So you've perfected your pop up and are ready to move on to something new. The next step in learning to surf is learning how to turn. Below, you will find a step by step guide that will teach you everything you need to know about how to do a bottom turn.
First off, let's define what exactly a bottom turn is. According to Surfer Today, it is "is the art of burying the surfboard's rail in the slowest part of a wave." If you do this correctly, you will be propelled into "the speed zone."Before you attempt to do a bottom turn, you must first learn the proper stance. Keep your feet centered on the board, making sure not to put them too far back. Make sure to bend your knees, keeping your center of gravity low. Lastly, keep your weight evenly distributed so that you remain balanced on the board.
Now that you've got the stance down, you can begin to learn how to do a bottom turn. There are two types of bottom turns: frontside and backside. The difference between the two, as stated by Surfing Waves, is that in a frontside bottom turn, you catch "a frontside wave and ride down to the bottom of the wave, where the water starts to go flat", but in a backside bottom turn, you catch "a backside wave and ride down the face of the wave to the flats". To do a frontside turn, lean forward, making sure to place all of your weight onto your toes, and angle your shoulders towards the wave. Once you begin to turn, push with your back foot as you come off the bottom of the wave. To do a backside turn, lean backward, making sure to place your weight onto your heels, bend your knees, and look back over the shoulder that is leading. Follow through the turn by turning your shoulders in the direction you are turning. Put your weight on your back foot as well for a smooth turn.
Like anything in surfing, the bottom turn will take time and practice to nail it. However, there are a few tips to help you along the way. First, make sure to take off as late as possible. This will increase your speed. Second, always remember to keep a proper stance. Third, try not to lean too far forward during a frontside bottom turn, because it may result in you wiping out. Also, try to perfect your frontside bottom turn before learning the backside one.
Bottom turns may seem confusing at first, but if you follow these steps, you'll be nailing them in no time. Want to learn how to surf? Book a surf lesson with us, and learn how to catch a wave now.