A roundhouse cutback is an important surfing maneuver. It could be one of the most important moves there is.
Do you know how to do it?
If not, don’t worry, as it’s probably not as difficult as you think it is and we’ll guide you through the basics here.
What is a Roundhouse Cutback in Surfing?
A roundhouse cutback is a cutback that takes you through an arc of 180 degrees.
You perform a roundhouse cutback when you are riding high on the wave face. It will bring you back to the oncoming wave and allow you to return to the wave face and the point of energy.
Unlike a snap-style cutback, a roundhouse cutback takes you through more of an arc and back to the lip of the wave. As a result, it’s a little more complex and requires a lot of practice.
How Do You Do a Roundhouse Cutback Surfing?
The first step to performing an effective roundhouse cutback is to generate as much speed as possible. Once you have the speed, you can focus on the following:
1. Drive your board down the line and find a wide bottom turn that will direct you back to the lip of the wave.
2. Shift to your heel side and aim your leading arm toward the shore.
3. The board should start to arc around, with your front foot taking the weight as the board carves through the water.
4. Bend your knees to take some of the impact. This is especially important with tighter turns as you’ll dip into the water slightly.
5. Maintaining a low stance, adjust your bodyweight through the center of the board.
6. Release some of the pressure on your heels and shift toward your toes, adding more weight forward.
7. Head for the next turn on the wave face and keep your eyes on your line.
The goal of a roundhouse cutback is to return to the energy of the wave, carving a figure-8 shape in the process. It means that you won’t lose speed or direction and can target the energy point of the wave.