Alternate names: aerial 360, 360 spin
A complex maneuver where a surfer rides up and off the wave with his board and makes a 360-degree rotation in the air before landing back on the same wave. Sometimes a 270-degree rotation in the air to a backwards landing where your fins will catch and spin you into a full 360.
When dropping into the wave, you need to stay between the middle and the top of the wave to gain as much speed as possible. Speed and timing are the most important things for this trick. Look ahead for a steep section that is just about to break. It is easiest to do this trick on a closeout, but you can do them on steep open-faced waves too.
When you find the section approach it the same way you would a frontside straight air. From the middle of the wave bottom turn up the face gradually, projecting your board at a 30 to 45 degree angle off of the curling lip. Make sure to conserve your speed through the bottom turn. Keep your eyes focused on the part of the lip you are about to launch off. Stay low through your bottom turn, and aim for the steepest part of the lip.
Just before you leave the lip your shoulders and upper body should be twisting into the spin. This will initiate your spin, and put you in a good position while in the air. Follow your back foot, through the air as you push the tail of your board towards the beach. While pushing on your tail be sure that your body is centred over your board, and your centre of gravity is low.
As you're spinning look down over your toe side rail to spot your landing. Focus on where you are going to land for the rest of the spin. Bend your knees and keep your tail a bit higher than your nose so you don’t tail dive. Stomp the landing. Try to land with your tail pointing straight into shore, and your weight centred over your front foot.
Your feet will most likely be a little farther forward than usual so look over your shoulder (the one farthest from the beach) to finish the trick and get your nose pointed back towards the beach. If you land over your fins your board will want to keep spinning so just let it spin while keeping low and centered. Once the spin is complete look for the next section and try to hit the lip.
Frontside air reverses are a great trick that can lead you away from basic maneuvers into the future of surfing. Get a video of Taj Burrow and put it in slow motion if you want to learn this trick properly. He’s got these wired.
- Get speed down the line while looking for a section.
- Turn your shoulders and upper body into the spin as you leave the lip.
- Watch for the landing over your toe side rail when you are in the air.
- Stomp it, while low and centered.
- Look over your shoulder and hold on when your fins catch
The backside air reverse is a trick that I had a really hard time with.
The spin in the air feels natural so it's easy to come off the lip and spin in the air, but landing backwards and continuing the spin into a 360 is very difficult.
Catch a wedgy backside wave that's waist to chest high and has a steep close out section at the end. Pump down the line to get enough speed so you can launch into the air. You want a lot of speed, but you need to be in control to make an air. Bottom turn at a 20-30 degree angle to project yourself off the wave where the lip meets the whitewash. Stay low and centered with your eyes focused on the lip. Angle your board down the line, or even a little bit in front of the wave to adjust for the movement of the wave while you are in the air.
If your board is pointed out the back when you start the spin you will end up out the back when you land. Bend your knees and use your body like a spring to pop into the air. When the top half of your board is out of the water (when your front foot is leaving the water) you want to turn your shoulders into the spin, push your back foot into the spin, and spring off the lip. You don’t want to kick your foot out; you want to push it to initiate the spin.
Once in the air your body will want to extend so suck your legs and board up for style and height.
You'll be spinning blind so it will be hard to see where you are going. Repetition will make this feel comfortable. Try to keep your board level in the air while staying low and centered (this is probably something to work on once you get these down). Your front knee should be bent and your back leg should be extended pushing the tail around. Your stance should be a bit wider than usual for better balance so stay low for style points. Ideally your arms should be bent at a 90 degree angle by your sides for balance; but just do whatever comes naturally until you’ve got these wired, then you can make minor adjustments. Look down between your legs on your toe-side rail so you can time your landing. You won’t be able to see exactly where you’re going to land, but at least you can see the landing come and get ready for the impact.
Bend your knees and absorb the landing. Be strong on the landing so you don’t fall back into a layback (I used to do that a lot. It looks really bad!). Stay low with a wide stance, and most of your weight on your back foot. The weight on your back foot will help you continue with the momentum of the wave, and help you finish your spin by re-connecting your fins to the water. Be careful not to tail dive at this stage because you’re backwards. Once you start spinning transfer your weight to your front foot while staying low. You’re done; look for the next section and bust out a big combo for good measure.
Check out Taj on these ones because he’s the master. It took me almost 2 years to get this trick down, but all those kook-outs are worth it now. Be persistent, keep trying to stick them and you’ll get it one day.
- Speed with control!
- Stay low, use your body as a spring and use your shoulders to initiate the spin.
- Stay low and centered while spinning.
- Stomp it tail first, and don’t tail dive.
A wedgy wave that's waist to chest high and has a steep close out section at the end.
How to wipeout