Surf Tips: How to Do the Frontside Air


The frontside air is now considered a basic maneuver in surfing. This move, in our opinion, is one of the most challenging yet easiest air to complete. Before you attempt to perform this maneuver, you should get ahold of your floaters, cutbacks, and re-entry’s down. This would allow your frontside air to be as solid and as stylish as possible.

In this post, we will be discussing everything you need to know about how to perform the frontside air. We also have a rundown of some tips for you to be able to do this correctly. Worry no more because all you need is the determination, as well as practice, and you will be doing the frontside air in no time. Keep on reading if you are curious.

How to Do the Frontside Air

Once you have prepared your gear, you need to catch a wave between two to five feet, along with some wall and power. Here’s what you should do:

  • 1
    You will be needing a lot of speed to do the frontside air. So, you need to pump down the line while staying between the top and middle of the wave. Doing this allows you to generate all the speed that you can produce.
  • 2
    After, carefully look for a section that is likely to close out.
  • 3
    Then, you need to perform a bottom turn towards a section about to break.
  • 4
    As mentioned, you need to carry speed toward the wave’s curving lip. To do this, you need to bend your knees to power through the bottom turn.
  • 5
    At this point, your focus needs to be on the part of the wave’s lip you plan to launch off. In addition, your board should be aimed off the wave’s lip and into the air above it.
  • 6
    The next thing that you need to do is to carry the momentum off the lip into the air above.
  • 7
    In this part, you always need to make sure that your surfboard is flat, especially on the lip once you start to take off.
  • 8
    It is also not recommended that you go high at first, as you will just end up flailing.
  • 9
    To be able to enter the air above the wave, you are going to need to drive your momentum off the wave’s top. To do this, you just need to push off the tail part of your surfboard.
  • 10
    When you enter the air, you need to turn your surfboard’s nose towards the beach. To do this maneuver, all you need to do is to slightly straighten out your back leg.
  • 11
    Pull your knees up to chest level to stay in control and stylish while in the air.
  • 12
    You also need to ensure that you are over the top of your surfboard instead of leaning back a bit too far.
  • 13
    You may also have the option of adding different variations to the air like doing mute grabs, double grabs, and frontside grabs, among others.
  • 14
    To be able to spot your landing, you need to look down in front. Then, let go of your grab, if ever you chose to make one.
  • 15
    Slightly extend your legs, allowing your knees to absorb the impact.
  • 16
    In case you don’t know, it’s a lot safer to land in the foam, as it is the surfboard’s softest spot.
  • 17
    Then, attempt to land with your surfboard flat on the wave.
  • 18
    Once your surfboard hits the water, try to bend your knees a little while staying centered over your front foot. This part can be a bit tricky, so you need to stay as low and centered as possible.
  • 19
    Once you have ridden out the foam, feel stoked just because you have landed a very challenging maneuver.

The frontside air maneuver can be easily performed in several different ways. However, we do recommend that you use the wave as a ramp, which will guide you into the air rather than when you try to ollie off the wave.

What Are the Common Mistakes in Doing Frontside Airs?

  • Not hitting off at the right angle results in you having more difficulty to get enough air and landing correctly. To prevent this from happening, you need to carefully time your lift off. You should also work on getting your angles better.
  • Insufficient rotation in the air would result in you landing at a bad angle, especially on the wave’s face or lip. The right thing to do is to go over your targeted aerial and focus on it. It may also be helpful if you try to visualize your ramp up landing, as well as rotation.
  • You may also lose control in the air. This happens a lot. Or sometimes, you lose control of your surfboard. This would only result in you to land roughly. To prevent this instance from happening, you may try to glide using your surfboard in the air. In addition, try grabbing one or both rails, which will keep your board appropriately positioned under your feet.

Surf Tips: Frontside Air

  • Carrying speed is more doable if you drive through your bottom turn. It would also help you launch off the lip as cleanly as possible.
  • It may also be advantageous for you if you push out your back leg while pulling your knees to chest level to stay in control in the air and the surfboard.
  • Remember to stay over the top of your surfboard.
  • Stomp your surfboard to be able to ride away clean.


Now that we have reached the end of the discussion, it is now up to you to apply this new knowledge on how to do this solid and powerful maneuver. We admit that it is not going to be easy at first but with practice, we believe that you can do it in no time. Just try to apply the step-by-step guide, as well as the tips, and you are on your way.

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