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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Surf With Amigas believes in giving back to the communities where we live, love, and surf with our guests.
We have been funding baby sea turtle conservation programs in Nicaragua and Costa Rica for many years. Our funds contribute to turning potential poachers into conservationists, assuring that sea turtle nests are not raided by people wanting to eat or sell the eggs, but that eggs are transferred to a safe hatchery, assuring the best chance of success for the little turtles.
Starting last year, Surf With Amigas has supported a therapeutic arts program for Costa Rican children and adults. In a community where there are not any extracurricular activities available, having an opportunity to spend some time in a safe space, exploring art with an encouraging teacher has contributed to an increase in self-esteem and feeling of well-being. This program is especially important now that schools are shut down.
Our partners are asking for our continued support of these worthy programs, but unfortunately since we are not able to host any retreats right now we don’t have the extra funds to do it. We are reaching out to ask if any of our awesome Amigas have a little extra to help in this time. Luckily, a little goes a long way down here.
We know and love these organizations and know that 100% of the money generated will go directly to these projects. Thank you so much for your continued support!
Do you ever find yourself paddling for a ton of waves only to actually catch a few? Or do you find yourself feeling off-balance and slow while you’re paddling out? A few years back we made a paddle tutorial that may help you to improve your technique. It’s short, sweet, and right to the point!
The video below covers a few tips and techniques that will help you improve on the strength and length of your stroke, as well as your balance and control. It also includes a few things to avoid doing while you’re paddling.
Keep your fingers together and your hands in a scoop shape
Dig your entire arm into the water (up to your armpit)
Paddle in the shape of the Coco Chanel logo and draw big, “C’s” under your surfboard
Keep your sh** tight!
We hope this paddle tutorial is helpful! You can check out more surf tutorials on the Surf With Amigas YouTube channel here. As always, please let us know if there are any other surf-related tutorials you’d like to see.
Back before social distancing was a thing, when travel was still an option, when warm water and good waves were all we were thinking about… here’s a highlight video from a time we can’t wait to relive.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org