Jordy Smith surfs in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa on July 13, 2017.
© Craig Kolesky/Red Bull Content Pool

11 surfing tricks every surfer should know

Mastering these surfing tricks takes constant perseverance and practice.
By Red Bull Editorial Team
5 min readPublished on
Crushing the waves is a great way to challenge yourself, build muscle, and show off to your friends. Before you can deem yourself a master of the sea, you must get the basic surfing moves down, like duck diving and popping up on your board quickly. Once you nail those moves, you'll be ready for these sweet surfing maneuvers.

1. Bottom Turn

"The bottom turn is where it all begins. It's the foundation for the rest of your repertoire," says surfer pro Tom Curren. Take off for the wave late, and remain steep within it. Time your bottom turn perfectly so you can twist without losing speed. Stay low, bending your knees and distributing your weight evenly over the board. Put pressure on your toes as the rail finds the water's surface.
Kolohe Andino surfs at WSL Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California, USA on 3 September, 2019
Kolohe Andino
Red Bull pros who do it best: Kolohe Andino, Shane Beschen, Tom Curren

2. Snap

The surfer moves from a bottom turn up to the top of the wave at a 30- to 50-degree angle. Find a steep wave and perform your best bottom turn. Use the board to direct yourself up the face of the wave. Once you're halfway over the wave's crest, turn your shoulders toward the wave and lift your arms, pushing away from the board with your back leg.
Red Bull pros who do it best: Kai Otton, Freddy P, Nat Young, and Kekoa Bacalso

3. 360

Basically, you'll fully rotate while on the face of the wave during this move. For a carving 360, you'll approach a 45-degree angle wave. Keep your speed, and drive your board toward the wave's lip. Turn your board against the whitewater as you rotate, transferring your weight to your front foot.
Julian Wilson of Australia competes in the ISA World Surfing Games in Miyazaki, Japan on September 10, 2019.
Julian Wilson
Red Bull pros who do it best: Julian Wilson, Jordy Smith, Kelly Slater

4. Air

Inspired by a skateboard ollie, modern surfers took this move and adapted it to surfing. Approach a 2- or 3-foot wave, gain speed, and launch off the lip as you fly over the wave and land on its face. "The biggest thing is timing", says pro surfer Josh Kerr. "You actually want to be gaining speed as you're approaching the lip."
Red Bull pros who do it best: Julian Wilson, Kolohe Andino, Kalani David, Ian Crane, Jack Freestone, Josh Kerr

5. Cutback

This handy trick lets you reduce speed and turn to change directions, taking you back from the wave's shoulder to the steep part. At the wave's top, shift your weight on your back foot. Lean your left hand down while digging the left rail into the wave. Turn your head and twist your shoulders toward the curl to change direction.
Josh Kerr surfs in Soorts Hossegor, France on October 3rd, 2014
Josh Kerr
Red Bull pros who do it best: Pete Devries, Josh Kerr, Kelly Slater

6. Foam Climb

As you climb the foam wall of a wave, build momentum and apply a solid bottom turn to gain enough power to get you over the foam. Use your shoulders and arms to pull yourself and climb the whitewash. At a low balanced stance, put pressure on your back foot to handle the impact.
Red Bull pros who do it best: Mick Fanning

7. Tube Ride

Tube riding is the ultimate surfing trick. You get an impressive and aesthetically pleasing look of the curl's lip fully covering you as you ride the hollow part of the wave. Crouch and tightly angle yourself as you drop in right ahead of the wave's lip. When inside, stay centered on your board and above the white section of the wave so you don't slow down or get thrown off.
Jamie O'Brien surfs at Banzai Pipeline at the Volcom Pipe Pro on Oahu, Hawaii, USA on 29 January, 2020.
Jamie O'Brien
Red Bull pros who do it best: Jamie O'Brien, Maya Gabeira, Lucas Chianca

8. Alley Oop

This intense air jump lets you fly high over a wave while the shore's breeze keeps your board stuck to your feet. Find an open-faced wave with a breaking section. Accelerate toward it, and bottom turn at 45 degrees. Bend your knees and let the nose of your surfboard pass the lip. Kick your tail out, and pop off the lip.
Red Bull pros who do it best: Julian Wilson, John John Florence

9. Carve

This move lets you change your direction when in the wave's opening. Put all your weight on the board's rail and let it bury itself underwater, building an arc shape within the wave's curl.
Red Bull pros who do it best: Jake Marshall, Mick Fanning, John John Florence

10. Rodeo Flip

Kelly Slater came up with this trick on his own, saying, "I don't remember seeing it anywhere. I discovered the maneuver on that wave." As you catch air, you'll spin and flip with your board. Once you get air at the top of the wave, grab your board and flip forward or backward before landing back on the wave.
Red Bull pros who do it best: Jordy Smith, Mason Ho, Kelly Slater

11. Flynnstone Flip

This is a kickflip perfected by famous surfer Flynn Novak. A Flynnstone Flip entails grabbing your board in the middle of a backflip. Approach the open wave at high speeds, and catch enough air to move forward and do a 360 flip at once.
Red Bull pros who do it best: Flynn Novak, Zoltan Torkos
Don't be afraid of a few wipeouts — even the pros are known to fall off their board every now and then.