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"To turn, just lean to side you want to go to."

I've heard many instructors say " To turn your surfboard, just lean to the side you want to go to."  But you have to make sure the body is still INLINE with the surfboard.


Leaning Front side out of the Bottom turn.  Her body line matches the lean angle of the board.


Here a bit more angle than the board. His body leads the action of the board.


Twisting, Leaning, Turning.  


Her torso leans forward, but her butt sticks out.  That hinge of the body, breaks the bodyline. Most of the weight is behind the angle of the board.


Strong angles of BOTH the body and board leads to good turning. 


Eyes up, Back arm ready to swing back. Board on the flat bottom starting to roll to the inside rail.


Back arms rips back, Torso twist, board leans and turns clockwise with the body. 


Yes, lean in the direction you want to turn. But LEAN, TWIST, TURN and Keep a strong bodyline if you want to turn better.  


Please look at the daily surf photos at  to see more LEAN.

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Rail Loading on a surfboard to noseride.

Noseriding is more than just walking to the nose.  You need to stall, lock the tail, walk using a cross step, and Load the Rail.


As she goes right, she walk on the right side of the board.  Notice the left rail is high off the water surface.


Uncrossing, her back foot is set in the middle of the stringer line.


Her front foot lands NOT on the stringer, but to the side of it.  


Crossing stepping on the INSIDE rail.  Both of her heels on on the right side of the board.


This locks in that rail, Majority of the right rail is stuck into the wave.  Tail is fully locked down.  


Very easy to see here.  When you walk, walk along the inside rail.  Back side or Front side it doesn't matter.  


Watch the good noseriders cross step and get to the nose.  Which side of the board do they walk on ?  


Please check  to see more LOADING 

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steering a surf board

A lot of instructors and I say, " Point where you want your board to go ".  But you have to point with your fingers correctly.


She is steering with her front hand right, but her shoulder is "closed", showing left. 


Her front hand is trying to steer the board. But her left arm is locked to the body. It restricts the body from turning. Also her back hand should be in front of her chest, not behind her back.


He wants to turn Left going backside. His left hand is trying to steer the board, but his shoulder is locked to the body. Notice his chin is stuck to the shoulder.  He leans back not turn, because he can't twist at the waist. 


One hand is steering, one hand is reaching back.  Back leaning away from the wave, not twisting away.  


Her back hand is flowing through a wide arc in the direction of the turn.  Front hand leads the way to "open" the chest. 

Strong body line and twist of the waist.


"Point where you want to go"  but point correctly.  


please check the daily surf website   to see pointing



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How to hit the lip on small mushy days.

To do a Off the Lip or a Top Turn on small mushy waves, you need eyes, timing, rail control and work with the wave. 


This little ripper is coming out of the bottom turn.  Eyes looking to the turn,  arms twist the waist into the wave, body line matches the board.


Eyes look back down, arms twist away from the wave, board rolls back off the rail.  


Eyes look to the breaking lip, arms twist the body into the wave, lots of pressure on the back foot to lift the nose.


Arms reverse and slam back into the wave. Board follows the rotation of the ams.  


She sees the breaking lip.  Body, arms and board angle looks good ............. BUT


Timing to turn back down is too late.  Left shoulder is still facing "closed" not "Open".  Front arm is locked to the body and hand is trying to steer.  Back hand is showing "Up", when is should be coming down.


She sees the wave starting to close out. She is in the middle of the board.


She steps back to raise the nose up to get the board over the breaking lip of the wave.


Then she "allows" the breaking lip to bring the board down. She works with the wave not against it.  


1) Look where you want to go

2) Time your action to meet the wave

3) Use the board rails and bottom contours

4) Use the waves own power to help you


All those things matter to doing Off the Lips or Top Turns in small mushy waves,  but most important is to believe you can.  


Please check  to see more.

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Surfing How to catch a ............ rail ?

Catching a rail is NOT a good thing. It is when the front of the surfboard's rail goes under the water.


It usually happens during turns. 

Here on the Bottom Turn, her eyes are up, but her feet are in the center of the board.  The splash of water by the nose shows she caught a rail/edge. It slows down the board.  She needs to be further back.


Look DOWN equals Go DOWN.  Look at your feet , go to your feet.  Plus if you stand in the middle of the board, it makes it hard to turn. The nose SLAPS the water.


Even going down the line, you can catch an edge/rail.  Here she is in the back 1/3 of the board, which is good. But here back foot/knee is facing forward.  She leans the board  not turns the board.  The rail catches.


Being in the middle of the board of a 9 foot board, it is hard to turn. Once most of the rail is in the water, you need to turn almost 8 feet. If you step back the board "becomes" shorter and easier to turn.


Catching a rail happens to even good surfers. Everything seems to be okay here. She steps up to get the board moving down the wave's face. Eyes are up and body line good.   BUT look at the wave doubling up.


As the wave doubles, the lower part becomes smaller and tighter.  The board doesn't fit in the tight space. So the nose catches.   Hopefully she will step back to the tail and raise the nose up.


1) don't turn from the middle of the board

2) dont look at the nose ( or your feet )

3) be aware of what's happening to the wave


Catching a wave is fun.  Catching a Rail is not.  


Please check out the daily surf photos site,  to see more.  




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How to front side cut back/slash back better

The way to cut back better is NOT to get a shorter board or get stiffer fins.  The secret is to bring your Back Hand across your chest. 


Study all the photos and you will notice the same action of the Back Hand coming across the chest. 

Also you can see the front arm opening the chest and creating a pivot point.


Down, Up, then Around.   Back arm arching across the chest.  


Back arm across the chest.  Also notice his toes raising up off the deck. It gives power to the back foot over the fins.


