Ok, so I'll cover things a little quicker in this section as much of what holds true with backhand trimming is the same as with your forehand.

However there are a few key differences that you need to be aware of.


Trimming on your backhand is harder than your forehand for a couple of reasons:

  • You only have your heels as a pivot point for adjusting your weight (much less stable than toes and the balls of your feet).
  • You're surfing with your back towards the wave.

Both of these factors add up to making backhand surfing considerably harder than surfing on your forehand.


Lets break the whole process down in detail below:

  • Spot a wave with a nice tapered shape that's going to break down the line slowly.
  • Position yourself effectively so that you're able to catch the wave early, and paddle hard to catch the wave.
  • Once you have confirmation that you are on the wave, pop quickly to your feet.  Important: You should be on your feet whilst still at the top of the wave.
  • As soon as you are on your feet, immediately start putting weight onto the heels of your feet.  This will in-turn begin to turn the surfboard.
  • Open up your shoulders and keep your eyes looking to where you want your surfboard to go.
  • Once your line is set, maintain balance and you're away!


If you're struggling to execute this technique, a quick little hack to put you on the right track is to use the grab rail technique.

The method is quite simple, but very effective:

  • As you're going through the pop-up process, rather than popping all of the way to your feet, instead pop to the drop-knee position.
  • From here, place your outside arm onto your outside rail.
  • Keeping your centre of gravity low, pull up on the rail and lean into the wave face.
  • Once your board has changed direction and your line is set, proceed to rise up to a full standing position.


If you're like the majority of people, chances are you'll find trimming on your backhand more difficult than your forehand.

Regardless, we really encourage you to not see that as a signal to avoid riding waves on your backhand, sticking just to riding waves on your forehand.

Instead, try to practice riding waves both ways and take the time to develop the skills to ride both successfully as it'll pay off big time down the track.