Tofino Surfing: Frontside off the Lip
by Peter Devries, Tofino
The frontside off the lip is a great move because it gives the same
weightless feeling you get from an air. It involves hitting the lip
and kicking your tail out the back of the wave to release your fins.
Timing and balance are critical throughout the entire move because
when your fins release out the back you have no control. So Get ready
to hold on and go with the flow.
Catch a frontside wave with some power and a nice lip. A crumbly
mushburger won’t do it for this trick. Look for some speed! You need just
a little bit less than you would for an air. Start your bottom turn
out on the flats. You want to accelerate through the bottom turn, and
use your body like a spring to crack the lip and kick your tail out.
Get low and put your trailing arm in the water for balance and leverage.
Really lean into it.
You should always be looking at the section you want to hit, even
before you do your bottom turn. Bottom turn at a 75 degree angle to
and as you get more and more comfortable go as straight up as you can.
As you turn up the wave your body will want to extend. Don’t
stand straight up and get all stiff, just try to do what feels natural.
Open your shoulders into the turn as top half of your board comes over
The difference between a normal reo(re-entry) and a fins out reo
is in how long you wait before you change direction and kick your fins
out. Opening your shoulders will initiate the reo, and pushing out
your back leg will turn it into a fins out reo. Keep watching the lip
ahead and below you as you pivot over the middle of your board on the
lip. Timing and balance are very important at this stage; If your weight
is too far back you’ll fall backwards off of the lip onto the
flats and your board will land on top of you, and if you’re weight
is too far forward or you turn to late you’ll be left out the
back of the wave.
You want to end up with the lip in between your feet with your back
leg extended, and pushing through the turn. Your front leg should
be bent in a straight line over your body, from your leading shoulder
to your knee, over your front foot. Stay low and go with the flow
your board pivots.
Try to look at the transition of the wave so you can get ready for
your decent. As the lip starts to fall you will hopefully be going
with it. If it’s a heavy section step on your tail in preparation
for an air drop; if not cruise back into the wave and hit the lip again.
Taj Burrow calls these the frontside waft in Globes new, “TB’s
Book of Hot Surfing,” and if you’re serious about your
surfing you should pick this book up. It has everything from waxing
your board to 360 airs. Mick Fanning and Parko are a few others who
do these well.
Peter Devries grew up in Tofino and has been in surf competitions
since he was 14. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tofino surfing: Frontside off the lip - Tofino surfer Pete Devries explains this surfing move in Tofino Time Magazine.