How To Bury The Rail With Sebastian Zietz

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Sebastian "Seabass" Zietz. Photo: Hennings

How To Bury The Rail With Sebastian Zietz

Airs have been all the rage lately. Wanna land a sponsor? Do some airs. Wanna land a chick? Do some airs. But if you really want to grab the attention of your surfing peers in the know, pull off a deep rail gouge like this one by Seabass.—Casey Koteen

Step 1. Start off by surfing a wave that has enough power to rocket you into a decent section. For maneuvers like this, you’re going to need power and speed or you’ll lose momentum halfway through the turn.

Step 2. Guide your board down the line, gathering maximum speed. When you start to run out of useable wave space, pick a spot on the lip that’s starting to feather and get in a quick bottom turn. Get up to the lip and get your board on its heelside rail.

Step 3. Push into your back leg and begin to fall back with your body. You are trying to push your tail through an arc while you keep the nose buried, so use your back arm as a brake for your upper body as your lower body pushes the board out. As you keep pushing, you’ll probably have to use both arms because you’ll be falling back onto the wave.

Step 4. Once you feel like you’ve lost almost all of your speed, use the wave to push you forward and get your board above water again. If you’re going to grab your rail, this would be a good time, as it will help get your body back over your board.

Step 5. Bend your knees and pull yourself up while getting your board to plane on the surface of the water. The more often you pull yourself up from being buried in the whitewater, the more comfortable you’ll become with the subtle body shifts you need to do to get yourself back up. Oftentimes, you’ll start to fight your way back only to fall as you’re almost successful, but your persistence will eventually pay off.

Notes
-A really deep bottom turn will force you to get through a lot more water and will make the turn a lot harder to pull off because you’ll burn off some of your speed on the way up the face. Your bottom turn for rail gouges should be done with the goal of preserving as much speed as possible.

-Try to keep your fins in the wave face as you start your turn. Seabass strikes a perfect balance by keeping two fins in the wave face at the start of his turn and then allowing for their release as he gets his rail buried in the face.

-As your turn progresses, you want to keep your body and board really connected so that it can move with the wave. It’s easy to get passed up by the wave, but as long as you keep your body being pushed forward by the wave, and you keep pushing your board with your legs, then you’ll be able to pull it off.

Homework
A few surfers come to mind when it comes to big rail gouges. There are some good web clips of Peter Mendia, Dane Reynolds, and Conner Coffin on transworldsurf.com that illustrate deep rail gouges perfectly, check the Conner clip below…