“Your acceleration pedal is your back foot. Your front foot has no role in the turning process and is mostly used for balance.”
These are the words of Mark Richards, a four-time world surfing champion and Australian legend.
He knows how to drive a surfboard across a wave face and understands the importance of feet in accomplishing one’s goals.
Without heel and toe pressure from the rear foot, the surfboard won’t even spin, demonstrating how much of your skill is in your feet.
Your back foot should be one palm-length away from the board’s tail, and your front foot should be slightly ahead of the plank’s midsection. It is recommended that you use a good traction pad.
When you make a frontside bottom turn, your rear foot’s toes will apply pressure over the tail rail, activating fin power and acceleration.
Difference between back-footed and front-footed surfing
You’re bound to hear the terms “back-footed surfer” and “front-footed surfer” if you talk to enough people about surfing. While the definitions of these phrases are self-explanatory, there is a lot more at stake than that.
Different surfboards and kinds of surfing function better with front-footed and back-footed surfing, therefore it’s worth comparing the two techniques. Prior to the advent of the thruster, the majority of surfboards had single fins or twin fins.
The majority of them were voluminous, with the surfboard’s widest points being further forward than halfway. While these surfboards could be ridden from almost anywhere (and surfer’s feet were frequently seen moving around on their surfboards while riding waves), they were primarily surfed with the front foot.
This method is more forward-thinking and driving, with a concentration on down-the-line speed and lateral rail turns. The thruster’s invention flipped the entire paradigm on its head. These boards were loose and maneuverable because of their reduced volume and higher rocker. The back of the surfboard included a cluster of 3 fins that enabled aggressive, vertical, top-to-bottom surfing.
Standing with your back foot over the fin cluster and weighting/driving the board heavily on the back foot facilitates the back-foot surfing approach. While back-footed surfing is by far the most popular, front-footed surfing is not extinct.
The Firewire Glazer model, for example, is a wider, flatter, hybrid modern design that lends itself to front-footed surfing. These surfboards seem to function best for front-footed surfers, while those who favor a back-footed technique seem to struggle with them.
The Puddle Fish and Lost Round Nose Fish, on the other hand, are wide, flatter surfboards that nonetheless have a back-footed feel. These surfboards are faster down the line and a little more forgiving and user-friendly than modern high-performance thrusters, but they still have a lot of versatility.
Because they share many of the same features as a traditional shortboard. When switching back to their high-performance surfboards, many people find it simple to transition back to back-footed surfing.