Controlling the board and utilizing the entire wave face will lead you to the next level of surfing.

The Inertia

Using this simple DIY drill, you will be able to complete more secure turns and find yourself riding waves longer.  The basic turn is one of the most undeveloped pieces of surfing when you are a beginner, so controlling the board and utilizing the entire wave face will lead you to the next level. One of the most common mistakes trying to trim your board instead of carving a turn. Here, we will start to get rid of that bad (lazy) habit.

Quick Analysis: Why you fall in your bottom turn

Not being able to complete carving turns is probably the one thing that keeps surfers from improving in wave control. Instinctively, we try to trim our turns. The problems are often because:

-You are using your torso instead of your legs.
-You are leaning too much with your upper body instead of weighing your back leg to pivot the board.
-You don’t want to lock up the knees or stay too tall during turning.

How to turn the most efficiently

To successfully execute a nice turn you should pay attention to the foundations:

1. Right foot placement: Maximizing your control over your board

-With all turns, you need to get your foot as far back on the board as possible. Putting more pressure on the back foot will help you keep your board steady and control the rails.
-Compress your body: make your body small, as if you would complete a squat at the gym.
-Keep your knees bent: a low center of gravity provides better balance (kind of like loading up a string)

2. Arm movement: Maintaining fluid upper body motion.

-One key to all turns lies in the motion of your upper body (chest, shoulder, arm movement). The trailing hand is almost touching the water as if to create a pivot to hang on to. Everything rotates around your trailing hand.
-Always keep your leading arm outside your knee.

3. Head movement.

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. Simply put, keep your eyes on the target.

How to practice catching waves at an angle at home

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 stringer of your surfboard.

-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 squatting motion (do turns in both directions).

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 back, putting more weight on that back foot.

4. Use the turning worksheet to track your progress. I created a simple surf turn worksheet to track your progress. (we even shot videos for you to make it easier to understand). Print it out and put it somewhere where you can regularly see it (on the fridge door or on your dining table). This will nudge you to do this exercise more. You will see your progress clearly.

By following the instructions on the worksheet, you will turn more securely, ride waves longer and have more fun surfing. And that is what matters.

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




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