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24 April, 2014

Back Foot Back

In all my years of surf coaching, I’ve observed that the majority of beginner to intermediate surfers never really discover the potential power of their back foot mojo.

Stomping your back foot right back onto the tail is the number one first priority in getting your board to turn sharply.

Whatever craft you ride, you should aim to position your rear foot above the fins during turns – and then to add a dis-proportionate amount of weight there.

If you ride a longboard, you need to physically walk back towards the tail until your rear foot lies above the fin set. It’s a long way back there, so quite a few steps might be required. You need to take them if you want that tanker to turn.

If you ride a hybrid – like a 7- 8 footer, then it’s probably just one step back and bam – you’re there. It doesn’t hurt to have a look down and se where it actually ends up.

If you ride a shortboard, you should already be back on the tail anyway. You might find nudging further back above the rear fin gives you some real added bite in your turns.

No matter which board you are on, once you’re back – then you also need to increase the weight onto your back foot. Do this with the brilliantly simple act of bending your back knee. It’s so easy. As you bend that back knee, your body axis will shift backwards and your front foot will un-weight. This is the desired outcome. Then your board will suddenly be free to carve a tight arc or rad turn.

A good tip is to use a deck grip with arch bar as a locator pad. Place it as far back as you can and then feel your back foot snuggly planted over the arch bar.

See the image of John John below. He’s not much of a surfer so he implants deck pads to position his foot and enhance his performance. Maybe it could work for you too?


Image from Surfers Journal 22.6 by Brent Bielmann/A-Frame


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