How To: Cutback Like Tom Curren

Tom Curren
4. Your shoulders rotate forward and your back arm follows suit, swinging around and helping the momentum of the turn. As you twist your upper body, your weight will naturally start to shift to evenly between both feet. This helps drive the turn and allows you to control the inside rail better.

Tom Curren
5. In this example, Curren doesn’t attempt to rebound off the whitewash, but he instead flattens the turn out as soon as the board is pointing back toward the foam. It kicks up a lot of spray, and is an easier turn to ride out of. The caveat is that when you do this, you burn up nearly all your speed since you’re now going against the flow of the wave and aren’t going to get a boost of speed from rebounding off the whitewater. However, if you’ve done it right, you’ll end up in the pocket of the wave, which is where the face is steeper. A well-placed bottom turn will get you going again.

Tom Curren
If you’ve got an intermediate- or even expert-level cutback in your repertoire, there are still style lessons to be learned here. Keeping the arms low and relaxed makes a very critical turn seem mellow.

If you wanted to rebound off the whitewash, you’d want to look at it at the apex of the turn, twisting your torso farther around. For a no-rebound one like this, the head never looks all the way around, and instead it just shifts to looking down through the brunt of the turn, which helps focus your power to the end flare of the maneuver.

-Do a Google image search for “Tom Curren cutback backdoor” and you will find the gold standard. It’s perhaps the finest cutback ever caught on film.
-There are awe-inspiring wraps in the “Taylor Knox Hits Lowers” vid on the net. See below…

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