An unknown surfer bottom turning about to set up for the end bowl section. Photo: Luke Forgay

The Inertia

Most of the beginner and intermediate surfers I talk to have a consistent issue with their bottom turn. Once they start riding steeper waves, they tend to have a problem making a fast and powerful bottom turn to set themselves up for the rest of the wave.

I’ve found this exercise works some of the same muscle groups we use to keep our weight on our back leg before a solid bottom turn, setting you up for more speed and the chance to start linking sections together as you move down the line. Doing this lateral lunge (three sets of eight reps on each side daily) will improve your ability to transfer weight more fluidly. If you feel your inner thighs are too tight, add in the frog stretch every day (for at least two weeks) to build up more strength and stretch your inner thighs. Training this muscle group will make a huge difference in your ability to make that bottom turn consistently.

To help master this drill and track your progress, I created a simple cheat sheet. It includes this drill and four others that will build your foundation for powerful turns.


Pay attention to the correct form:
-Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and engage your core muscles.
-From the starting position take a big step to the right with right foot.
-Keep your toes forward, parallel, and feet flat on the floor.
-Send hips back to shift your weight into the right heel as you extend your arms for balance.
-Push off your right heel to return to the standing position.
-Keep your back straight and push your chest forward.
-Repeat on the other side.

Avoid the most common mistakes:
-Try to keep the leg opposite of the one you’re squatting with straight.
-You should feel the inner part of your thigh stretch.
-Don’t lift your heels, as it will overburden your knee.

And if you feel like you could do more than eight reps:
-Grab a weighted object (a book, a bottle of water, a kettlebell, a baby, etc.) to increase the difficulty/weight load.
-Always pay attention to the correct form outlined above.

Let me know if this helped you, or what you want me to cover next by emailing me at





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