Backflip: no one does it like Pierre-Louis Costes | Photo: D'Andrea/APB

The backflip is one of the most advanced maneuvers in bodyboarding. The trick is hard to pull, but there's nothing a lot of training and failed attempts won't solve.

Backflips are a quite popular trick in sports. You will find them in BMX, skateboarding, gymnastics, motorcycling, snowboarding, windsurfing, and even surfing. A backflip is a backward rolling motion, in which your body completes a 360-degree curve backward.

You can't say it is a natural human movement. Our bodies are not designed for long-term upside down experiences, so our brains usually play tricks on us. "Don't do that. You'll hurt yourself," they often silently shout.

Therefore, jumping backward isn't easy. It requires a lot of training and mental preparation. In bodyboarding, successfully completed backflips depend on three main variables: timing, projection and jump height/air time.

You can rapidly accelerate learning and/or improve your backflip technique if you have access to a trampoline. Start with a simple backdrop, evolve to a sideways handspring, and finally go for a back handspring before trying the classic backflip.

Backflip: cross your legs and hold the board tight | Photo: D'Andrea/APB

Now, let's learn how to land a backflip in bodyboarding's natural environment, i.e., salted water:

1. Find a wave with a solid section;
2. Lean forward to generate and maximize speed;
3. Eye a punchy lip or a near-vertical section;
4. Hit the lip before it breaks;
5. Launch into the air and lean your head back;
6. Use your weight to throw yourself out in front of the wave;
7. Arch your back;
8. Lean your head back and tuck/cross your legs;
9. Hold the board tight and get the nose in the water first;
10. Keep your weight centered;
11. Look where you want to go, spin, and ride away.

Bigger waves will give you more speed and upward projection. After landing your first backflip, try the no-hands version popularized by the master himself, Pierre-Louis Costes.

Surf forecasting is the process or method of predicting the behavior of swells and the breaking of the waves near the coastline.

+ Surfing News

Origami is the ancient art of paper folding. Kites were probably invented in China around 500 BC. Let's blend both crafts and make a simple, high-flying Origami kite.

+ Kiteboarding News

On November 26, 2018, the World Surf League (WSL) suspended the iconic Peahi Challenge, in Maui. Why? There was too much wind, and the conditions were too gnarly for big wave surfing.

+ Windsurfing News