Surfer doing a bottom turn
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Master your bottom turn part 2: Learn how to do the most important surfing maneuver

Do you want to get more advanced in your surfing? Then it’s time to start working on your bottom turns. This is one of the most fundamental manoeuvres to learn when you surf and it’s essential for you to level up. So, how do you practice the bottom turn and how can it make your surfing game better? Let’s dive straight into it! 

Learning to do a bottom turn is essential to improve your surfing since it’s one of the base manoeuvres you’ll perform on the board. We have already covered some of the basics in a previous post, where our global surf manager João Durão gave his best tips. We recommend you check it out here! For this second part of our bottom-turn series, we asked our head surf coach in Ericeira, Rui Henriques, to answer all of our eager questions. 

Bottom turn 101 – Question 1: What is a bottom turn and when do you use the manoeuvre?

– The bottom turn is a manoeuvre that, as the name reveals, is performed at the bottom of the wave and it’s usually one of the first turns you learn in surfing. The bottom turn is very important to learn and improve. Every turn you’ll do in the future, whether it’s a snap, a cutback or even an aerial will come after a bottom turn. So you’ll basically use the bottom turn as the beginning of every turn you will do in surfing. There are even people that say that if you do a nice bottom turn at the beginning of the wave, you’ll perform better on the rest of the wave, said Henriques.

Bottom turn 101 – Question 4: How do you make your bottom turn better?

– First of all, always bend yourself lower than you think is enough. Sometimes we feel that we are positioned low enough, but what we’re actually doing is very different. So you can exaggerate the compression you do to go down the wave. Second thing, don’t be afraid of using the rail to dig the wave in the water. Third thing, try not to waste too much time down there! If you go down the wave and stay there for too long you will lose speed.

Surf tutorial: Can’t get enough? Here’s everything you need to know to improve your bottom turn.

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