How to Perform a Roundhouse Cutback

February 21, 2024

Roundhouse cutback surfing

The roundhouse cutback is a timeless surf maneuver that adds spark to your cutbacks and allows you to gain speed for your next maneuver. Without proper guidance, they can be difficult to master. This blog will help you perform better roundhouse cutbacks and add flair to your surfing. 

Before reading this, be sure to check out our blog on how to perform a cutback – prior knowledge of this blog is assumed in this one. 

What board will I need? 

A roundhouse is a high performance maneuver that requires a high performance surfboard. Shorter boards will be easier to turn, so any of our midlengths, fishes and shortboards will be well suited. If you are a longboarder, we recommend opting for our Ultimate longboard, which blends together performance and user-friendliness. 

Step 1: Extend the cutback 

During a normal cutback, you will turn toward the whitewater, then will motion back to the open face before the white water. But during a roundhouse, you will need to extend the cutback into the whitewater before performing a snap back to the open face. So for step one, make sure you keep the rail engaged for longer than you would during a normal cutback. This will help you turn up the wave to bank the whitewater. 

Step 2: Look to the section where you want to place the board 

As we say often, where your eyes are looking, your body will follow! As you extend the cutback, look to the section where you want to place the board on the roundhouse. This should be at the crest of the wave, or the top of the oncoming whitewater section. 

Step 3: Rotate your hips as you place the board at the oncoming section 

Rotation of the hips is key if you want to master the roundhouse. Rotate as much as you can to gain torque. This will also help you place the board in the proper place on the lip.

Step 4: Once you place the board on the lip, put foot back on the bottom tail pad/tail, rotate hips back to the open face, and look forward

The “snap” motion on the wave face will happen once you rotate your hips back with your foot far back above the fins. This will help you to turn quickly back down the wave. Like step 2, look in the direction you desire to go, which should be back to the open wave face. 

Step 5: Gear up for the next maneuver 

A proper roundhouse will allow you to gain tons of speed. Utilize this speed well by gearing up for another turn. Remember to match your turns with what section you can perform. (Ex. snap on a steep section, roundhouse on an open face section, or floater on a down the line section).

We hope this is a helpful guide! Apply these tips in the water and you will be performing a roundhouse in no time. 

If you have any questions on this maneuver or need help deciding on your next board shoot us an email at or call us at the shop (800) 920-2363

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