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Monday, March 3, 2014

Bottom Turn Tips for Surfers for Longboards, Shortboards and SUPs


Bottom turns are  the first step in taking your surfing or paddling from the rookie stage to pro status.   Bottom turns are critical to successful trick transitions.  Mistiming this maneuver causes a loss of speed and forfeited opportunities.   Drops, barrels, reentries, floaters, and aerials are all reliant on a solid bottom turn.  So here is what you need to know about nailing bottom turns.
http://stwww.surfermag.com/files/2011/06/glaser_slater.jpg
photo: SurferMag.com


The Shortboard Bottom Turn

  1. Catch the wave at the steepest point
  2. Make sure the center of your body is lined up with the center of your surfboard.  The stringer on the board is the center of the board
  3. Bend your knees and get really low.  This will help you generate more power with your legs.  
  4. Push, lean and twist  in one motion, keeping pressure on your back foot.  This will help your surfboard grab the line and turn.  
  5. Try not to lean so deep you bury your feet in the water.  Doing this will slow you down your momentum.  

http://www.surfgirlmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/bottom-turn.jpg
photo: SurfGirlMag.com

The Longboard Bottom Turn

  1. Again, catch the wave at the steepest point.  This helps you build speed and velocity.  
  2. Make sure the center of your body is lined up with the center of your board.  This helps you keep your balance and carve a clean bottom turn
  3. Soften your knees and move to the tail of the board.  Moving to the tail allows you to pull some of the surfboard out of the water which gives you less friction and makes the bottom turn easier and smoother.    
  4. Push down with your back foot, lean on to the rail, and twist your body.  Be careful not to bury the rail or your bottom turn will turn into a wipeout.    

SUP rack

The SUP Bottom Turn

  1. Again, catch the wave at the steepest point.  This helps you build speed and velocity.  
  2. Turn your feet so your toes are pointing toward the side of your surfboard (the side of a board is called a rail).
  3. Soften your knees and move to the tail of the board.  Moving to the tail allows you to pull some of the board out of the water which gives you less friction and makes the bottom turn easier and smoother.  
  4. Use your paddle like a rudder to guide you into the bottom turn. You will still need to push down with your back foot and lean on to the rail.  The paddle will give you more stability and help pull you into the line.  

Clean bottom turns rely on practice, speed, timing and confidence.  Perfecting your bottom turn will help you set up for all the other tricks.  So, what maneuver you have been practicing?


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