How to do an air reverse on a bodyboard

March 29, 2021 | Bodyboarding
Air reverse: you'll need a good wave with a solid pinching section, a classic wedge, or a thunderous closeout | Photo: Jeff Hubbard Archive

The air reverse is one of the most challenging tricks in bodyboarding. Learn how to do it right.

Modern bodyboarding is all about aerial spins in waves of consequence.

The air reverse is a complex and advanced maneuver pioneered by Mike Stewart and one of the sport's most eye-catching tricks.

It requires a lot of speed, projection, and momentum to get into the air and complete the rotation flawlessly.

The air reverse also needs a good wave with a solid pinching section, a classic wedge, or a thunderous closeout.

The rider needs to focus his/her attention on the section, part of the ramp, or lip he or she will be about to hit.

It's paramount to lean the body to the front of the board, keep the weight forward, and reach the top of the wave at an angle.

Finally, the bodyboarder must turn the head and eyes in the direction of the rotation while simultaneously crossing the legs.

In other words, you'll need to get your body following the motion your head is going.

In the end, the goal is to have a tight and compact weight mass spinning effortlessly and fast in the air.

Air reverse: speed, projection, and momentum are key to landing this advanced bodyboarding trick | Photo: Fronton King

Air Reverse 101

Here's how to perform a perfect air reverse:

1. Take off on a wave with a solid and relatively steep face;

2. Perform an efficient bottom-turn;

3. Eye the section you plan to hit with your back fully arched;

4. Move your weight forward, gain speed, and ride up the face of the wave;

5. Hit the desired section or lip slightly at an angle;

6. Throw your head sideways in the direction of the rotation;

7. Keep your legs crossed to allow a faster and maximum rotation;

8. Allow your body and board to complete the spin;

9. Open your legs to stop the rotation;

10. Land in front of the whitewater and ride out;

Timing is key to landing an air reverse in bodyboarding, so make sure you hit the lip precisely when it's starting to pinch.

You've got to commit to the rotation and try to get as much air as possible between the top of the wave and yourself.

Landing an air reverse can be a heavy and slightly painful experience, as you're touching down straight on the flats.

You may spare your ribs and cushion your landing by completing 25 or 50 percent of the maneuver in the foam.

You can also position your elbows and bodyboard down the board to maximize the body's ability to absorb the high impact of the landing.

If that's the case, drop a leg to spin out of the whitewash.

The air reverse is an advanced bodyboarding trick that requires a lot of speed, projection, and momentum to complete the rotation and land on the flats.