tofino surfing - the frontside carving 360 visit the photographer's website

The Frontside Carving 360

by Pete Devries, Tofino


Frontside carving 360's are an extention of a fluid powerful bottom turn. They require excellent timing and preperation to be executed effectively; and feel pure and almost effortless when you nail one. You want to try these on a nice steep peak with not much wall down the line, or when you come around a section that has a steep pocket to carve into. Don't try them on a mushy wave because you'll just fall out the back. Drop into the wave from just behind the peak. Drive straight to the bottom of the wave while being aware of where the lip you are going to use is coming down. Get low and start your bottom turn as soon as you reach the flats to conserve as much speed as possible. Lean into it hard and drive up the wave on your rail. Keep your eyes focused on the pocket of the wave. Where the foam meets the wave face is where you should be aiming. Keep your body weight over your inside rail, and keep that rail turning. Unlike a normal bottom turn to off the top, you are not going to be shifting your weight to your other rail at all. So all you have to do is lean into it and connect with the lip at the right time and place.

When you get to the top of the wave you want your board to be past vertical and still turning on rail.

This will give you the momentum to keep spinning when you hit the lip in the pocket. At this point you can also give your board a little bit of a spin off your tail. I would reccommend this when you are first trying these if you are getting left out the back while hitting the lip. To do this you want to put a bit more pressure on your back foot and spin your board a bit farther around before hitting the lip. To make these feel and look really good you don't want to spin off your tail at all. It's all rail. Lean in to it, and focus on the lip with most of the weight on your front foot. Connect with the wave just under the lip where it is steep and powerful. The nose of your board will come above the lip a little bit but the part of your board under your front foot will be hitting the section. The force of the wave will push your board back towards the bottom of the wave and help your spin to continue as long as you are over vertical when you hit it. You still need to be leaning on the rail hard and your eyes should be focused on the direction you are heading (back into the wave).

This part will happen very quickly so you have to be prepared to be thrown around a bit. Stay low and centered over your front foot while continuing the spin. The nose of your board should be coming around now, and you're almost there. Start looking towards the open face and standing up a bit to get ready for your next bottom turn. When your nose is pointed back towards the beach you should already be going down the face getting ready for the next section.

You did it. And if you did it with all rail you are feeling pretty good right now. I love frontside carving 360's when you nail a good one because you spin around so fast it's hard to tell what's happening. Kelly Slater is the master at these. I also enjoy watching Parko and Bruce too.

Frontside Carving 360 Tips:

  1. Timing and wave selection are crucial.
  2. Keep it on rail.
  3. Watch the lip, and time it.
  4. Hit the lip when you are past vertical.
  5. Keep the momentum going by using your rail & front foot.

Peter Devries grew up in Tofino and has been in surf competitions since he was 14. Email him at

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