An Attempt At Surfing Maneuvers

Tom Curren demonstrating the most important manuever in surfing - Courtesy Surfer Mag

Tom Curren

*This list was made with short boarding in mind.

Fundamental To Advanced?

The goal was to try and arrange the maneuvers from fundamental to advanced. Like hey, you’d probably want to learn to do a snap pretty well before you advanced to sticking a tail waft….

With that mindset, there’d be questions like “is a 360 a fundamental maneuver?” And what about speed generation techniques besides pumping?

That’s all up for debate – but for now this list will do the trick.

ManuversVariations >    
DropsEarly / Late TakeoffsKnifing InAir DropsOut w/ the Lip
Bottom TurnsLateralMid-FaceVerticalBroken Rythm
FadesFading the TakeoffPre/Post MoveTube (Setup)
StallingTail Stomp Lean BackTube StallStillness
PumpingThe 'H' HopTic - TacRail in
Setup TurnsLight (Steering)Power / ArcsTo ComboTube Setup
FloatersLip LinesRock n Roll Floater 360'sPower (On Top)Variations...
CarvesSetup CarvesArcsPower CarvesBruceAndy
Tube Rides(Too ComplexFor This Table)
Snaps Standard Reo'sLayback Fins FreeVert ReverseWafts
CutbacksPower SlidesWrapsShopping CartRoundhouseClayback
StabsWindshield WiperPower StabsTo Rock n Roll
ClimbsFoam ClimbsClimb to SnapClimbs to variation
Lip SlidesFoam / BarrelSectionPocket Out w/ Lip to Flats
ReversesCheese WizVerticalFins FreeClub Sandwich
360'sFlat 360'sVertical Carving / Slater Inwards / BS
AirsStock 180Reverse & Full 3'sOops540's
Air GrabsDouble IndySlob(FS) Mute(BS) Lien Stalefish
Air FlipsKerruptGorkinRodeoSpindle & 540BackFlip
Air Board TricksSupermanShuvitVarialsPassion PopBig Spin

Double The Fun

While it’s easy to list ‘Frontside(FS) & Backside(BS) Snap’ together as ‘Snaps’, they are two different moves.

Maximizing The Conditions

While checking the waves, a surfer can (should!?) take mental note of what maneuvers are possible for that session and mentally run through the key fundamental techniques to successfully perform those maneuvers.

Going Deeper Into The Playbook

Variety and unpredictability is an advantage in war, sport, and especially surfing. While it’s important to spend a significant amount of time to develop major maneuvers, being able to make spontaneous decisions/reactions to transform a standard maneuver into a variation can keep your performances feeling fresh.

Show Stoppers

200To take that to another level, you could have a move up your sleeve that is a ‘show stopper’ for that session/conditions. Take note of the variety of maneuvers being performed that day and consciously select a move deeper in your playbook that nobody else is performing to standout.

So the next time you feel like you can do no wrong, push your levels up a notch. Some of the best moves a surfer learns happens from experimentation.

As Martin Potter says:

With Speed, Anything’s Possible

While this list is by no means complete, here’s over 100 moves and variations to consider when you get the opportunity to go ‘deeper into your playbook’.

What’s your favorite maneuver?

About The Author

When A.B.'s not keeping you on top of the ever-changing surf and weather conditions and writing the occasional article, you can find him getting pseudo barrels under palm trees in his front yard

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