How to perform an air forward in bodyboarding

Air forward: timing is critical | Photo: Brad Whittaker/SIC

The air forward is a very elegant and timeless bodyboarding maneuver, but it takes a lot of practice to get it right.

A fast wave with a good-looking vertical ramp will help you get airborne and rotate before landing on an open face. The hardest part is initiating the spin.

Timing is critical - you must hit the wave's lip at the right moment. If you don't, you'll either get caught by the breaking lip or land in the back of the wave.

Basically, all you need is to perform a smooth 180 spin which starts somewhere between 10 and 12 o'clock and ends between 5 and 7 o'clock.

Air Forward 101

Read for getting airborne? Here's how to perform an air forward?

  1. Take off of a steep wave;
  2. Perform a sharp bottom-turn;
  3. Speed up down the line;
  4. Starting climbing the wave as fast as you can;
  5. Hit the lip as it pitches outside of the barrel;
  6. Arch your back, and tuck and cross your legs;
  7. Turn your head over your shoulder toward the breaking wave;
  8. As you complete half of the rotation, release your legs out;
  9. Focus on your landing spot (open face, flats, or whitewater);
  10. Make sure you're far enough forward to continue down the face of the wave;

Once you've landed the air forward, try the air roll spin (ARS).

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