The Cross Stepper Trainer 3000

I’m bound and determined to learn this mystical trick they call cross stepping. It’s where you nimbly step, foot over foot, down the center of the board to control speed and to show off some style and skill while surfing. Here’s an example of a cross step, mid-step, by an expert, Kassia Meador:

Kassia Meador showing style even on a larger wave.

I watched the movie “The Walkabout” and Kassia noted that she would practice cross stepping with a 2″x 4″ on the ground, using it as a low balance beam. I thought this would be a cheap, easy, low tech DIY, but I’m going to finish one out a bit to my liking and for safety as well. I also want to use this indoors with the rest of my small workout gear.
I found a piece of pine out in the garage from a scaffolding project that was a 1.5″ by 3.5″, and approximately 32 inches long. Good enough. If you have bigger feet than mine, get a wider beam.
The pine was pretty rough, so I wanted to give it a good sanding before I painted it. Since I have zero patience (you knew that already) I hit it with the power sander for a few passes on each side, and made quick work of that task. If you use power tools, PLEASE follow all instructions that come with the tools and use safety equipment!

One end clamped to work on the other end.
Work slowly! It doesn’t take long overall.

After sanding it down with some 100 and 120 grit, I was ready to paint it with some extra acrylic paint I had lying around. I went ahead and painted all sides, including the top, using up the paint and also ensuring the beam would be smooth and wouldn’t bow slightly on one side if I had painted just on the bottom. Next, I cut a scrap piece of SeaDek traction in a rectangle 3.5″ by 32″ to adhere to the top of the beam when it dries. The traction is about 3 mm thick foam, so not only will it provide traction, it will give the beam some cushion on my feet.

Painted beam and the cut traction to go on top.

If you don’t have access to this kind of traction, you can get some 3M grip tape at the hardware store. The type I got is made from textured rubber, NOT that gritty, scratchy stuff, so I can use it indoors barefoot if I wanted, which is the intention.

3M textured rubber grip tape from the local hardware store

I used the foam traction for this project, and here’s what it looks like attached, trimmed, and with some flair….

Harder than it looks.

Super easy to make. I set mine on a grippy mat, but if you’re setting yours on a slick surface spring for some rubberized grip tape on the bottom or some grip dots so it doesn’t slip out from under you.
Actually, for being so simplistic, this is a good exercise, and really tests your balance without you crashing to the ground if you mess up.
The next thing Kassia advised was to NEVER shuffle on the board- only go for it and step. Kassia, I like to ride a wave once in a while for more than a millisecond….let just try this first.

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