One New Way to Carve Your Surfing Turns


I have learned a new way to teach carving to students taking Surf Lessons in Oceanside. Students often take threeSurfPictures6.28-0211-300x225 one hour lessons which provides an opportunity to advance beyond the first day’s learning. In the first day, I make most students independent so they can practice on their own.

The advantage of the second day is I introduce new concepts like carving and paddling out to waves. Most books you read will talk about carving by turning the upper body toward the turn which torque the feet and then the surf board. In Laird Hamilton’s book, his buddies say its all in the foot pressure on the rail. When you watch video of the pros you can see them turning the board on a rail to make cut backs and run up the face to do a rip.

In reading a book on Mavericks, one of the pros said that the back foot controls the carve. One of the reasons to read is that most of the advanced surfers you talk to don’t really know how they do it. They just do it. It is hard to find secrets that someone can articulate.

I tried the carve using the back foot only. I would ride the soft top board on foam after taking a pocket as far as it would go. I turn toward the beach, get in front of the foam wave and then pressure the toes or heel of the back foot while giving just a little body torque. It seems to work well.

I introduced it to a second lesson student for riding foam to the beach and he mastered it. He started straight and then he was shooting down the foam at an angle toward the beach as though he was riding the pocket on the outside.

I told him that he was actually riding a pocket that forms in front of the foam wave. This should enable him with some practice to paddle out to a bigger foam wave and practice or learn to catch a real wave and get into the pocket.

When I shoot down a face of a real wave and want to bottom turn into a pocket, I pressure both feet and because of the speed the board turns easier. When I want to back turn at speed, I turn my upper body back towards the lip and turn with a little heel pressure (I am regular footed) and the board turns on a rather level plane. If I use just my rear foot now, I can get more rail in the water and still maintain my balance in a smooth carve.

It is definitely an individual user preference, but the more options you have the more likely you are to find what works best for you.


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