The top 11 surfing manoeuvres explained

It’s essential to grasp the basics of surfing maneuvers, whether you’re honing your skills, chatting with fellow surfers, or catching the action on TV. Understanding these moves enriches your surfing experience.

Let’s dive into a quick overview of major surfing maneuvers.

1. Bottom Turn:

Drop down the wave’s face, dig in your rail, and power back up. It’s the foundation for many manoeuvres.

2. Speed Pump:

Compress as you descend, then extend and throw your hands up to generate speed down the line.

3. Cutback:

Carve out on the shoulder, redirecting the board towards the wave’s power zone.

4. Re-entry:

Rise to the wave’s peak, pivot your board, and ride down the face with controlled precision.

5. Snap:

Execute a quick, aggressive change in direction, either on the open face or the breaking part of the wave.

6. Roundhouse Cutback:

Return to the wave’s power zone, aiming to rebound off the breaking section for added speed.

7. Carve:

Bury the rail to change direction, ideal for steeper sections of the wave.

8. Hack:

A forceful carve that almost halts the surfer, executed with intense aggression.

9. Floater:

Glide over the wave’s broken section or along the lip, maintaining speed and flow.

10. Getting Barrel:

Stay inside the breaking wave, utilizing subtle manoeuvres to maintain position.

11. Air:

Launch your board into the air, aiming to land back on the wave’s surface. A thrilling move with endless variations. 


Next time you’re out catching waves or watching others, identify these manoeuvres in action. Understand their dynamics and strive to incorporate them into your own surfing journey.

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