Surfing Tricks and Maneuvers Terms
Are you ready to get all of the great surfing tricks and maneuvers down? We have completed a detailed name list of the moves you need to perform if you ever want to become a world champion and start competing at every level.
As we have covered before, surfing is an extreme water sport with many tricks. The surfer’s unofficial manual says that the surfer who invents, pulls, and completes a new maneuver has the honor of naming it whatever name they want. This is the reason why many of the surf tricks have interesting titles. You will also notice depending on where you are surfing; a maneuver can have different names or two terms for the same trick with delicate variations.
After you have learned the basics of surfing such as paddling, duck diving, popping up, and going down the line, surfers advance into a more dynamic and complex wave riding tricks and maneuvers. It is true to say that there are surfing tricks for all kind of experience levels. A surfer cannot move up to the intermediate level without knowing how to bottom turn and navigate down the line.
So before you even think about getting the best tube of your life at Pipeline; you need to perfect your basic surfing skills, learn how to read the waves the right way, train your footwork, and watch others surfing when completing the most advanced maneuvers. Also before you start learning all of these great new tricks and maneuvers names, you need to learn the common surf terms and surfing phrases that we use as a language. Most surf maneuvers and tricks can be performed frontside and backside.
Now let’s learn, try and experiment old and new surfing tricks and maneuvers to be the best surfer we can ever be.
Beginner Surfing Tricks and Maneuvers
The bottom turn is THE most important out of all the surfing tricks and maneuvers in surfing. It is the foundation of surfing because it is the first turn you do on a wave after dropping in. It is also a setup turn to achieve a bigger turn off the lip. It allows you to channel all of your speed and momentum towards the open face you are riding. It is where it all begins, and is the bottom line.
The cutback is a key maneuver in surfing. It allows you to decrease your speed with a great purpose. The maneuver takes the surfer back from the shoulder of the wave to the speed zone in the whitewater, gaining more speed.
A carve allows you to change your line and direction in the open sections of the wave. When carving, you put all of your weight on the rails, making the rails sink, then you draw an arc and stay in the curl of the wave.
Intermediate Surfing Tricks and Maneuvers
The snap, also called slash in some areas, is a radical change of direction in the pocket or even at the top of the wave. When performed perfectly, it produces flashy, spectacular, amazing buckets of spray behind and up the wave.
This maneuver is one of the most beautiful and most popular turn in surfing. The roundhouse cutback, usually performed on smaller waves without much of a wall, allows the surfer to return and curl the wave, which then makes the surfer gain some speed and amplitude off the top. It makes a figure 8 surf line.
The layback is a maneuver that is achieved on the face of the wave when it is a little steeper than usual, on a closeout, or off the lip. This surf maneuver involves all of your core muscles as well as leg muscles. It’s a great way to throw of spray out the back of the wave. It is done by doing a turn and then last minute in that turn the surfer throws the board out in front of him/her so that the back leg becomes completely extended and you are laying down with your back on the water but at the same time your feet are still planted on your surfboard. Then the surfer will use the core muscles to get back on the surfboard, bringing the legs back to the body. This maneuver is beautiful to watch and a lot of people try it. When failing the completion of the layback we call it the stay back. Also to remember how to do it surfers describe it as dropping your wallet and you are trying to get it while extending your body fully.
Off The Lip
This is a vertical turn in which the surfer attacks the steep wave, project half of the board off the wave’s lip, and then drive it radically down the wave towards the bottom. All without losing momentum.
This surf trick allows the surfers to get past a broken lip part of the wave, a closeout section, or even whitewater; connecting 2 open face parts of the wave. This maneuver can be very tricky to do and has to be done with lots of speed to complete it.
The floater is one of the classic surf maneuvers that looks so pretty and is spectacular to watch when performed well. It involves gliding horizontally to the wave over the lip or foamy section that is about to break. Instead of going around the crumbling area of the wave, the surfer goes on top of the wave using all the speed possible. This maneuver shows that you have control of your surfboard in competition.
The closeout re-entry is the last possible maneuver you can do on a wave before the closeout section of the wave. It is usually the last move on a wave.
The tail side is a fairly new maneuver and is very nice to see. It involves letting the tail and fins of the surfboard slide down the face of the wave. The key is to let the fins free by shifting the body weight from the back to front foot.
This is the ultimate longboard surf trick which entails the surfer walking all the way to the nose of the surfboard and standing there while riding the wave. There are other names for it such as hang five (which is with only one foot), and hang ten.
This is not very common because most surfers are not too good at it. It involves riding the wave in the opposite surfing stance.
This is a maneuver very hard to achieve and some are never able to complete. It requires a lot of speed, stability, and core muscles. It is a full rotation on the face of the wave. Can be performed either carving or reversing. The surfer spins down the wave in both cases, it can also be called 360.
This is another maneuver that not a lot of people get. A skateboarding inspired maneuver, which entails the surfer to flip his surfboard 360 degrees along the extension from the nose to the tail of the surfboard. The first ever to execute the kickflip is Zoltan Torkos.
Advanced and Professional Surfing Tricks and Maneuvers
This is the ultimate move out of the surfing tricks and maneuvers that has been around for years. It requires a lot of effort and timing to get barreled. This is described as the best surfing experience and feeling by all surfers; it is the ultimate goal when surfing. It involves the surfer to ride the hollow part of the wave, between the white water breaking and the face of the wave; automatically being fully covered by the curling lip. Perfect barrels are very rare and hard to find, the most popular surf spot for barrels is Pipeline, Hawaii. Other names for tube riding are barreled, pitted, and tubed.
Another skateboarding inspired surf maneuver that is a backward ariel orientation.
The superman is awesome and fun to watch it being done. Also, an ariel maneuver when the surfer energies his surfboard down the line, drives up in the air, projects the surfboard to the beach, grabs the rails and relinks with the surfboard before landing.
An air in surfing is a maneuver completed when the surfers gains a lot of speed, finds the ramp (usually when the wave is breaking), launches off the top of the wave with surfboard on feet, and then lands on the face of the wave or in front of the wave in what we call the flats. This maneuver is also referred to as air 360, air reverse, backflip, 540, or 720 depending on which variation is completed.
An inspired surfing maneuver. It is a combination of spinning and flipping in the air.
A very new surfing maneuver that is performed and named after Josh Kerr. It is a full rotation alley-oop combine with a mute and talefish grab.
Made and performed by Flynn Novak. This is a backflip grab maneuver.
Founded and completed by another great professional surfer; Julian Wilson. The sushi rolls involves an acrobatic air which combines the superman and the rodeo flip.
Now that you have all of the surfing tricks and maneuvers names and terms, you are ready to go and learn them. Always make sure to stay in shape because some of them do require a lot of physical exercise and also make sure that you are always learning moves depending on your surfing level. So if you are a beginner you should probably not focus on a tube, for now, you first need to learn how to bottom turn. Oh and just so you know, it will take a lot of fails and wipeouts before you can complete any of these moves the right way. Have fun out there and be safe!