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Wave Pool Surf Coaching: How to have a zesty backside

When Urbnsurf opened this year we knew they would be working with state surfing NGO Surfing Victoria. But exactly how this partnership would pan out we weren’t certain. Yes there would be club events and comps and certified lifesavers. Beyond that, one of the perks we discovered is comprehensive surf coaching from the crew at Surf Better Now, a branch of Surfing Vic.

Working with Urbnsurf the coaches release videos, photos and articles to members who can buy into monthly surf coaching tips. This week the Surf Better Now video focuses on the fundamentals of backhand surfing. Check it out below. Content by Urbnsurf and Surfing Victoria/Surf Better Now. Main image of Owen Wright at the Wavegarden test facility by Javi Munoz


A tight backhand is a money maker in competitive surfing, but critical back to the wall surfing isn’t exclusive to sticker laden heat surfers.

A tight backhand comes naturally to some, with the backhand face snap possibly the most natural movement in intermediate and advanced surfing. Through the Surf Better Now team’s time working with athletes of all levels at URBNSURF, tightening up the backside surfing has been a consistent focus.

In your time at URBNSURF seeing high quality surfers in your group, or trawling the internet looking at Adam Robertson deliver back-to-back-to-back-to-back nooners, you’ve seen tight surfing. Particularly from the water, seeing board (and even fins) above the lip line is amazing to watch, but how do you do it?

The Surf Better Now team has broken it down into two key components;

  • CRITICAL AREAS
  • COMMITTED BOTTOM TURN

In the images below, whilst there are style differences, the fundamental strong bottom turn movement is being performed. A key highlight here is their eyes, both surfers have eyes on their target; the critical section of the wave.

CRITICAL AREAS
What is the critical area of the wave?

This is the pocket, lip line, or close to the breaking part of the wave. This is the fastest moving, most risky part of the wave, it is also the most rewarding area to turn in for both personal sensation and speed outcomes on exit.

Put simply, a surfer can’t be doing tight or critical backside surfing if they are out on the face or on the shoulder. These critical areas should be targeted with a committed bottom turn starting close to, or behind the whitewater. With the close proximity of the wall on takeoff not allowing a surfer to drive from behind the opening section, to perform a tight and critical manoeuvre at the start of a ride.

Check the full article here at Surf Better Now

The video below shows a wave of the 1st and 2nd finishing Open Men’s surfers from the 2020 Melbourne Pool Party presented by Urbnsurf; Tully Wylie (Goofy Footer) and Xavier Huxtable (Natural Footer). Both men have opposing stances and varied styles, however the fundamentals movements they perform are consistent between them, with the outcome being critical backhand surfing.


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