When it comes to letting your surfing announce to the rest of the beach that you have your s*** together, there isn’t much that can beat a classic frontside snap. People can fluke their way into tubes, and even into the air, (even if making it out and landing it are another story) but no one flukes a vertical crack off the lip and consequent re-entry back into the wave.
Like everything in surfing, you have to match your expectations with what the wave is doing. It’s too easy to get pumped up on images like the one above before hitting 2ft mushy surf, only for us to overcook the move and fall off backwards, or end up making it look like we’re trying to hard.
If the wave is mushy, best thing to do is to is aim more out towards the shoulder, and don’t try to hit the turn that hard. Best not to go for the tail slide, instead do little rollers off the lip that will help you build up speed for the inevitable close-out section coming towards you down the line.
Now though, if the waves are nice and pitchy, you can get more radical. As you come out of your bottom turn and start climbing up the face and spy the lip ahead of you, transfer pressure from your toeside rail to your heelside. Have your leading arm down and out from you as a fulcrum to pivot around, and bring your trailing arm up and round to facilitate the swing of the body.
Drive into the turn hard with you back foot, turning your shoulders to the extent that you’re going to turn your board. When doing the snap, don’t try to lean too far back and keep your leading shoulder low to the board. Compress your front keen while transferring your weight to your front foot as you begin to exit the move.
Now, as you prepare to drop back into a rather critical part of the wave. Step on your tail if it’s a heavy section, or prepare for an air drop. If you find yourself getting repeatedly boosted out into the flats by the lip, try hitting it so that it ends up between your feet on your board, rather than hitting the tail.
Finally, keep in mind that you always want to be thinking a step ahead so you should already have picked out the part of the wave you’re going for next.