Front Foot Adjustment on backside

Hi, bit of a lame topic but couldnt find other in forum.


On backhand have been taking off and instead of just turning naturally have been adjusting my front foot to drive up the wave, have been doing this on all types of waves 2-6ft, havent fallen, seem to beable to adjust in time to complete bottom turn but it seems like an unnecassary step. Thinking it may be because I have been riding a board the last 3 months with a wide point forward and its 21 inches wide with a thick rail so maybe naturally I'm adjusting to pressure the board in the right direction. Be that as it may its shitting me to tears and i cannot stop doing it, i now have a neutral wide point board and I'm doing the same thing.....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...any suggestions.... 

Try something totally different to take your mind off it…   Grab rail on take off and don’t let go…

Hows your back foot position ? I had this lack of drive issue when surfing backhand and a good friend and surfer told this simple thing and helped a lot…My foot position for surfing frontside is the main position and for me its not so good for backhand and I had to adjust It a litle to get more drive when surfing backhand…


I do what horsemouth suggests and go even further using a tip from ‘Surfing Your Best’ (great book by Nick Carroll) by turning my front foot forward almost along the stringer.

This gives you a more ‘front on’ stance on your back hand in stead of looking back over your shoulder, this may even help with the wider board and stop you moving it so much.
Watch the pro’s do back hand barrels and look at their stance, their front foot is practicaly down the stringer and they are facing move forward along the wave path.

I’m still shite on my back hand but it’s definitely helping :slight_smile:



I know on keel fish, which I absolutely love, sometimes you’re gold, and just get it perfect without trying. Other times you kook out completely. And mostly im somewhere in the middle. When you get it right though, and your back foot naturally sits over the butt crack, its the best surfing ever in my humble opinion!. Fast, loose, and you can crack lips and cutback like a demon!!

hi cornholio ! ...


  yes ,


 1. DEFINATELY get the "surfing your best "  book by nick carroll , it talks about this very issue , and he gives some VERY helpful tips there ! [realize that his brother , Tom , had certainly got backhand takeoffs and tuberiding wired at the early age of 16 .... me having seen him take lil av apart , back in 1977/8 ]


  2. Secondly , DEFINATELY watch LOTS  of good footage , of good surfers , backhand ...hit the frame by frame setting on your dvd player / video , and pay attention to their shoulders , front AND back foot placement ...and their paddling and takeoff [positioning] skills...that all plays a BIG part , too, it ain't just about your front foot , you know ?!   


  3. practice practice practice .... old habits die hard , but they can be changed !


 (I had this very same issue a few years ago , and what I just recommended worked for ME , I hope it does for YOU , too ?! )


 4. get a friend with a good quality video to film you , and do the same as suggested ... ie: watch the footage , frame by frame , in slow motion .....HOW you paddle , where and how you take off , WHERE you position yourself on the wave , after takeoff , [and , also , of course , what your feet and body's positioning is ...]


  the beauty of being filmed is it shows you really clearly and quickly what you are doing [both humbling , but also encouraging at times ! ]  ...and you can keep 'rewinding' / replaying it , to observe those different aspects I mentioned. [you won't see all those aspects in the 'one' viewing , trust me ! ]


  My mate Stuey got plenty of three shot sequences of me [water photos] the other day ...just about ALL lefts [backhand for me] ...and I saw what I did when I DON'T pigdog late drops I say , HUMBLING  to see how you really look [unless you "rip with style" ,  of course , which probably as high as 90 - 100% of people [?here?] imagine they do , but REALITY .....hahahahaha   ...deluded ! 


 Okay , 'Cornholio' [what does your name mean , by the way , please ?  cheers !] ....I hope that this is helpful ?


  footnote ...


 a good digital camera , with a sharp , powerful optical zoom , on a tripod , with a person who knows how to film , will give you the neccessary clarity and teaching / learning imagery you need  , to progress .


   Personally , I LOVE these threads , and I wish people were honest and humble enough to discuss surfing technique here more often , as there ARE some good surfers in our midst ....and improving technique often leads to improved surfing , and more enjoyment [ie: FUN !] in our surfing . [ Don't know about anyone else, but that's what I want ! .... and WHY I  surf / started surfing , in the first place ! ]


  cheers !




p.s. - my brother Simon is a surf coach , so ....kinda handy !

I'm sure , if he lived here , that I could get video and helpful tips all the time , free of charge ...hahahaha ...and , be humbled regularly  by reality checks ,  [ .... as is the AUSSIE way ] , of course !  heehee

hi "horsemouth" [another"interesting" username ?!]  ,


  that back foot in your photo can DEFINATELY be moved forward to over the side fins , and turned at a more 45 degree angle [facing more forward ]

.... do that , and see what angle / where your body  is facing , by comparison , and where your centre of balance [and the 'weight shift']  will be .


