Tofino surfing: The Frontside Cutback & The Bottom Turn
by Peter Devries, Tofino
The Frontside Cutback
The frontside cutback is a move that is used by surfers of all skill
The cutback allows you to use the rail of your board, and brings you
back to the source of the wave where you can generate more speed for
your next hit.
Like every other move in surfing the frontside cutback starts with
speed. By entering the turn with speed you will be able to lean on
your rail harder adding more spray, and style to the turn. Pump down
the line looking for a section that has a nicely sloping shoulder to
turn on. Start your bottom turn as soon as you reach the flats, and
drive up the wave face at a 40 to 60 degree angle. When you reach the
middle of the wave face bend your knees and shift your weight from
your toe side rail to your heel side rail to initiate the cutback.
Twist your upper body in the direction you are turning, and extend
your leading arm towards the water to keep a low centre of gravity.
Most of your pressure should be applied to your back foot while your
front foot guides your board through the turn. Halfway through the
turn your leading arm should be touching the wave face. This keeps
you low to your board as well as providing a point for you to pivot
around. Lean on your rail as hard as you can during this part of the
turn to create a tight powerful arc. Be sure to watch the tip of your
board as you turn because you want it to fit into the transition of
the wave perfectly in order to maximize speed. As your board turns
back towards the white wash you want to finish the turn. Do this by
straightening out you back leg, and centering your weight over your
fully bent front leg. This will add snap and style to the turn and
also keep you low to your board. Your board will finish with the nose
pointing straight back towards the white water. Stay low and focused
on the front rail of your board, and how it fits into the transition
of the wave. Now that the turn is finished turn your board back towards
the open face of the wave by pressing on your back foot. Watch the
transition of the wave as you pivot so you don't nosedive, and
go straight into your next bottom turn. The only way to learn cutbacks
is to go surfing so get off your computer and get out there.
Check out Sepp Bruhwiler, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons and most importantly
Taylor Knox because he has the best cutback in the business.
The Bottom Turn
The bottom turn is the most important move in surfing. It is used
every time you catch a wave, and every time you do a maneuver. Having
a solid bottom turn is essential to improving other areas of your surfing.
The first thing you need to do is catch a frontside wave, stand up,
and ride down the wave face with all the speed that you can. Ride to
the bottom of the wave until you reach the flats, the area in front
of the wave with no transition. Right when you reach the flats start
your bottom turn so you don't loose any speed. Bend your knees
slightly, and lean on to your toe side edge to initiate the bottom
turn. Be careful not to lean too far because you will bury your feet
under water, loose all your speed, and fall off your board.
should be evenly distributed between your front foot and your back
foot, and you should be focused on the part of the wave where you want
your bottom turn to end. Hold your line, keep your knees bent, and
when you come off the flats on to the transition shift most of your
weight to your back leg. Push on your back foot in order to gain as
much speed as possible while driving up the wave. To finish off a good
turn hit the lip hard, or do a powerful cutback. Once you've
completed a maneuver at the top of the wave continue down the line
and start your next bottom turn. After some practice your bottom turns
will be wired, and you can start leaning into them by putting your
trailing hand in the water.
As you can see there isn't that much
to a good bottom turn, but attention to detail will give you a little
bit of extra speed. This will allow you to make all your maneuvers
faster and more radical.
Peter Devries grew up on a surfboard in Tofino and has been in competitions
since he was 14. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tofino surfing: Frontside Cutback - explained by Tofino surfer Peter Devries in Tofino Time Magazine