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.

SWA is Now Offering Virtual Surf Coaching

What’s the best way to improve your surfing abilities? Besides clocking more hours in the water (obviously), we believe that playing back your own surf footage alongside an experienced surf coach is seriously the best way to improve. That’s why we offer video coaching as a standard part of almost all of our surf & yoga retreats. As most of you already know, our retreats are currently on hold, which means in-person video coaching is on hold too. For this reason, we’ve decided to offer virtual video coaching!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Surfers can send their surf footage to SWA coach and former professional surfer, Holly Beck, and then schedule a one-on-one virtual surf coaching session which will be held on Zoom. In these sessions, Holly will analyze each surf clip and break down all the little details. The sessions will also include time for answering questions and discussing surfboards, reading waves, surf breaks, etc. Anything goes!

The coaching is not only perfect for Amigas who want to get their old SWA footage reanalyzed,  but also great for other surfers who already have their own footage. If you don’t have any surf footage, stay tuned. We may have a few options for you in the near future.

Our goal is that surfers of all levels will come out of the coaching sessions re-energized, re-inspired, and equipped with specific techniques to help take their surfing abilities to the next level.

Stoked and wanting to learn more? Click here for all the details.