Have you always wanted to surf long waves, increase speed and splash your friends with water from your rollers?
This article will ensure you know all about the key manoeuvres, how to pull them off to step up a gear in the water and become this summer's TOP surfer!
Before starting, it is important to bear in mind that picking up speed is THE fundamental factor when trying the following manoeuvres. Speed will enable you to surf longer waves, move through sections (areas where waves tend to break), gain in power, change direction and perform your first manoeuvres successfully.
Heremoana Luciani, our surfing technical partner, shows you what to do in five coaching videos.
Manoeuvre no.1: Pumping
To build up speed, you must move up and down the face of the wave while focusing on three essential points: bending/extending; the position of your arms and the gaze.
Surfers put their weight on their front foot (applying pressure) as the wave descends and then return to a normal standing position ("lightening effect") when coming back up
1. Bending // stretching
In order to create speed you need to generate speed and you do this by bending and stretching on the wave. You must bend on top of the wave (as it descends) and push down into it. This has the effect of adding pressure.
Stretching is aimed at ""lightening"" your body and you start doing it at the bottom of the wave and push upwards.
2. The position of your arms
In order to build up as much speed as possible and achieve the best balance it is important to keep your arms parallel to the wave.
Make sure the flats of your hands follows the shape of the wave.
Gaze is the key factor for all boardsports as it guides your body and keeps it on the wave you're surfing.
To enjoy a better surfing experience, keep looking into the wave and not at the end of the board.
Manoeuvre no.2: Bottom Turn
The bottom-turn is a manoeuvre surfers often perform as the wave begins to form just after take-off.
The aim of the bottom-turn backside is to turn in a satisfactory manner at the lowest point of the wave so you're moving as fast as possible when you reach the top of the wave.
1. Bending (on your feet)
You have to bend your knees while pressing on your heels (""weight increase"" phase) in order to push the board rail well into the water.
2. Gaze and shoulder posture
Your gaze is fundamental when undertaking all surfing manoeuvres; it guides your shoulders and the rest of your body towards the chosen direction (in this case, the top of the wave)
The last phase of the backside bottom-turn is aimed at "lightening" your whole body in order to reach the top of the wave as quickly as possible to perform the manoeuvre.
In conclusion, phases 1 and 3 enable you to generate speed whereas the purpose of phase 2 is to provide a pivot for the rest of your body.
Manoeuvre no.3 : Backside Roller
The Backside Roller is the surf manoeuvre par excellence: you can perform it on all types of waves but the more powerful the wave the more radical the roller. To perform a backside roller it is important to focus carefully on the position of the lip (top part of the wave) where you want to try the manoeuvre.
Three aspects are important: gaze, building up speed and the movement of your shoulders.
Doing a backside roller
1. Manage your speed before the manoeuvre
The surfer must build up as much speed as possible to perform a backside roller in order to hit the wave again.
It is important to look at the part of the wave where you want to perform your roller. The gaze is also important during and after the manoeuvre.
3. Moving your shoulders
The gaze triggers the movement of your shoulders and this is vital. This shoulder movement contributes to transferring weight, a prerequisite of a roller in other words pressing on the drift at the top of the wave and lightening your body at the end of the manoeuvre.
Manoeuvre no.4 : the backside Cutback
The cutback is a "must" manoeuvre & one of the most spectacular but requires a fair amount of power.
It's like tracing a type of 8 by "turning back" in the middle of the wave, where the real power is.
A cutback involves changing direction twice.
You need to think ahead before doing a cutback, in other words know where your surfboard is bound for.
Doing a Cutback ?
1. In order to pull off a great Cutback the first turn must be long to make sure you don't lose any of the speed needed for the second turn. To do this, you need to lighten your body and ride up to the top of the wave again to turn at the top before coming back inside the wave. You must focus your attention on the position of the second turn as soon as possible.
2. Once you've got back inside the wave, just turn round 180° moving your arms in the same direction as the wave.
At this point in the manoeuvre, your body should be well bent over with your shoulders perpendicular to your feet.
3. After getting back inside the wave, you need to put your bend in order to pick up speed."
Manoeuvre no.5 : The re-entry
The re-entry manoeuvre is performed at the end of the wave when it is going to break.
It allows you to do a last move with style, before being taken away by the foam and/or taking a new wave.
Just like for the previous manoeuvres, you need to focus on 4 fundamental points:
1. Bending // stretching
When you're at the bottom of the wave, relax to "lighten" your body and climb the wave while moving as quickly as possible. Bend your knees to lower your centre of gravity and turn round 180° while staying as stable as possible.
Your gaze moves the rest of the body (in particular the shoulders), when you're at the bottom of the wave, aim for the place where tou want to hit the lip of the wave to re-enter. Once you're at the top of the wave, turn your head and focus on where you're going to land.
3. Moving your shoulders
When you reach the top of the wave (on the lip), your head turns to look at where you're going to land. At that moment your shoulders and the rest of your body must follow to turn quickly without losing your balance and falling.
Remember to bend backward when landing and avoid hitting your face on the surfboard.