Longboard Clinic Walk

Longboard Clinic: The Switch Foot turn #1

Until the first time I witnessed the real functionality of one, I once considered switch foot, or cross step turns as an extraneous manoeuvre. Then about ten years ago at Scott’s head, Tom Wegener and I were playing in some nasty onshore overhead peaks out off the point, while the Loggerheads comp was in progress around the back beach. Suddenly I see Tom drive a heavy soul arch turn off the bottom and rocket his old school moose towards a rapidly fattening lumpy wall. ‘He’ll never pull that heavy thing back around in time’ thinks I. What I saw next, was like wearing a new pair of glasses. He casually steps the opposite foot back, the act of using the opposing foot changed everything. Instead of having to drive his heel into the rail and risk catching water up the back of his leg putting the brakes on real fast and burying the rail. His body just neatly twisted, his foot landed with his heel near the fin and toes on the rail. This provided a natural pivot point from where the board just spun around at lightning speed losing none of its momentum. Hallelujah me thinks, now I get it, I must try it. So I try it, all hell breaks loose, I lose my board and flush red with embarrassment. Tom just smiles politely as he usually does and offers me a tip ‘take your time Ben, and remember you’re goofy I’m not’. A bit cryptic but some years later I got it. When surfing forehand the move works best in cutbacks, backhand it is better suited to bottom turns on takeoff or when coming out of your cutback.

  Longboard Clinic Switch foot turn 2