A tail side is an advanced maneuver where the back of the board slides around as a result of your fins breaking out of the water.

Most often performed on forehand re-entries and cutbacks and sometimes on backhand re-entires.

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Ordinarily, it is not good for your fins to break out of the water as you can easily lose control of the board if you are not ready for it.

A cutback tail slide can turn into a layback with your body sliding on the water. Keep the pressure in your legs down through your knees and into your feet to keep your board under control, and under your feet, even whilst you slide.

HOW TO DO A FRONTSIDE TAIL SLIDE

Step 1: Generate speed and eye your path.

Step 2: Perform a deep bottom turn, staying low and compact.

Step 3: Shift weight onto toe side rail and look up at the section your going to hit off.

Step 4: Set your line at a 75 – 90-degree angle, aiming for a piece of foam or lip.

Step 5: As you extend your body towards the section, open your shoulders with your trailing arm back near your bum. The more you rotate your upper body here the more you will throw your board into the tailslide.

Step 6: Just before your board hits the foam or the nose exits the top of the water, engage your rotation.

Step 7: Look back down to where you want your board to go and drop your left shoulder as you whip both shoulders around to follow the nose of your board.

Step 8: Keep your right arm in line with the outside rail of your board, throw your weight forward over your board to flatten it against the wave face, it’s really easy to fall on your back once the board slides.

Pro tip: If you have rail in the water, it will not release. This is why it’s so much easier to do if you get the fins out the top of the wave or on whitewash (your fins slide in the foam much easier).

Step 9: Shift most of your weight over your front foot, to allow the tail to slide.

Step 10: Your back foot needs to be right over the pad, but keep your back leg nice and bent and this will keep you balanced (a nice low center of gravity) and keep your weight forward.

Pro tip: The speed you came into the turn with and how much you rotated dictates how far round you will go, but you can control this with your back foot and head position.

Step 11: When you want to stop the slide, look back round along the direction the wave is breaking in, and at the same time transfer some of your weight back to your rear foot.

Step 12: Keep centered above your board. It’s easy to come unstuck when the fins bite.

Step 13: As your fins gain traction again your board is going to spin back around to follow the direction your head and shoulders are in.

Step 14: As you come back around, your weight should be returned to your back foot ready to generate speed again for your next maneuver.

WHEN WOULD YOU PERFORM A TAIL SLIDE

  • To show style, control, agility and balance in your surfing.
  • To push your re-entry or cutback around further (forehand or backhand)

MISTAKES

a) ACTION: Your board can slide away too far from you.

RESULT: Your feet lose contact with the board and you lose all control of your board.

CORRECTION: Try to keep your body weight balanced over the board so that you glide and slide the board.

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