Tofino surfing: The Backside Bottom Turn & The Backside Reentry
by Peter Devries, Tofino
The Bottom Turn
Like the Frontside Bottom Turn the Backside Bottom Turn is the most
important move in surfing. The backside bottom turn is essential for
every other move in your backside repertoire. It allows you to gain
speed, hit the lip, and change your position on the wave.
Start by catching a backside wave, and riding down the face with
as much speed as possible. Ride straight down the wave, and when you
the flats start your bottom turn right away. To start your Bottom Turn
bend your knees, lean on your heel side edge, and turn your upper body
in the direction you want to go. Look over your front shoulder. This
will initiate the turn and allow you to see the lip you are about to
hit. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your front and
back feet. Ride through the beginning of the turn without dragging
your heels in the water in-order to maximize your speed. It is very
important to keep your original line through the turn so you don‚t
loose any speed. Try to pick the right line from the beginning. When
you begin to go back up the wave transfer most of your weight to your
back foot, and drive up the wave face to gain the maximum amount of
speed possible for the wave. Focus on the section of the lip you want
to hit, and on pushing with your back leg. Finish your powerful bottom
turn with a big bash or a nice cutback, and continue down the line
to do another one. When you get the bottom turn down try to hit the
lip vertically or even over vertically.
Just like the frontside bottom turn the most important thing is your
attention to detail. If you don‚t make any little mistakes, and
if you‚re using the wave properly you will always be gaining
speed for your next move.
- Start your bottom turn as soon as you reach the flats.
with your original line, and ride it cleanly.
- Turn your upper
body towards the lip to see where you‚re
- Put pressure on your back foot to gain speed.
The Backside Re-entry
The backside re-entry is a fairly basic move, but it requires excellent
timing and body positioning to be completed effectively. Start
your bottom turn with a good amount of speed toward the steepest part
of the wave where the lip is justabout to break. Once you've started
the bottom turn, fully commit to it, and drive through it to gain
momentum and to get completely vertical. Your eyes should be focused
on the lip you are about to hit, and you should have your shoulders
rotated so your upper body is facing the lip. Rotating your shoulders
will allow you to get as vertical as possible. Your knees should
be bent with most of the pressure on your back foot. Proceed straight
up the wave until your board hits the breaking lip. Now you need
to change directions so your momentum does not carry you off the
top of the wave. When about one third of your board is above the
lip turn your leading shoulder down back towards the beach.
This will cause your lower body and your board to follow your upper
body and rotate toward the beach. You should be leaning over your
front foot with a low center of gravity while extending your
back leg. The
back leg extension will push your tail out the back of the wave,
adding spray and style to the move, and it may cause your tail
to slide so
be ready. At this point you will be facing back down toward your
landing place, and you may get stuck in the falling lip while
the wave. Stay low and centered over your front foot until the
wave pulls you back in. Once you feel your momentum going down the
switch your weight from your front foot to your back foot in order
to stop yourself from nose diving. Absorb the landing with your
knees and continue to ride down the line. To make this maneuver more
you can extend your board further above the lip, and you can try
to go over vertical on the way up.
The backside re-entry is a move that is great for steep point
breaks because they are easy to do over and over again plus
they never get
Backside Re-entry Tips
- Commit to your bottom turn once it's started.
- Rotate your lead shoulder toward the beach when the nose
of your board is above the lip.
- Extend your back leg, and stay low.
- Push on your back leg so you don't nose dive.
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 surfschool: The Backside bottom turn and the back side reentry are explained by Tofino surfer Pete Devries in this article for Tofino Time Magazine.