EPISODE 12 : How To Get A Backside Barrel With Micky Clarke

The Santa Barbara and Ventura region produces world class surfers, some of which ascend to the highest levels of professional surfing, and others who are well known underground heroes. Micky Clarke is writing his story one page at a time and is an underground hero of sorts, with bravado in waves of consequence, and an arsenal of tricks that make him a stand out in all conditions globally. He has a velvety smooth style that when combined with his power and rail game, and raw x factor brand of surfing, the results are explosive and unpredictable.

In this tutorial, Micky breaks down how to get a backside barrel from entry and take off, angling, to slowing down, grabbing rail and dragging the butt and arm in the wave, pulling into the barrel and how to make it out.

Step By Step Coaching Tips

Step One:
The Set Up

  • Position yourself as deep as possible behind the section
  • Keep your eye on the wave and work to anticipate what it is going to do
  • The section will determine your angle, paddling speed, and timing
  • Often you will take off under the lip, more in the belly of the wave

Step Two:
The Pig Dog, Slowing Down

  • Pop up grabbing the rail
  • Drag your butt in the wave as much as possible on the drop, along with your leading arm.
  • You almost create your own personal foam ball to loosen the board up.
  • The movement and feeling is almost like body surfing because you are so connected to the wave, but you still have your board there. 

Step Three:
Pulling In

  • Your butt drag will allow you to slow down as much as possible
  • Continue to drag your butt all the way from the drop, into the bottom turn
  • Set your line and gauge how much speed you will need to make the section
  • Once you see the lip peak up and throw, release your butt drag and begin accelerating from behind the section.

Step Four:
The Barrel and Completion

  • Once inside the barrel, depending on the section, you may continue the butt drag to stay in the barrel longer and to slow down. Great way to manage speed. 
  • To speed up take the butt out of the wave.
  • Keep the head and shoulders angled in the direction of the waves bend
  • From there it is picture perfect, the wave doing everything. 
  • Let mother nature do her thing and enjoy the view and ride out.

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