Photo: WSL/Ed Sloane

Everybody wants to have strong, powerful turns in their surfing arsenal. On top of that, we want to do them with ease again and again. Ideally, this is all even happening on a single wave.

The truth is, most of the people I see surfing don’t have the ability to link multiple turns together on a single wave. They can surf a wave well, make section after section, and potentially finish off with a solid turn. However, what’s often missing is having the lower body strength and control to continually change directions on a wave without losing momentum.

The good news is you can train for this at home and notice the benefits in a few days. Aside from doing traditional squats to improve lower body strength, side squats, aka lateral lunges, will train you for better weight transfers when standing on your board.


To help master this 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 a wide stance.
-keep toes forward, parallel and feet flat on the floor.
-shift your weight into your right heel as you extend your arms in front of you for balance.
-push off right heel to return to a standing position.
-keep your back straight (push the chest forward).
-repeat on the other side.
-it should feel as if you would sit on a chair from the side.

Extra pointers:

-keep your heels on the ground at all times (this is the most common mistake).
-it should feel as if you would sit on a chair from the side.
-if you can’t complete the entire motion, use a chair or hold onto a door.
-if you have problems with the range of motion, do this stretch every second day for two weeks and you will see improvements. You can email me for further stretches if you want more.

If you feel you could do more than eight reps:

-you can grab an 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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