The tube ride is the ultimate ride. Often referred to as "getting barrelled" or "shacked' or "int he green room" and many other names.

A tube ride is when a surfer rides inside the breaking wave. Preferably, with the wave not touching you at all.

Sometimes you will hear the rush of air and water inside the tube - like a roaring wind tunnel.

Sometimes a tube will spit! This happens when all the air and water is forced out the end of a tube as it shuts down back inside.

Surfers describe this feeling of being in the tube as "exhilarating" a "total buzz", "stoked".


Whenever the opportunity arises! Just pull in whenever possible!

Ideal waves for tube riding are above 4ft, hollow with good offshore winds.


Prior to entering the water, you can see if the waves are breaking in good form and tubing.

Look for signs of spitting as this means there are hollow waves. Spitting is when the air inside the tube is forced out the open end.

You will also see if other people are getting tubes.

Look for double-ups. Sometimes double up waves pitch over a bit better at one section of the break, causing them to tube.

You see the possibility of getting tubed if you ride the wave in the right way. You see the wave face in front of your building, and the lip thinning and starting to throw out and over.

Sometimes you will do your bottom turn around the peeling lip, pull up into the curl and straight into a tubing section.

Late take-offs often result in a tube or slight cover up as the wave is already standing up to a peak and throwing over as you take it.


When the waves are tubing, try to set yourself up so you are in a position where the wave tubes.

A fade can be used to set yourself up for a tube. You see the wave building further down the line in front. You then fade down into the pit of the curl, as the wave is building up and pitching over. Straighten up and let the wave throw over you. (shack time!)

When you take -off from the back door side of a building swell, you can sometimes do a fading cutback off the wave as it begins to stand up in front of you. Then as you do your bottom turn, you should be set for the barrel.

Other times you might need to do a quick stall or snap (depending on the wave) to set yourself up for the tube.


Step 1: When you begin to see the lip throwing over, set your line.

Step 2: Place your weight on your back foot to stall the board and get into a crouched position.

Step 3: Bend your back leg and place your chest over your front foot staying low and compressed.

Pro tip: The bigger the wave/ tube, the more you are able to stand up, as it throws over.

Step 4: Place your entire body over the center of your surfboard and your eye your exit.

Step 5: Drag your arm in the waves faces to slow down or move your feet further forward to speed up.

Step 6: As your trim along the face of the wave inside the tube, keep adjusting your line with the opening of the tube ahead.

Step 7: Grab the rail if you need for extra support.

Step 8: Eyes focused on the exit ahead and ride out on the open face... Wahoo!



a) ACTION: The peeling lip hits you in the head as you pull in.

RESULT: The peeling lip takes you out (wipe out)

CORRECTION: Try again and watch out for the lip next time.

b) ACTION: The tube breaks too fast for you to keep up and shuts down on you.

RESULT: Wipe-out.

CORRECTION: Try to keep up your speed in the tube by pushing small turns. Some waves just break too fast so they will always shut down. Maybe a longer board will help you get more speed along the wave and in the tube.

c) ACTION: You are in a tube and it just closes down on you, due to poor waveform.

RESULT: Wipe-out.

CORRECTION: Try to break out through the front of the wave onto the clean water in front.

d) ACTION: You don't keep re-adjusting your line, dropping down too far on the wave face inside the tube.

RESULT: The lip, or wave face, hits you. Wipe-out.

CORRECTION: Try to stay high and in the open pocket of the wave where the tube gives you more space to fit into.


Ex WQS warrior, and all-round frother - Loz is the technical coaching queen at the House of Surf.

She is also a mindset and life coach and has a habit of living in her van way too much. 

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