Improve Your Bottom Turn with These 4 Steps

The bottom turn. It’s the setup for most maneuvers in surfing. Want to get barreled? Do a cutback? A snap off the top?

A good bottom turn will set you up for success

We know its not as simple as it sounds, so here we are. We encourage you to play around with these techniques. Consider how your board feels different under your feet each time you try something new, and practice, practice, practice.

Below are 4 simple steps to improve your bottom turn:

  1. Keep your back foot on the tail pad

The tail (back end) of the surfboard is the point where the board pivots and turns. If your stance is in the middle of your board and your back foot isn’t placed on the tail pad, you may notice that the board feels stiff and difficult to turn. If you don’t usually get your foot all the way back there, just start here! Practice this. Notice how the board starts to respond differently. Just get used to placing your foot back there, then move on to step 2.

  1. Position yourself at the bottom of the wave

Mid-wave bottom turns just aren’t as good. Why? If you’re already halfway up the wave, there’s not much space to really set up for a good turn! The best a mid-wave bottom turn will ever produce is an average horizontal cutback. Try to get speed and pump yourself down to the bottom of the wave to set up for the bottom turn. This will ultimately give you more space on the wave to work with and result in a bigger, better maneuver.

  1. Touch the wave with your inside hand/fingertips

Once you’re positioned at the bottom of the wave, try to reach your inside hand or fingertips down to touch the wave. This will automatically pull your chest down closer to the wave and get you in a lower stance. It also creates a pivot point on the wave. Creating this pivot point will not only give you more control, but will help direct the nose of your board more vertically up the wave. Getting the hang of this is seriously a game-changer! When you try it out you’ll know what I mean. It may be a technique that you’ve never even noticed before, but after reading this I encourage you to go watch a few surf videos (of short boarders) and you’ll notice that talented surfers do it on almost every single wave.

  1. Look up (or ahead) at the section on the wave that you want to go to

The momentum from your bottom turn needs to take you somewhere! As you reach your inside hand into the water you should already be looking up (or ahead) at the part of the wave you’d like to go to. The purpose of a bottom turn is ultimately to set up for a barrel, snap, or cutback. Keep this in mind and keep your eyes on the prize as you set it all up.

 

We hope this 4 step guide to improve your bottom turn is helpful and encouraging. If you try out these techniques and they work for you, please share with us! If you’d like for us to break down another surf maneuver, contact us here.

Yoga for the Spine with Reesie

The spine is the highway connecting the brain to the body and is home to our spiritual centers, the chakras. It has 76 joints and 24 bones. It’s a big deal. Stretching to maintain a well-oiled spine is vital because it helps to keep the body mobile and fluid (and ready to surf).

The spine is a big deal

So, we’re stoked that we have another opportunity to practice Yin Yoga and get our spines movin’ with SWA’s resident yogi-surfer, Reesie! In this class, “…we’ll bend forward then backward then forward then backward and top if off with a twist”.

Grab one block and a few pillows (or a bolster if you have one), then click the video below to dive in!

Donations for Reesie’s online Yin Yoga classes are being accepted at Venmo – @cherise-richards or paypal – reesier@yahoo.com

Amigas Surfing Awesome Waves in Costa Rica Pre-Lockdown

holly beck, surf with amigas, Costa Rica, surfing, women

Super long glassy lefts and rights, ladies of all levels getting the longest waves of their lives surfing with amigas in southern Costa Rica. This is one of the last retreats we ran in the beginning of March before COVID changed the world. We can’t wait to get back to this lifestyle! Be sure to stay tuned for the hilarious wipeout section!

We aren’t sure when we’ll be able to get back to running retreats, but as soon as we can we will let you all know! Thanks for your support.

Add this Neck Stretch to Your Post-Surf Yoga Routine

Feeling neck tension from sitting at your desk all day? Or from a long surf-session? Woke up on the wrong side of the bed? Need a little yoga fix-me-up?

block. neck. magic.

It’s the most requested yoga sequence during most of our retreats, and if you’ve been on a retreat with SWA before, I’m sure you already know exactly what we’re talking about! Its simple. Its magical. It feels so good. Its also pretty difficult to replicate without the guidance of a teacher, so we’re extra stoked that our yoga teacher Reesie just released an 11-minute tutorial video of the infamous, “block neck move”. This stretch-massage duo for the neck has yet to be named, so try it out and let us know if you can come up with a good name for it!

Reesie’s online Yin Yoga classes are open for optional donation. Her info is as follows- Venmo: Cherise-Richards or PayPal: reesier@yahoo.com

To learn more about Cherise Richards, our head yoga instructor here at SWA,  click here.