No matter how lofty your above-the-lip ambitions, without an understanding of surfing’s fundamentals, you’ll never be considered a complete surfer. Before you even consider using that section to try an air, you’d better have a firm grip on the basics. To get you in line, we spoke with Honolulu’s Zeke Lau, the newly minted NSSA National Champ, to find out the five bread-and-butter maneuvers every surfer should have on lockdown.
A Seamless Bottom Turn. Your bottom turn sets up every maneuver you’ll do in surfing. From airs to carves, it all starts with a solid bottom turn. Without a good one, you’ll never be complete. So what makes a good bottom turn? To be honest, it completely depends because it’s a setup maneuver. So the bottom turn you do going into a barrel is going to be different than one you’ll do for a big carve. A good bottom turn should generate a lot of your speed and should be done in one motion—you don’t want to be doing a bunch of adjustments. You’ll see people doing that a lot, the two-or three-part bottom turn, but I think they should be completed in one fluid move.