Bottom turn in surfing – how to do it right, efficiently, safely

Surfing is a sport that requires skill, strength, and balance. The art of riding waves has captured the imagination of people for generations, with surfers traveling to some of the most remote corners of the world to catch the perfect wave. One of the fundamental techniques in surfing is the bottom turn. This maneuver sets the stage for the rest of the ride and can help surfers maintain speed and control throughout their ride. In this article, we will discuss how to perform a bottom turn in surfing.

Bottom turn in surfing

A bottom turn is a fundamental maneuver in surfing, and it’s the first turn a surfer makes after dropping into a wave. It involves turning the board back towards the breaking wave and generating speed to set up for the next maneuver.

To perform a bottom turn, a surfer leans their weight onto their back foot and uses their back hand to guide the board back towards the wave. The surfer then shifts their weight to their front foot, which creates speed and sets them up for the next section of the wave. A good bottom turn is critical for generating speed and maintaining flow throughout a wave.

Bottom turns can be performed in different ways, depending on the wave conditions and the surfer’s style. They can be tight and compact, or drawn out and flowing, and can be combined with other maneuvers like cutbacks, off-the-tops, and aerials to create a seamless ride. Practice and experience are key to mastering the bottom turn and using it to its full potential.

Good bottom turn also helps a surfer to gain control and momentum, allowing them to perform more advanced maneuvers. It can also help a surfer to avoid sections of the wave that might otherwise cause them to lose speed or fall off.

To perform a bottom turn effectively, a surfer needs to read the wave and position themselves in the correct spot. The bottom turn is typically performed when a surfer is at the bottom of the wave, where the wave is steeper and faster. This allows the surfer to use the energy of the wave to generate speed and maintain momentum.

How to do a bottom turn in surfing

To perform a bottom turn in surfing, follow these steps:

  1. Paddle towards the wave and as you approach it, look for the section of the wave where you want to start your turn.
  2. Once you reach the desired spot, paddle towards the wave and drop down the face of the wave, transitioning from a prone position to a standing position.
  3. As you start to drop down the face of the wave, begin to turn your board by leaning onto your back foot and using your back hand to guide the board towards the wave.
  4. Once your board is turned towards the wave, shift your weight forward onto your front foot, which will generate speed and help you to maintain control of your board.
  5. As you come out of the turn, look ahead to see what’s coming next on the wave. You may need to perform additional turns or maneuvers to continue riding the wave.

Remember to keep your body loose and relaxed during the turn, and to use your eyes to look where you want to go. Practice is essential to developing a smooth and effective bottom turn, so keep at it and enjoy the ride!


The bottom turn is a critical skill that every surfer needs to master. It helps surfers generate speed, maintain momentum, and set up for other maneuvers on the wave. With practice and experience, surfers can develop a smooth and efficient bottom turn that allows them to maximize their performance on the wave.

By following the steps outlined in this article and keeping in mind the tips and tricks discussed, surfers of all levels can improve their bottom turns and take their surfing to the next level. So grab your board, head to the beach, and start practicing your bottom turns today!

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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