Mar 14, 2012
Tips From The Pros: Double Clutch Take Offs!
Back in the 60's, Greenough altered his take off technique when he rode Velo in weaker, dead based waves.
George used to refer to them as "double clutch takeoffs." What he would do is drop down the face part of the way, then stall, and let the power in the wave rebuild, then drop in again, this time with the added forward momentum left over from the first partial drop in. The process takes all of two or three seconds, tops.
This is like double clutching a big truck when starting from a dead stop. You let the clutch out, give it some gas, and the truck moves forward a bit. Then you depress the clutch, re-rev the engine, and release the clutch again. With the forward motion of the first start and the fresh RPMs in the engine, the truck now moves with less strain on the power train. This was a common practice back when gear boxes weren't synchronized, and still used today.
OK, so how does this relate to mat riding?
On waves without a firm base or a clear cut power line -- meaning kind of weak and junky -- you can stall part of the way down the face, and after a moment, drop in more forcefully combining the speed from your first drop and the steepening of the wave. It's a subtle move, and well worth trying the next time you're out in less than perfect surf!