Essential Surfing Moves for Every Surfer

March 10, 2022
Surfing Move

Riding the waves is a great way to challenge your body and build muscle while having fun with friends. Before you begin to show off your surfing mastery, you must get some basic surfing moves right.

San Diego surf lessons will teach you basic and complicated surfing moves. You will learn beginner-level surfing moves, intermediate surfing moves, and pro/advanced level surfing moves.

Once you nail the surfing moves, you will be ready for the sweet surfing experiences with friends.

This post outlines some of the basic surf moves to learn. Stay tuned to know the different surfing maneuvers.

The Bottom Turn Surf Move

One of the exciting moves for beginner-level surfers is the bottom turn. By definition, the bottom turn is a smooth, powerful turn at the bottom of the wave. This move transforms vertical energy into horizontal energy, providing the surfer adequate speed and direction for maneuvering on the tide.

There are two types of bottom turn, namely Forehand and Backhand. The forehand bottom turn is where a surfer is facing the wave with his chest while turning at the bottom of the wave. On the other side, the backhand bottom turn is where the surfer’s back meets the wave as he turns at the bottom. Either of the two types of bottom turn falls into major or minor classifications of bottom turn.

The technique is most important since it sets out every other maneuver you want to do on the face. Without learning to do a proper bottom turn, you will not make appropriate moves on the wave.

The Carve Surf Move

A carve is a more profound and more radical turn. You make a carve when changing direction rapidly and drastically. To make a carve successfully, the surfer must apply more pressure on the back foot, slightly lifting the nose and making it possible to pivot the board using the fins and the rails.

Carving is a cornerstone technique in power surfing and one of the essential maneuvers for surfers.

Cutback Surfing Move

A cutback is a surfing move that takes the surfer back towards the breaking part of the wave curl. Performing the cutback helps surfers regain momentum and control the wave effectively.

While surfing, you may generate so much speed so that you find yourself in front of the breaking (faded) wave. Under such circumstances, you need to return to the steeper part of the wave, and the only way to do is a cutback. While cutback is not super technical, it is an insanely helpful maneuver.

Snap Surfing Move

Snap is a move where the direction of the board changes quickly. Ideally, the move is not a complete turn but rather a quick and functional blast in terms of planning for different maneuvers down the line. A nap is great for novice surfers since it does not take the balance and commitment of more extended rail turns like roundhouses or the more radical moves.

Off the Lip Surf Move

The off-a-lip move is an abrupt top turn where the surfer attacks a deep slope, projects half of the board off the wave lip, and turns dramatically down towards the bottom of the wave while not losing momentum. Before taking off the lip move, check to ensure no other surfers as a collision can distract the others and cause an accident. Also, ensure the leash is holding you tightly to avoid losing the surfboard.

Foam Climb Surfing Move

Foam climbing is an essential skill, especially in competitive and intermediate-to-advanced surfing. To ensure a perfect foam climb apply a good bottom-turn as it will give you power and speed to get over the foam. When you reach the unwanted foam, apply enough pressure on your back foot, so the surfboard handles the impact.

Tube Riding Move

Tube riding is a more complex move for advanced surfers where you ride well inside the curve or the barrel of a tube-shaped wave. Ideally, tube riding requires a higher level of experience since not all waves are perfect for the maneuver.


Surfing is a sport with many tricks. To ensure safety, stick to the ideal moves for your surfing level. After learning the basics of surfing, you can try beginner-level surfing, practice the intermediate-level, and then try advanced-level surfing moves.


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