Carving 360: a backside off-the-lip going frontside | Photo: Shutterstock

Learn how to do a full loop on a wave or, like Kelly Slater once said, a backside off-the-lip going frontside.

It looks doable and simple, but it is one of the most difficult and technical maneuvers in surfing, especially when performed on a steep wave face.

The carve 360 has been around for quite a while and had its heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In modern surfing, it will not earn big scores from a judging panel. Nevertheless, it remains a timeless surfing trick.

Unlike the reverse 360, a carving 360 forces the surfer to change his natural projection and direction.

In a way, it is also the extension of a long bottom turn or a complete carving circle.

The carving 360 requires practice, persistence, and a 45-degree angle wave with a slightly punchy lip. You probably won't land it right away after a few tries.

The Carving 360 Technique

Ready to do your first-ever carving 360? Here's how to do it:

  1. Perform a well-rounded, full on-rail bottom turn;
  2. Eye the top section of a crumbling wave;
  3. Drive your surfboard vertically toward the lip of the wave;
  4. Keep the board's speed and momentum going;
  5. Turn the board against the whitewater keeping the shoulders aligned and working for the rotation;
  6. Transfer the majority of your weight to the front foot;
  7. Release fins and tail in the pocket of the wave to speed up the full rotation;
  8. Keep your eyes looking down and your arms open;
  9. Let the board complete the full circle;
  10. Use your knees to cushion any impact and resume riding;

As you come off the bottom turn, remember to put more weight on the inside rail and point the nose of the board up in order to accelerate the spinning process.

On the first attempts, try putting your hands in the water to help you pivot and rotate quickly and easily. A wider and thicker surfboard will help, too.

Finally, a note to self: a successful carving 360 is only valid when you complete the rotation and continue surfing down the wave.

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