  We see it all the time with surfers backhand , with practically all their weight on their back foot , and therefore their centre of balance is a bit off  , on the first backhand bottom turn . It's almost as if they are driving with a handbrake on ,  because their weight is so far back , and the board slows down 


.... by comparison , when you see a good surfer , negotiating late drops backhand , you can see the difference paddling position and skill , in speed , their centre of balance , and the drive they get from their board and the wave .... [ again , dvds are great for checking this out , if the waves locally are fickle , or the surfers suck  ha!] 


 Also , probably relevant to this forum , as we have a fair few "more senior"  surfers than say 'other forums' , perhaps ?


  ...slowing down with age ...


  this in my opinion is probably a subject NOT to be underestimated !


...... in terms of takeoff speed , board paddling ability , and of course , board and wave selection ....


In a nutshell ... I don't , at 51,  paddle as fast or as well , or take off as quick , as I did when I was 21 , 31 , or even [from memory] 41 ??  


  So ....

 I ride a longer thruster ,

when paddling to takeoff I keep my head down [thruster nose rocker] ,

try to position myself nearer the lip on takeoff ,

take what in the past I may have considered to be "a couple of extra" strokes , to get entry speed ,

angle in


TRY to get up as quick as possible ...


   ( ...hmmm... there 'could' be a bedroom analogy there too, but I won't go there .... ? maybe one day they will develop a 'surfing viagra' , for us old farts  ?! )


  cheers !



Thanks for all the advice guys it makes sense to me, its a new issue after 20 years of average to awful surfing, and Ive been scratching my head about it, but what i THINK is the issue is (and chippy and you guys hit on this above) is that I'm taking off way to straight and not angling the board enough, my feet are to square to the stringer as well so when getting to the bottom of the wave I'm having to turn on such an acute angle that the only way to drive up the face is to adjust my front to a straighter position to turn.   

Why am I taking off so freaking straight? Because I'm a bit of Kook...sometimes...thats a no brainer...might be the wider board that allows me to get waves easily and i've gotten lazier and my wave choice is crapatasic...maybe..lots of reasons just need to position better and paddle stronger and break the peak at the right time at the right angle.

Will give it a whirl and look for Nick Carrolls book


I really like taking off late backside and grabbing the rail…

after twenty years of surfing you are still a kook ?


  why ?


  how often do you get to the beach ?


  what are the waves like where you surf ?


  are you fit ? , really , ARE you ??


  please , be honest in answering these don't have to do it publicly , if you don't want to ....


.....but , please give these questions  some thought , [and try getting filmed] , and .....practice , practice , pra......[you get the idea , eh?]


  cheers !



 [ disclaimer :  I'm not saying I 'RIP' or anything ]

 I'm  merely posting these because they are recent and , hopefully , relate to the topic

... these are a few shots that my mate Stu took two days ago !

 They hopefully show front and back foot positioning , body angle , and board angling , among other things ?

  [ it's a 6'11" thruster , so it gets me into waves pretty early ] . Yes , they are sequences , taken on two different lefts , a few minutes apart....







[probably a bit far away , stuey !  but , this is a 'non-pigdog' drop in ....]


Hi, bit of a misunderstanding here, when I say kook I mean I probably wouldn't surf pipe, shipsterns,cloudbreak over 10 ft, I surf all types of boards up to 8-10ft , I'm talking about a bad habit I picked up from surfing back hand on a fished up board I've been riding through the latest Sydney swells up to 6ft, its a small but critical adjustment I'm making, and ruining my first transition turn of the top after my backhand.To be honest my pig dogging has been good for me and have been covered a few times in Autumn, again I'm not some barrel merchant, it happens about 5-8 times in Autumn /Winter.I guess at 45 riding 6'2 I'm getting frustrated on my back hand, early entry no prob, just a bit straight on.Surfed since 12 so guess was to meek in my description but man so many people rip better than me when its pumping and 6+.

cheers cornholio [WHAT is that name's meaning , I'm intrigued !]


any chance of some photos of the board ?


 and ....WHICH Sydney waves  have you been riding ...  are you located on the northern beaches , or the south side ?


what else do you feel is going on , backhand , when you surf  ? 

 [ any chance of some photos or , preferably , footage .... cos that saves lots of writing eh !]


what board[s] did you mainly ride [dimensions ?  photos ?] , prior to the three months on the board you described ?


the people who "rip better than you , when it's pumping and 6'+  "


...what do you feel they are doing different to you ?   [I watch others , and ask myself this question , often...I shared this thread tonight on the phone with stuey , and got some interesting feedback regarding HIS outlook on things .... be continued ...]


   cheers mate !