Did you realize that every surf turn should start with your head? Not only with the thought of actually turning, but literally by you turning your head towards the direction you want to go?
Many beginner surfers try to start their turns with their feet, but don’t realise that if you turn your head first, your body will follow and it is much easier to do turns like this.
The whole movement is very simple and goes like this:
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.
The movement can be broken down into four simple steps:
1. Look at the lip (where you want to turn to)
2. Lean forward toward the inside of your board – make your trailing hand become the center of your turning circle
3. Put a lot of pressure on the back leg while keeping your back foot on the tailpad
4. Twist your body
You can practice this at home easily by doing the following:
1. Create a line on the floor by using masking tape or rubber band/string. Stand on the line in the correct surf position as it were the your board’s stringer which runs right down the middle.
- Arms spread out nicely for more balance
- Torso (chest) is facing forward)
- Knees are squeezed (see the Charleston drill for practice)
2. Put something parallel next to your feet 40–60 cm away from you on both sides, or create an “X” with masking tape. Imagine that this is the center of a circle.
These two X’s will be the target you want to reach with your trailing hand during the squats (do turns in both directions).
- Always keep your leading arm outside your knee.
- Remember to keep your eyes and head focused in the direction you would like to go throughout the turns. You always want to look at the section you want to hit — keep your eyes on the “target”.
3. Compress your body, bend your knees as much as you can and try to reach the spot with your leading hand. Shift your hip backward — put more weight on the back foot!
Repeat the above drill five times on each side for at least three days to commit this to your muscle memory, so next time you can use it instinctively out there in the water.
Enjoyed this article and want to improve further? Find out what the number one issue with your surfing that’s holding back your progress by clicking here.