Stab Magazine | How to tweak straight airs, with Noa Deane
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How to tweak straight airs, with Noa Deane

Interview by Ali Klinkenberg 1. Picking the right wave is king. Don’t go for waves without a wall and pick the one long enough that you can get three pumps in before you get to the section. Hopefully you can hit it with enough speed to get the right pop. Catch everything. I always scrap for […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Interview by Ali Klinkenberg

1. Picking the right wave is king. Don’t go for waves without a wall and pick the one long enough that you can get three pumps in before you get to the section. Hopefully you can hit it with enough speed to get the right pop. Catch everything. I always scrap for every wave in-between the sets. You never know what it’ll deliver. Pick the ones that have got back wedge. They hold the most speed and you can stall and wait for the three perfect pumps. Take a shallow bottom turn, and pump into the lip to get the right pop. Otherwise, you’ll feel like it’s a waste of time tying to do finners off the lip on burgers.

2. Pick your breaks. A wave like D’bah pushes ramps through consistently. It’s simple. The more opportunities you get the faster you’ll be nailing ‘em. When I’m out there I just wanna get the ones that wedge off the wall. A wedge into a ramp that’s got heaps of power. Tallows near Byron is good to escape the Goldy grind.

3. Conserve that energy! I’m hammering when paddling, and when I’m up I try to leave myself two decent pumps before I start the shallow bottom turn and head to the air. I used to race really hard for the whole wave and then try and do an air, but you kinda get worn out. Then I saw Julian Wilson who wasn’t going that fast, but I realised he switched it on and went as fast as he could right at the end of the bottom turn. Then, lean in on your toes to get heaps of speed as you hit the lip, instead of having a fuck load of speed the entire wave and then hitting it and you’re just like, ‘Fuck, ah, I dunno, idiot.’

4. Feet placement. Your front foot needs to be positioned as normal, and you back foot needs to be in the middle of the grip. Not on the kick. When you hit the lip you wanna go almost straight up like you’re gonna do a wheelie, and then you grab frontside and pull your front leg back and kick your back leg forward. Then pull the grab and kinda tuck it in to your front foot, and that’ll tweak it out. If you look over your back shoulder down by your back foot, then you’ll be able to let go of the grab at the right time to tweak it. It’ll kick back, instead of it turning into an air reverse. You’ve got to kick in opposite ways, front foot back and back foot forward.

“When I watch someone do something that’s boned out, even if it’s tiny then it’s just sick and makes the air memorable. I never really think about things as being harder, I just care about how it looks on film.”

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Mexico. Photo: Laserwolf

5. Style matters most. I don’t think many people really give a fuck about whether it’s that boned out or not, but when I watch someone do something that’s boned out, even if it’s tiny then it’s just sick and makes the air memorable. I never really think about things as being harder, I just care about how it looks on film. There’s certain things that people do that set them apart from the rest. Like John John’s oops are the coolest thing in the world because he crazy bones it down and tweaks it round, but goes really slow in the air. Then he comes round perfect and just hammers it. I wanna do the same thing as him but just do big frontside airs and then just come down and hammer them.

6. Do your research. Dane Reynolds opened my eyes to them in Mexico with that one shot from behind in Modern Collective. He was just tweaking the tail down and around, then landing them backwards. I was like whoa, that’s gnarly! But then I researched it more and I started watching Christian Fletcher and saw he’d been doing them for years; no grab and boning them out with big steeze. Plus, he’s riding like 6’5’s! He’s the biggest maniac in surfing ever. Then, obviously Bruce Irons in Campaign was the tits as well. So high, perfect steeze.

7. Certain wind, certain airs. I think for spinners you want it pretty windy, but for straighties; light onshore, or maybe even offshore. Because you can can come up the face and huck your board into it.

8. Punt where you shouldn’t. Back when I was still supposed to be filming for my (Cluster) part, I’d been filming for a year so, and I was surfing down at Rainbow Bay. I was like, “I’m not going to try an air here because I’m going to be so bummed if I land it (because no-one’s filming),” and the biggest section came at me and I went at it pretty nonchalant and just boned out a pretty solid straighty, and I was looking down and I was like, “fuck it feels pretty big,” and I just went bang! and stomped it. I was like, “you fucken idiot!… Why? Why, can I land it now but when I’m filming I have a meltdown?” The Mexico break I surf in Loaded is another example. That wave was really good for doing airs, but not that good for landing them. When you want to do really big airs, you’ve got to do them on unfriendly waves. Friendly waves don’t give you the same pop. When it’s a thick lip and shit you get launched way harder, it’s crazy.

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Byron Bay. Photo: Shane Fletcher

9. Order the right equipment. Yep, I break heaps, and I get double layered glass on the deck. People pick them up and just think that they’re the biggest logs. But I still break heaps. It’s the biggest pain. As soon as you start projecting out into the flats it’s like 80 percent busted boards, 10 percent busted ankles.

10. Ejecting is weakness. I just try and land everything, to be honest. It might change when I’m older. Vaughn Blakey was calling Ozzie Wright creaky knees, but Ozzie still does the craziest airs. I would never want to have the chance of doing a massive air and have doubt in my mind and be like, “I’m jumping off.” It’s more like the optimism of, “I might land this.” But 90 percent of the time you don’t, you break your board, or you just get fucking trashed and get angry. But when you make it, it just looks insane. I feel like I haven’t landed an air like that in so long though, one where I was like, “fuck, I thought I was gonna break my ankle but I landed it.” I actually had one in my Cluster part where it was like a slob, and I landed it and went into layback, and then stood back up and then got bowled back over by the wash. I was like “fuck!” I fully thought that I was gonna get toasted because I went up and tweaked it as hard as I’ve ever done.

11. Front deck grips. They’re sick. I find them so much better for airs and tubes. The only bummer about them is trying to move your feet. I’ve landed a couple of airs with them that I wouldn’t have been able to do without the grip. I would’ve just slipped off the front. It’s kinda scary because you land and your foot just sticks, it feels like you’re going to break your ankle. It’s weird in tubes sometimes when you’re coming across foamballs and your foot’s just locked in. It feels pretty rad.

12. Combos. If combos are massive then I’ll buy into them. But people always say that smaller combos are better than one really big air. Airs as big as you can do them are the pinnacle. But two massive ones are the tits. That’s John John shit right there.

“I would never want to have the chance of doing a massive air and have doubt in my mind and be like, ‘I’m jumping off.’ 90 percent of the time you won’t make them, you break your board, or you just get fucking trashed and get angry. But when you do, it just look insane.”

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Hawaii. Photo: Bosko

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