Works the same for Long(er) boards too.  Smooth arm coming across the chest. Toes up. Eyes looking thru the turn.


Back arm coming across the chest.  Toes coming up. 


Nice slash back.  Closing radius turn.  Front shoulder rolling back to clear the way for the Back hand to come across. Front hand open to the wave.


Eyes looking thru, Front shoulder rolling back, Front palm open, Back arm coming across the chest, Toe coming up.


You need all that body movement, but don't forget speed and Down, Up and Around, to do a good cutback/slashback.


Please check out the daily surf site to see more.





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how to Nose Ride ........ without bumping knees

Noseriding is EASY.  You just need to walk forward. From little baby time, we learned to walk.



Here is a surfer walking correctly.

1) Eyes up

2) Tail locked by the lip of the wave

3) Weight pushing down the board 

4) Back foot at 3 o'clock crossing over Front foot.   


Here the surfer has some problems which makes it hard to walk.

1) Looking down

2) Front foot at 9 o'clock, Back foot at 11 o'clock

3) Knees bump


From the front view, you can see her front leg blocks the back leg from crossing over easily. Also her arms are lifting UP her body, not pushing down.  


1) Eyes looking down the line

2) Arms swing to the wave to bottom turn


In the circle, you can see water wrapping over the rail.  That is a stall technique, to lock the board into the wave's face.


1) the wave wraps over rail then tail to lock it down. 

2) Back foot at 3 o'clock, Front foot crossing over at 1 o'clock

3) Eyes up

4) Body line good with head over butt

5) Arms weighting down NOT up. 


1) Looking down

2) Front arm bracing against an invisible wall

3) Back hand unweighting

4) Front foot turned inwards blocks the back leg from crossing over

5) Knees bump


1) Eyes up

2) Tail locked

3) Arms weighting down

4) Back foot at 3 o'clock crossing over Front foot at 1 o'clock

Notice one foot is firmly planted as the other foot moves. She "places" her foot down.


If you can wake up in the morning and walk to the bathroom, you can walk a few feet to the nose of your surfboard.

Just dont make it hard by bumping knees, looking down, un-weighting, holding a wall, etc... etc. 


please check out the daily surf shots at  to see more walking .... and knee bumping. 




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How to surf crumbly beach break

Waves, like humans, are always different.   Here in Japan, there is a lot of beach break type waves.


Notice the wave face is all foamy white.  It is critical to stay on top of board, keeping the bodyline strong. Legs match the back.  Eyes looking down the line. Back arm "loading up" to swing back to accellerate the bottom turn.


Coming out of the bottom turn, she cuts back to stay in the sweet spot of the wave.  Looks like her body line is broken, but her head is still over her butt. Her shoulders are now rotating around the pivot line.  Which twist the hips, which turns the board. 


After cutting back to the curl, she cuts back AGAIN to get back on her inside rail.  Notice her back hand grab the wave to create a pivot point / E-brake.   That is good. That is NOT reaching for a wall/rail like beginners do.   


Here back side, she looks way over her shoulder. Front arm will rotate forward to "open" up her chest to the wave. 


Now driving up the face, she sees the breaking lip coming towards her.  Her arms rotate to the wave clock-wise, but soon will reverse. 


Front arm RIPS back down to pull the board back down. Open to Closed. Eyes sight the landing spot.  


Surfing crumbly beach break is harder than clean reef breaks.  You have to react much quicker and time you moves perfectly.  But just like this girl surfer, be calm and confident. Utilize the whole wave, up down right and left.  


Please check out to see more great sequence shoots of everyday surfers ( in everyday waves )



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Let go of the railing/wall when you're surfing

It's easy to figure out who the beginner surfers are. They "hold on to a invisible wall / railing".  


They try to hold themselves up from falling, but there nothing there.  Looking down also makes you feel you're falling. 


Trying to brace your arm against an inivisble wall, makes your arms stiff.  


Like holding onto a railing.


When you look down and try to hold yourself up, your body leans too much forward.


Your head goes past your butt.  It makes it harder to stay loose.


Having your knees pointed together also makes you balance unstable. 


Front arm locked to the body also makes the body stiff.


Riding a too short board makes the ride unstable. She squats down ( poo stance) and tries to hold onto a wall to keep from falling off. 

So many little movements can effect how the board performs.  Learn to be loose and flowing. 


Correct Posture, Eyes up, Hands and Arms loose not trying to hold onto an inivisble wall, helps you perform better.  Learn to LET GO !


check out to see more holding on and letting go.  

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The turn before the actual turn in Surfing

The cool photos of surfers doing Cutbacks and Off the lips usually don't show the action RIGHT BEFORE the move.

Looks funny or a bit silly, but this twist of the arms ( especially the front arms opening up the chest ) is very important for what comes next.


The front ams not rips back down the other way.  First the chest opens to the wave, then chest closes to make the board come back.  


Even here there's a moment before the bottom turn.  Arms twist up, right shoulder rolls away..........


Then the arms swing the opposite way. The left shoulder now closes and turns the nose into the face of the wave.  


Bottom turn driving up the face. Arms rotating clockwise.  Strong body in-line with the angle of the board.  


Before the top, she rotates here arms counter-clockwise to bring the nose back towards the beach. Eyes lead the turn and look for the landing spot.


This photo won't show up in the magazines.  But you should study it to learn how to cutback. Eyes looking thru the turn. Shoulder and arms rotating to the wave. Board on the inside rail.


Now board rolls from inside rail to outside rail. Front arm drops into the wave to create a pivot point. Back arm rotates around the pivot point.  


If you want to turn better, look for what happens BEFORE the turn.  


please check out to see more BEFORE and AFTER the turns.  



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