How to Surf your Best – The cutback




All the cutback really is is a combination of direction changes on a single wave.

You can do a forehand cut back- (chest facing the wave) or a back hand cut back (back facing the wave). the same basic principals apply to both directions. Generally you will favour one of these options and will therefore find it easier to execute.

In order to execute a great looking cup back, you need enough speed and power on a good wave with an open face.

Next to the bottom turn the cutback is seen as the foundation of good strong power surfing.

You have probably seen many different variations of the cutback. The best looking and most functional cutback is the roundhouse cutback. (figure of 8 motion)


On take off you need to remember to keep a high line on the wave. This will assist   you with maintaining that speed you need complete the manoeuvre stylishly.

Once you are far enough out on the face, and you are as high up on the wave as possible (but not heading over the back of the wave) change direction by doing a sharp turn back towards the foam.

(You will now have done a complete 180-degree direction change and are   climbing back up the open face)

Once again The higher up you are the more freedom   you have for the next part of the manoeuvre,

With control you need to twist your waist    so you can rebound off the foam that you are about to hit. ( at this point   you need to aim as high up onto the foam as you can on that rebound.) at that instant of rebounding off the white water    you will be shifting your weight from the outside rail to the inside rail. This rebound off the foam is the main point of impact in this manoeuvre. And   should be a sharp quick neat turn.

Basically you will be moving in a figure of 8 motion so you want to turn, drop, climb and finally turn back again.


With your leading hand brush through the water. You can use this hand as the pivot- point to turn around. It also looks great, and helps with control and a sharp direction change.

Keep your rail on the edge, at all times except when shifting your weight off the rebound turn. Don’t keep your board flat on the water, as you will find it difficult to turn and dig your rail instead. Driving off your rail, cutting through the water helps with speed control and pressure.

Try keeping it as one fluid motion maintaining your momentum.

Try not to break it up too much as you will lose speed and the complete manoeuvre will not look as smooth.

And always look in the direction that you are wanting to travel / turn. Once your head looks in that direction, so shall your body follow.

The cutback