Surf Maneuvers

We’ve made a list with tricks, so you can choose for yourself which maneuver you want to try next time on the waves!


This is one of the most important tricks to start with while surfing. The bottom turn sets up every maneuver you want to do on the face. If you can’t do a proper bottom turn, there’s a big chance that all the other maneuvers you want to make will fail. This turn is smooth and powerful at the bottom of the wave, and it transforms the vertical speed (when you’re dropping the wave) into horizontal speed (turning at the bottom).


Carving is used in open sections of the waves where you can change your line and direction. It is all about the way you distribute weight on your board because this can have a tremendous effect on your direction and the speed over the water. By moving your feet when standing up, you can shift your weight or simply when you make a sit-movement but very fast and with a lot of power. For beginners, it’s easier to put weight on the different areas of the surfboard without moving your feet: if you put weight on the back foot, you are putting the brake: it slows you down. Weight on the front foot is like a gas pedal: it accelerates.


A lot of people don’t know the difference between carving and trimming. Well, here’s a picture that explains it perfectly! As you can see with trimming, you adjust to the shape of a wave. You go slightly higher or lower with as much speed as necessary. You can make these small adjustments by slightly leaning your body a little bit to the right positions, which means leaning on your heels or toes.


This trick is for the more advanced surfers. It is also known as the slash and is a quick movement at the top of the wave which produces a spectacular, flashy buckets of spray above the surfer.


This is one of the most popular and good looking tricks in surfing. It is practiced in small waves, and it gives the surfer the opportunity to return to the curl. The perfect roundhouse cutback looks like a figure-8, but it takes some time to learn how to do it fluently. First, you ride fast out on the open wave face. After putting yourself on the upper face of the wave, you have to lean over while your weight is distributed evenly over your feet. Draw a line that will bring you right around and back to the lip as it peeled towards you. Continue leaning over, and your board will make a turn that brings you straight back to the oncoming wave. Take a close look at the top of the lip and put the most pressure on your back foot. Use guiding pressure and direction on the toes to rise up to hit the lip. Twist your arms and upper body around and look down as you are coming around again. Finally, look ahead to the open face and continue the turn right around.


Of course, last but not least, the 360. In this trick list, we can’t miss this one as it is the most famous trick in surfing, skating, snowboarding, and so many other sports. Almost everyone knows what it is: a full rotation, and in this case, it’s a full rotation on the face of the wave. It can be performed by preserving or carving, but in both cases, the surfer spins down the wave.

Are you getting excited after reading all those cool tricks, and you want to try for yourself? Come to Odyssey Surf School to rent a board or to take a surf lesson so one of our instructors can help you with the tricks!

Sources used for this article:

Bare foot surf travel

Surfer today

Bare foot surf travel

Academy of surfing