shovel wedged under a rock. The longer the lever or shovel handle, the easier it is to lift the rock. Now cut that shovel handle in half and try to lift the rock. You will discover that you have to apply twice the force to lift the same rock. When you are in a tall edging position, you are like the long-handled shovel. Your body, however, has a natural tendency to hinge at your waist. When you break at the waist while edging, you cut your leverage in half, like the short-handled shovel.

Although it’s easier said than done, the key to a stronger edge and more pop is in your hips. If you keep your hips pushed forward, closer to the boat than your shoulders, you will retain your leverage and potentially double your edging power. Remember, it’s all in the hips!


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