Tip 6 - The Backside Turn

Ok, let’s talk turning. The next step in your surfing master class…

You have the backside turn (your back to the wave) and the front side turn (so you are facing the wave). You will find countless variations on techniques but we are keeping this basic so it can be performed on white water waves and unbroken waves.

So, backside turn today, front side shortly:  If it’s an unbroken wave you start the turning process when you reach the bottom of the wave. If it’s a white-water wave you can make the turn at any point.

So, from the top, catch the wave, pop up in a straight line and start looking along the wave where you want to go. Look by turning your head and then follow with the shoulders. Now use the leading arm to point along the wave. So now, your head, leading shoulder, and leading arm are all pointing in the direction you want to go/across the wave (see pic). This will naturally make you lean into the wave without over doing it (the second you tell a newbie to lean they get all Kelly Slater and over cook it). The back arm just trails behind, but keep it lower than the front arm.

Now, you should be trimming (travelling across the wave) so hold this body position and gradually push forwards on the front foot to gain speed. As the wave begins to slow down, look towards the beach, ease up on the front foot, drop the arms down and you’ll fade back into a straight line and step off in style to rapturous applause from fellow wave sliders.

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