surfing trick tips from one of Canada's top competitive surfers
The Backside Floater
The backside floater is a great move that allows you to make sections, finish off a wave, or gain speed for your next trick. If you surf beach breaks points or reefs, it is essential to have a good backside floater in your repertoire of tricks.
Start by catching a backside wave, and pumping down the line. It is important to stay high while pumping in-order to gain as much speed as possible. Watch the shape of the wave as your pumping. You should be looking for a section that is going to break just in front of you. When you find a section, start your bottom turn from the middle of the wave at a 20 to 30 degree angle. This will keep your momentum going forward enabling you to gain distance while doing your floater. When youíre bottom turning up the wave face watch where you are going to place your board on the lip.
Stay low and try to place your board on top of the lip as clean as possible to conserve speed. When youíve got your board onto the lip change the pressure of your feet from your heel side edge to your toe side edge, and apply pressure to your front foot. This will make sure you continue moving forward, and donít get left out the back. Ride along on top of the breaking lip until you begin to loose your speed, or you see that the wave is closing out. Watch the line of the breaking lip while staying low and balanced.
You have two options at this point. You can ride off the top of the wave with the lip, or you can ollie out in front of the lip, landing at the bottom of the transition. Your choice will depend on the wave. If the wave is mushy and not breaking very hard you should just ride off with the lip, but if itís hollow or big you need to ollie off the top. Be sure to spot your landing before you plan to get off the lip. Look for the softest spot to land. When riding off the lip you can usually just turn your board towards shore by putting weight on your toes. Stay low, and start your next bottom turn when you reach the green using the speed from the floater. When ollieing off the lip push down on your toes, and pop off the lip using your back foot to ollie out in front of the barrelling lip. Watch the landing and try to keep your board flat in the air. Your body will want to extend in the air so try to keep your style together. Land at the bottom of the wave with your board flat on the water. Bend your knees to absorb the landing, and ride out the white water bounce.
Floaters are a great move to know because of their versatility. Start out doing floaters on smaller mushy waves using them to gain speed and finish off waves. As you get more comfortable step up to heavier, bigger waves that force you to ollie off the lip. Grip it and rip it.
Carry speed onto the lip.
Ride the lip with pressure on your front foot to get distance out of the floater.
Spot your landing and ride or ollie off the lip as the wave slows down or closes out.
I'll be back in a while with another of PD's Trick Tips, and until then I'll be surfing and traveling.