To hang 5 or hang 10, that is the question! “Hanging” 5 or 10 is a surfing term used to describe a maneuver where you hang either the toes of one foot or the toes of both feet over the front edge of the board. “Hanging 10” is a famous saying that usually makes one think of more old school surfing as a catch phrase, but to people who actually surf, it’s a difficult maneuver that takes both grace and balance.
Hanging 10 is also called nose riding. It is usually done on longboards, which are boards that are over 8 feet. There are other kinds of fancy footwork you can do that fall under the category of nose riding, including hanging heels and even a few one-footed variations. The next few paragraphs will tell you how to hang 5 and 10!
After you have paddled and dropped into a wave, angle down the face of the wave and position your front foot around the middle of the board. Then place your back foot somewhere around the tail of the board and position your surfboard so it is on the midline of the face of the wave, also called the speed line.
Now that you are solidly on your surfboard and moving at full speed, it’s time to move to the nose to hang 10 if you are a more experienced surfer. This is the most difficult part of the ride to try and hang 5 or 10 because the more vertical the face of the wave, the more easily the bottom and fins of the board can leave the water. For an easier ride, wait until you are on the shoulder of the wave and you’re moving slower. Then move forward to the nose of the board. It will likely cause you to accelerate.
When you are moving toward the nose you can shuffle or, more traditionally, you can use the cross step method that can be more difficult but usually more stylish looking.
Let’s assume you’re going to cross step up to the nose. Keep your weight centered over the middle of the board, but be careful to keep the tail of the board in the water. When you are standing on the nose and letting your toes hang off, be careful not to accidentally overstep straight into the water!
When you are wondering which foot to put up first, start with hanging the toes of your dominant foot over the nose. This is the “hanging 5” part. If the nose of the board dips underwater go back to the center until you can regain your balance.
When you move your other foot to the nose to “hang 10”, you will probably experience a moment affectionately called “the glide.” It’s a moment of perfection where the board is moving along at its greatest speed and yet your body is at its most weightless. But about 2-10 seconds later, the wave will flatten, the board will become looser and the nose will dip.
There are a couple tips to keep in mind about nose riding! You don’t need to be super-athletic to ride on the nose, so hanging 10 is good for surfers of all ages. Also, the longer the board, the better, and try to stick to smaller, cleaner waves.
Now it’s time to ride! Grab your longboard and get out there!