Beginner Surf Gear

The Best Surfing Tricks

Surfing is a sport that’s all about action. There are many different surfing tricks and techniques to master. These range from simple beginner manoeuvres to more advanced tricks done by the pros. Part of the fun about progressing in surfing is learning new sets of tricks to bring to the waves. 

Once you have got the basics down, like duck diving and popping-up, you can start to experiment with new manoeuvres to take your surfing to the next level. Learning surfing tricks is a great way to keep challenging yourself in the water while learning to pull off some really cool moves. 

surfing tricks

Top 12 Surfing Tricks

Want to start advancing in surfing with some new manoeuvres? We have chosen a few of the best surfing tricks below to get you shredding the waves like a pro.

1. Bottom Turn

This may not be the most exciting surf trick to witness, but it’s the essential foundation to base any surf moves on. You need to master a solid bottom turn first before moving on to other surf tricks. 

The bottom turn is when you take off for the wave a little bit late and keep a steep line. At the bottom of the face of the wave, bend your knees, and stay low. Put some pressure on your toes, and twist the direction of your board while keeping good speed. This sets you up for any surf tricks to follow.

2. Tube Riding

Riding the tube, or barrel is generally considered the pinnacle surf trick. This is when the rider locks themself inside the hollow area of a breaking wave. The curling lip of the wave covers over the surfer as it breaks.

For tube riding, you will need to maintain good speed and direction on the face of the wave. Get down low, possibly grabbing the rail of your board, keep above the line of the white water, and enjoy the ride. Just like in the surf movies.

surfing tricks

3. Snap

This is when you surf from the bottom turn up to the top of the wave and lift the board halfway over the crest of the wave. Then you turn your shoulders towards the wave and push away with your back leg. This is best done on a steep wave with enough speed. 

4. Carving

Carving is a move that allows the surfer to change their direction and line on an open wave face. This is when you dig the rail into the water and put lots of pressure onto the back of the board. This helps you to carve out a new line on the wave.

5. Cutback

The cutback is one of the essential surf tricks. This move is about slowing down your pace, as well as changing direction. When doing a cutback, the surfer moves from the shoulder of the wave to the pocket – or the steep section.

This is done by pressing weight on the back foot at the top of the wave, bringing the left hand down and pressing the left rail into the water. The surfer then does a kind of bodily twist to change direction.

6. 360

As the name implies, this is when you rotate in a complete 360-degree circle on the wave. This will require quite a lot of speed while you drive the board to the lip of the wave. You then shift the weight across your feet as you rotate in the 360-degree motion. 

7. Off the Lip

This is a top turn off the lip of the wave where the board takes a vertical angle. The surfer hits a steep slope on the wave, resulting in their board sticking straight up out of the water off the lip. The surfer then quickly turns the board back down and rides back down the face of the wave. 

surf trick

8. Floater

The floater is a well-loved trick for intermediate surfers. This is when you ride straight over the foamy section or lip of the wave just before it breaks. Instead of doing this as a sharp turn like other manoeuvres, a floater is done horizontally. This helps surfers to go straight over breaking sections of a wave instead of around them. 

9. Aerial/Air

An air manoeuvre is a more modern surfing trick that has only become very popular over recent years. As you can guess from the name, this is when the surfer launches themselves right out of the water and into the air. Airs are best done on waves around 2-3 foot where you can launch right off the lip and land back on the face of the wave. 

surfing tricks

10. Hang Ten/Noseriding

Noseriding is the classic trick to do on a longboard. This is when the surfer shuffles up to the very front tip of their board while riding a wave. This manoeuvre is also called a hang ten, as you will ideally hang all ten toes off the front of the board without catapulting forward. A hang five is a variation of this, where only one foot reaches over the edge.

11. Alley-Oop

The alley-oop is a variation of an air. The concept is the same, but the results are just intensified. This is when you fly really high over a wave while the breeze from the shore keeps your board up against your feet. When doing an alley-oop, you do a kind of backwards aerial rotation. An alley-oop requires a sharp bottom turn, and a solid kick up off the lip.

12. Rodeo Flip

A rodeo flip is a pretty complex manoeuvre where you launch into the air, grab the board, flip backwards or forward, and land back on the wave. This surf trick was invented by Kelly Slater and requires a good amount of speed buildup. 

Final Thoughts

There are loads of surfing tricks out there, with new ones being invented all the time. The list above includes some of the most classic moves for intermediate to advanced surfers to perfect.

Surfing offers seemingly unlimited possibilities, so its always worth trying out new tricks and manoeuvres while in the water. This will help to open up a whole new world of surfing and will see you achieve some impressive tricks to advance as a surfer. Alternatively, for those more lazy folk you can always invest in an electric surfboard which does all the work for you 🙂

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