What can you do with your board after you're able to stand up and keep balance? Learning and performing surf tricks is important for all surfers. Naturally, you too want learn more and improve your surf skills. If you already know the basics, then this article is perfect for you, as it describes some surf tricks that you can try next time you paddle out.
Surf tricks can be performed both, on and off (with air-time) the wave as well front side and backside. Barrel riding and longboard manoeuvres.
Some examples of wave tricks are:
Bottom turn is an important step because it sets the base for your ride. It is the first move you need to perform after dropping in to a wave, as it enables you to transform your pop-up motion into horizontal speed down the surfing line. To perform the Bottom Turn, you must use your back-foot to turn your board in the direction you wish to surf. At this point, you will be ready to consider your next move.
Re-entry - Sometimes described as 'off the lip' or 'hit the lip', Re-entry is the next manoeuvre to perform after you pick up speed and make a bottom turn on your surf board. This trick is all about the speed. You have to reach the highest point of the wave as quick as you can and then ride down from it as if you’ve just caught it. Making this trick your board is at vertical position so it is very effective to watch.
Cutback. To make this element you have to move farther from the breaking line and make a powerful but at the same time smooth turn to the direction of white water. Cutback allows you to generate more speed for your next trick. It is often used before the tube riding to take up the best position for it. Roundhouse cutback is a very effective trick and exciting to watch. A surfer rides to the breaking section of the wave and once reaching white water he makes a cutting turn at the opposite direction. It looks like a surfer is riding the figure of eight on the surface of the wave.
Reverse. Reverse is usually made after re-entry or cutback when a tail of your board is still in the air. Surfer turns around at 180 degree riding from the wave with the fings in front.
Layback. Here the surfer lean on the wave with his back. Frontside layback differs a lot from backside layback. Frontside is made on a high speed cutback and the difficulty is that you need to use all the power of your legs and the water to raise back up from it. Backside layback is usually used while barrel riding. You lean on the wave wall trying to keep balance. Nowadays layback is popular after air tricks as a way to correct the mistakes of water landing – surfer has an opportunity to fall down and return back to a position immediately with a water power.
Snap. This trick is similar to cutback, so don’t mix them. Snap is a quick directional change. It is a very rapid maneuver that helps you to stay at the correct spot of the wave not lost your speed at that. If you push your board forward doing snap and lean on the water straightened your back leg – it will be called Layback snap. That way you combine two tricks at one.
Stall. Stall is for slowing down your speed. You need to move the weight of your body to your back leg drowning the tail of your board a little bit. It can be used for riding deeper into the tube or just not to miss some place you need on your wave.
Floater. When a surfer gets on to the lip, rides it and re-enters back into the wave – it is called floater. What is amazing about floater is that it is ridden with such lightness in movements, looks like a rider is sliding the lip of the wave being gravity free at all. Floaters are also good choice for finishing the maneuver at the wave when it starts to close down. Here you can just make a floater and ride away with a white water.
Carving 360. After bottom turn a rider makes a very fast 360 degree turn right on the lip in the direction where the wave is closing down. It is a very effective trick cause a surfer is spinning around so fast while doing it so it’s hard to recognize what is happening there.
Tail slide. During the fast turning a rider moves the weight of the body on to the front leg relieving the tail of the board at this and making it sliding the water. That way a surfer rides on the tail of his board. If you do the same but on the lip of the wave – it will be called Tail waft.
Among the air tricks the most popular are air reverses, alley oops, superman, different flips. A lot of air maneuvers came to surfing from skateboarding and have some similar features. A rider flies out of the wave, makes a trick there in the air with his board and lands on the same wave. Air tricks are very challenging, it needs high speed, careful choosing of the right section of the wave to jump and a lot of practice.
Barrel riding is a particular direction in surfing. At the contests it is also a separated discipline. All the surfers dream to find a tube wave and catch it. They are ready to cross the world in searching of it. And not everyone can ride it, cause it needs good knowledge and experience, confidence in your movements and posture on the board and complete absence of fear. Cause you have to ride that part of the wave which is the most challenging and risky for a surfer.
Longboard surfing also goes as a separate category. It looks like a dance on the board. And there are a lot you can perform there and have fun. For longboard tricks you have to know well how to move the weight of your body to travel on your board. You can make cross steps on the board, try to ride the nose of your board or perform different fun tricks like fins first take off or head standing.
Longboard tricks look very effective and always interesting to watch.
As you can see there are a lot of opportunities in surfing and things to do and to practice. You will definitely discover something for yourself, something close and individual for you. But the only way to find your style and learn all the maneuvers is to go surfing! So don’t postpone it, surf more, don’t give up when something goes wrong and we hope to meet you in the ocean performing all that tricks some day, good luck with it!;)