- Los Angeles US-CA
Southern California business executive Gerald Thermos is a longtime surfer, who has ridden many of the top breaks around the world. One aspect of surfing that Gerald Thermos particularly enjoys is riding backhand barrel waves. This is shorthand for surfing a tube, or barrel, with your back facing the wave. Successfully riding a barrel requires accurately gauging the dynamics of the break and the tube and adjusting continuously through a series of speed pumps and stalls. After initially setting the board up to catch the tube, the surfer stalls by sticking his or her backside in front of the wave. This reduces speed and enables the surfer to enter the barrel. Once in the tube, a line is set that will enable the rider to cut through it with maximum efficiency. During the ride in the tube, the surfer makes minute adjustments up and down the wave face, which translates into a gain in speed. These pumps are much smaller than on an open breaking wave, as a slightly too-wide pump will result in the surfer breaking the plane of the tube. Just as critical to a successful ride in the tube is maintaining a firm center of balance, with the chest facing squarely toward the open end of the barrel.