How to do an off the lip

April 18, 2024

How to do an off the lip

An off the lip requires precision, power, and, depending on how steep the section may be, a certain level of risk. This risk is heightened when you don't know yet how to properly execute one, so the goal of this blog is to help you increase confidence and have a higher success rate in performing this high performance maneuver. 

Step 1: Locate the Section 

The most common time to perform an off the lip is at the end section of the wave when the lip, hence the name, is about to crash down. The section needs to be steep, otherwise your turn will be considered more of a foam climb or floater. 


Step 2: Bottom Turn 

The bottom turn is key. Before you go further, make sure you take a look at our blog on how to bottom turn. 

Begin your bottom turn once you see the section getting steep in front of you. Timing is key - if you are too late, the lip will come down on you and you won't be able to place your board in the right place; if too early, the lip won't connect with your board and your turn will be more of a carve. 

Your bottom turn should be deeper than when you are going for a cutback, but a bit shallower than a vertical snap. Also, remember to eye up the part of the wave where you would like to place your board on the lip. 

Step 3: Stay Low

In an off the lip, the wave will be hitting your board while you hit it back, so you will need to stay compressed in order to absorb shock and maintain center of gravity. Remember this as you are turning up the wave face. 

Step 4: Keep Weight on the Tail 

Your weight distribution should be about 60/40 with more weight at the tail. You should also put your foot far back above the fins to help with this. 

This proper weight distribution will also help you to keep the nose up as the lip is coming down. If the nose doesn't extend on top of the lip, the wave will crash on your board and you will fall. 

Last, although your weight should be further back than forward, still remember to keep some weight on your front foot. If you've ever seen a surfer get hit in the face by their board when attempting an off the lip, not retaining some weight on the front foot is likely the culprit. 

Step 5: Connect with the lip

Now that we've established the set up for the off the lip, all there is to do is follow through with the turn. Your board should be placed on the lip at about a 45 degree angle (this can vary, but this 45 degrees is most common). Keep your knees bent through the turn as you feel the lip push you. A wider stance is helpful at this stage to brace this impact. 

Step 6: Brace for the landing 

Once you've hit the lip, gravity will do the rest in bringing you down. To ensure a safe and successful landing, point the board back down with the nose toward the beach. A sideways landing with guarantee a fall. 

Last, to reiterate again, keep your knees bent as you land before standing tall again after you know you've completed the maneuver. 


An off the lip will be difficult for you don't have the right board for your skill level, heights and weight. We hope this is a helpful guide for you! If you are having difficulty still, or are unsure if you have the right board for you, give us a call at (800) 920-2363.



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