How to Aerial in surfing – step by step instructions

Surfing is a popular water sport that combines athleticism, skill, and grace. It’s an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer.

One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of surfing is performing aerials. This maneuver involves launching yourself off and into the air, performing a trick, and landing on the wave face. This article will discuss the general steps and tips for performing aerials in surfing.

Aerial in surfing

An aerial is a trick in surfing where the surfer launches off the wave and into the air, performing a maneuver before landing on the wave’s face. It requires a combination of speed, timing, and technique. Here are the general steps to complete an aerial:

  1. Generate speed: To perform an aerial, you must generate enough speed on the wave. You can generate speed by pumping your board up and down on the face of the wave.
  2. Approach the section: Look for a quarter of the wave with enough slope and power to launch you into the air. As you approach the area, crouch down and prepare to spring upwards.
  3. Launch: As you reach the section, push down hard on your back foot and spring upwards, extending your legs and arms. Use your momentum to launch yourself into the air.
  4. Maneuver: While in the air, you can perform a variety of tricks, such as a grab, spin, or flip. The key is to stay balanced and in control of your board.
  5. Land: As you come back down, aim to land with your board facing down on the wave face. Bend your knees to absorb the impact and regain your balance.
  6. Ride away: Once you land, regain your composure and continue riding the wave.

It takes time and practice to master aerials, so start with small jumps and work your way up to more extensive maneuvers as you gain confidence and skill. Remembering safety precautions, such as checking the wave and surrounding conditions, is essential before attempting any tricks.

In addition to the general steps mentioned earlier, here are some more specific tips for performing an aerial in surfing:

  1. Choose the right board: An aerial requires a lightweight board with good maneuverability. A shortboard or fishboard is ideal for performing aerials.
  2. Position yourself correctly: Approach the wave section with enough speed and angle to launch into the air. For more control, your back foot should be positioned towards the board’s tail.
  3. Focus on timing: Timing is crucial for executing an aerial. It would help to launch yourself at the right moment to catch the maximum air. The more vertical the wave, the easier to launch yourself into the air.
  4. Practice your maneuvers: You can perform various maneuvers once in the air. Spend time practicing different grabs, spins, and flips to find what works best for you.
  5. Visualize the maneuver: Before attempting an aerial, visualize the maneuver you want to perform in your mind. This will help you to prepare and stay focused mentally.
  6. Stay relaxed: It’s essential to stay relaxed and flexible while in the air. Keep your arms and legs loose to help you maintain control and balance.

Remember that aerial can be dangerous, especially if you are not experienced or the conditions are unsuitable. Always prioritize safety and start with more minor maneuvers before attempting bigger tricks. With practice, patience, and persistence, you can master the art of aerials in surfing.


Aerials are one of the most thrilling tricks in surfing and can take your surfing skills to the next level. However, it’s important to remember that performing aerials can be dangerous, and it’s crucial to prioritize safety and practice with caution.

With the right equipment, proper technique, and lots of practice, anyone can learn how to perform aerials in surfing. So get out, catch some waves, and have fun while pushing your limits and mastering this impressive surfing maneuver.

Max Surfer


About Author

>> Professional surfer with over 10 years of experience >> Participant in numerous international competitions, including World Championships >> Experience in training and instructing beginner surfers

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