How To Do a Floater

March 07, 2024

How to do a surfing floater

When the wave is breaking in front of you, and you can still make it around the section, you have two options. You can either take a low line and go around the breaking wave, which will slow you down and cause you to miss a part of the wave, or you can perform a floater, which helps you increase speed and utilize every part of the wave. 

A floater is when a surfer rides the top of the breaking wave to get around (or above) a fast part of the wave. They are functional, and incredibly fun, but often overlooked. In this blog, we will teach you how to perform one, with hopes that they will help you have more fun riding waves. 

Find the Section 

As mentioned above, a floater can only be performed when the section is breaking in front or you. You will see the lip crumble in front of you on a long, stretched out wall. A floater can be performed on mushy sections, as well as steeper powerful sections, just know that with a more powerful section you are much likelier to fall. 

Generate Speed

The best, longest floaters are done with lots of speed. So pump for speed by moving your board up and down the wave face. 

Shallow Bottom Turn

You don't need to turn your board vertically up the wave face for a floater, so aim for a very shallow bottom turn. Bend your knees slightly, lean into the wave face, and eye up the section. 

Stay above the board 

As you are turning up the wave face, make sure you are balanced above the board. This fixes the prevalent mistake of falling backwards as you ride above the lip. 

Ride the Lip and Distribute Weight Properly 

With your knees bent, allow the board to ride above the lip. Be sure your weight is 50/50 when you do this. The goal is to ride as long as you can above the lip, and if you are leaning too far back or forward you will cause there to be drag. 

Enter back down the wave face

As you begin to lose speed and as the section ends, let gravity bring you back down. Make sure your nose is facing down the wave face as you drop back in. This stage is the funnest part. After riding above the wave, you will gain tons of speed as your drop back in. 

Last thing!

A floater cannot be performed if you have not matched your board to your skill level, so give us a call at (800) 920-2363, or email us a and we'd be stoked to help you find the best board! 

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