How to Cut Back
Part 1: Frontside Turn

The frontside cutback

No matter what level of surfing you are at be it beginner, or professional you will use the cutback. Like the bottom turn it is a fundamental manoeuvre for surfers to have in arsenal of tricks. A cutback brings you back to the power source of the wave, it allows you to throw some spray and put the surfboard on rail, a timeless power move and essential in all surfers repertoire.

The frontside cutback is a little more difficult then the backside cutback, this is because to perform a frontside cutback you have to turn your back towards the wave. As with all surfing manoeuvres we have to lead with the eyes and hands (this turns the shoulders) then follow through with the hips, knees and feet.

A step-by-step guide

1. Identify where you wish to perform your cutback, this is usually to reposition yourself back into the power pocket of the wave bend your knees as you approach the section. The steeper the section the better the cutback but the faster the manoeuvre needs to be performed.

2. Use your leading arm to pivot around to start the cutback, look over your leading shoulder back towards the white water section of the wave, keep your knees bent and start to put your weight onto your outside rail.

3. Keeping your knees bent start to put your weight onto your heels with extra weight on your back foot. Rotate around your leading arm, keeping your trailing arm raised for balance. The further forward you have your trailing arm the more critical the cutback will be.

4. As you rotate you will engage your rail (previously on the outside) this then becomes your inside rail. You have now cutback towards the power source of the wave. However you are now facing the wrong direction to continue surfing.

5. Using the waves power either turn back toward the bottom of the wave, then perform a bottom turn to start again on the waves face, or alternatively open your shoulders and climb the oncoming white water foam, using this to project you back down the waves face.

6. Continue surfing out of the manoeuvre, directing eyes, shoulders and hands in the direction you wish to surf.

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Part 2: The backside cutback

The backside cutback is a little easier then the frontside cutback, this is because to perform a backside cutback you turn facing towards the wave. Once again with all surfing manoeuvres we have to lead with the eyes and hands (this turns the shoulders) then follow through with the hips, knees and feet.