The cross step is a wave riding technique whereby the surfer moves up and down the board. When done properly, it’s a graceful dance. When performed incorrectly, it’s a one-way ticket to a wipeout.
Why Do Longboarders Cross Step?
Cross stepping is a great way to display grace and poise as you shift your weight forward toward the nose of the surfboard. It also helps to control speed along the wave.
Cross stepping is not just the reserve of surfers. It is also a technique performed by longboard skateboarders and serves much the same purpose.
How Do You Cross Step on a Longboard?
To perform a cross step, you need to keep your weight centered as you move forward on the board. You should also take wide steps, focusing on methodical movements to ensure that your balance remains centered.
Cross Stepping Process
- With your knees slightly bent and your board trimming the wave face, angle your board and take a large step, moving your back foot across your front foot.
- Transfer your weight to your front foot with the heel of your back foot raised slightly.
- When your back foot touches the board, bring your other foot (now the rear foot) to the front.
- Don’t point your toes forward and try to keep your feet at the same angle to avoid shifting your balance too much.
It helps if you keep practicing the initial cross step, with your back foot crossing over your front foot.
Once you have finished cross stepping to the nose of the board, you can reverse the process and cross step toward the tail.
It should also be easier to cross step when the board is not cutting through the waves at high speed.
Summary: Learning the Cross Stepping Technique
Cross stepping is not a rapid shuffling movement. It’s slow, graceful, and measured. It’s about keeping your weight balanced and centered, putting a little weight on your toes, and shifting forward one foot at a time.
That first step may seem a little unnatural and you may be thrown off balance. But eventually, you will learn how to control your balance and take measured steps.
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and the only way for beginners to learn is to keep cross stepping, keep trying, and persist until they are able to do it as gracefully as the pros.