Acid drop: jumping off a cliff into a wave

Acid drops can be dangerous, especially if you jump into shallow waters. But if you learn how to do it properly, they can be fun and look good in a video.

The trick is credited to Duane Peters, a pro skateboarder of the 1970s, but the move quickly spread to many other boardsports. Today, you will see it performed in BMX, snowboarding, wakeboarding, skimboarding, and surfing.

In a classic acid drop, the surfer jumps from a higher obstacle, cliff or rock into the peeling wave, and rides it down the line.

It's all about timing and positioning on the surfboard. If you don't time the leap right, you may end on the flats and break the board, or you may fall on the back of the wave.

If you're jumping off a very high rock, you need an average-sized wave, i.e., at least a should-high roller.

Ideally, you should land on the wave's pocket to get a ramp that will move you forward. If you land on a wobbly whitewater section, you will find hard to continue riding the wave.

Acid drop: a trick invented by pro skateboarder Duane Peters | Photo: THPS

There aren't many spots in the world for acid drops. However, Hawaii and California (Santa Cruz) are known for hosting a few peaks where you can jump onto a breaking wave.

Make sure to previously check out if the ocean's bottom is not rocky or made of corals. Never perform an acid drop alone. If you break a bone, you'll need help or even rescue.

You can also acid drop from the top of a wave into the flats. The technical procedure is identical to that for jumping off a rocky structure. Timing and landing are keys to success.

Practice your first acid drops by jumping off of low-level platforms. Now, go for it. Learn how to land an acid drop:

1. Watch a few waves go by and analyze their speed and breaking behavior;
2. Visualize the jump and time it with the incoming wave;
3. Bend your knees and leap;
4. Grab the surfboard with both hands on the rails;
5. Keep your feet centered on the surfboard;
6. Eye the landing and adopt an even lower stance;
7. Land the surfboard flat on the face of the wave;
8. Start pumping to gain speed;
9. Continue riding;

Remember that acid drops may result in broken boards. Make sure you're not putting your favorite stick in jeopardy.