How to Surf- Cut back
Smooth and arching, the cutback is a move of grace and precision, vital for maintaining speed and linking between critical sections of the wave. A well placed cutback keeps both feels incredible under your feet and can keep you busy should the wave that you’re surfing be holding off (slow down and not offer a steep face).
1- You need speed! Don’t perform a cut back too late once you have already lost your speed. Anticipate the wave holding off before it does (which takes experience), and be decisive.
2- Cut backs are easier to initiate off of a semi bottom turn. Do not perform a full bottom turn as it will kill your speed, but you do need to be heading up the face of the wave before initiating a cut back rather than just heading along it. Before performing any manoeuvre be sure to have planned your next turn as you want to allow for a smooth transition out of the one that you are about to perform.
3- Keep your eyes at where you want to go. Aim towards the further edge of the section on which you’ll be cutting back. As you’re driving out of your bottom turn you should be slightly on your back foot.
4- Performing a stylish and smooth cutback requires turning on your rail rather than just pivoting off of your back foot. This means only slight favouring of your weight onto your back foot, whilst engaging your inside (inside of the turn) rail. As you approach the lip, be low on your board, and then rotate your upper body and follow through the turn whilst leaning ever so slightly on your inside rail. If you do not have sufficient speed here, or too much weight is on your back foot, you will fall. You will then start turning back towards the white water.
5- Do not disengage the turn and drop to the absolute bottom of the wave as doing this will kill too much speed (in general). Now focus on the white water and adjust your body position accordingly.
6- Depending on how you want to finish your turn (round house or a smooth completion), depends on how much you attack the white water, but bear in mind that the turbulent white water will make it harder for you to engage your fins and will cause your rails to slip out from underneath you, therefor the latter half of this turn needs to be more back foot and less rail.
7- A smooth completion should be favoured when approaching from less of an angle, but if you are approaching the white water more vertically, feel free to hit the lip as if performing an aggressive top turn (The more upper body torque set up before-hand, the greater the ferocity of the turn)
Cut backs require the experience of reading the waves. Know where the wave will slow down and learn to recognise tell -tail signs in order to anticipate when you should initiate for a cut back.