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How to Hit the Lip

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Nike US Open of Surfing
Joe Scamici/Contributor/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Definition: What is hitting the lip?

The "lip" is the highest point of the wave just before it breaks by either crumbling or tubing. Depending on the wind strength and direction, a lip can have many moods. For instance, an on-shore wind (one that blows from behind the wave and toward the beach) can create a cushiony, white-water bank across the wave top.

While a wind blowing away from the beach directly toward the open wave face(or off-shore)finely sculpts the lip into a more sharply defined section with lots of curve as it throws out and over as a barrel.

Hitting or bashing the lip can also be termed a "re-entry", "straight up", or any word that depicts the sound of a good lip hitting maneuver such as "wack", "smack", or my favorite "shralp".

How to Hit the Lip: The Set Up

Assuming that you can stand up and ride somewhat confidently down the face of a wave, we can proceed with the maneuver which begins as soon as you get to your feet. You should be eyeing up you target zone just as you get into you bottom turn.

Look down the line and keep you eye focused on the spot you think will be standing tall and pitching out just as you approach it. In order to meet up with your corresponding section, you may have to adjust your line whether you need to ride high and wait for the wave to stand up or get low and speed up to meet an oncoming section. As with all maneuvers in surfing, speed is of utmost concern since it dictates how smoothly and powerfully you will complete your move.

How to Hit the Lip: The Move

It sounds quite violent, but if done correctly, hitting the lip should be flowing and controlled. Just as you approach your target zone, put more weight on your back foot in order to create a pivot effect that will enable you to move the forward half of your board side to side like a windshield wiper.
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