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    Learn to Cross Step!




    About the Cross Step

    This technique is primarily used on longboard surfboards.

    Cross stepping is the act of basically walking along your surfboard, and as you can imagine, it’s quite difficult to master. However, using the Indo Board,you can master it fairly quickly because you don’t have to wait for the next wave to roll through in order to try the cross step repeatedly. This board allows you to practice the cross step over and over all day long until you get it right. Using these instructions, you’ll be cross stepping in no time – but we’re not saying it’ll be easy!

    One Leg at a Time

    In order to cross step, you have to learn to balance on just one leg at a time. This is because you’re going from balancing on two legs, to having one leg in the air while you step, then temporarily balancing again on two legs just before your next step, which is, of course, back to balancing on one leg during the step. There is a major mental hurdle to overcome here because the mind likes to over-correct the body when it gets out of balance. If someone pushes you forward, you’re natural reaction is to go up and back, becoming unbalanced but in the opposite direction. The mind kind of freaks out when the body gets unbalanced, and you have to train yourself to react with out overreacting when you feel out of balance. This is the mental aspect of learning to cross step.

    The Posture

    If you stand on the floor or ground and try to cross step, you’ll find that as you step forward, your body tends to go up and forward, which is alright while you’re not moving along the water on a board. But when you’re surfing, you have you, the board, and the water all moving independently of each other, so you’ve got to stay centered.

    The best way to maintain balance and stay centered during the cross step is to keep your knees bent, your head and shoulders up, without bending forward at the waist, and with your arms down.

    “I can do that,” you’re thinking – but can you do that while you cross step to the front of your longboard?

    Practice on the Ground

    Now get up and cross step on the floor, but do it while attempting to hold this position as you step. It can be difficult even while you’re on the ground, not attempting to balance yourself on a board. Since this is difficult even at this point, the first thing you need to do to master cross stepping on your surfboard is to master it on the ground. You can do this right now. Cross step over and over in your bedroom or living room, making sure you keep the posture described above. You’re making sure that your torso doesn’t move up or forward as your feet move from back to front, which requires that your stationary leg and knee is bent without any upward movement as your step.

    Now try stopping in mid-step and holding that position for a few seconds, balanced on one foot. As you put your foot down, land on your toes and then bend your stationary knee in order to bring your heel down onto the floor.

    In order to take the next step forward, you have to stand balanced on both feet, with equal weight on each foot. Once in this position, take the next step forward, carefully balancing yourself and maintaining the posture described above.

    Common Mistakes

    • Rising Up

    The most common mistake you’ll make while perfecting your posture is to rise up instead of bending your knees while you cross step, so pay extra attention to this. It’s simply easier to stand up taller than to bend deeper at the knees, but this won’t help your technique.

    • Bending at the Waist

    Another mistake commonly made while learning this technique is to have a very low posture by breaking at the waist. This is more comfortable than not bending at the waist, but it causes your butt to stick out and your knees to straighten; this is not helpful to your technique.

    Leg Strength

    Leg strength plays a major roll in your ability to balance on your surfboard, skateboard, and even your Indo Board. The stronger your legs are, the better you’ll be at riding and the faster you’ll master techniques such as the cross step.

    But It Feels Weird!

    Surfing and skating always feels awkward at first; learning to glide back and forth on a balanced Indo Board feels awkward at first, as well. Cross stepping definitely feels a bit awkward at first, but repetitive cross stepping with a strong focus on posture will eventually look like the controlled cross stepping of a professional longboarder.
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