Trends come and go in surfing, some moves might be en vogue for a few seasons, then fall out of favour as board designs, fashions and surfers themselves change. The roundhouse carve does not fall into this category. Get this right, and you’ll have universal respect no matter where or when you pull it, no matter what your craft. The roundhouse carve is a basic human essential like food, clothing, shelter and good lovin’. You’ll start doing your first forehand cutbacks shortly after learning to bottom turn and pump down the line, and if you put enough practice in, you’ll be jammin’ irie roundhouses just like Appas in no time.
1. You want to already be thinking about this turn as you come off the bottom, and aim to start your carve high up on the face near the lip. Pick a spot on the wave that has a nice steep, tapering shoulder. If you try and pull it too far out on the shoulder you’ll stop, try it too close to the pocket and you’ll spin out. Notice Appas’ leading (right) arm points down at the place his carve will be centred around. You should be pushing hard on your back leg, and trying hard not to loose any speed – there’s a long way to go yet.
2. Appas has dipped that leading hand in the water establishing the pivot point he’ll be carving around. By now you’ll be burying much more of the rail, always trying to push through the turn keeping your momentum. By pivoting around that leading arm, your shoulders are pointing the way you want to go – back towards the oncoming peak.
3. Keep pushing hard on your rail, making your board follow in the direction your shoulders are pointing. Appas has kept his speed going well through this one, he’s starting to chuck a healthy amount of spray for a guy with legs so skinny they’d make an anorexic greyhound jealous. Some surfers will point their trailing arm in the air behind them to get their shoulders in the right position, but Appas here has kept his left arm always around forehead level – very Machado-esque.
4. Roar like a Lion! This is the time when you’ll be glad you’ve been keeping the rig in shape, your quads and abs are starting to feel it. If you’ve done it right you’ll have your board buried deep in the face and buckets of spray flying up behind you – possibly even enough to make the sky go dark. If you’re a dreadlock rasta like Appas, watch out. The g-forces your hair experiences during a turn of this kind can whip those dreads into eyes or face causing nasty bruising or loss of vision. One way to avoid this is to try using shampoo every now and again.
5. As you come into the last part of your turn, start to release the pressure on your rail, but not all of it. You still want to keep throwing that spray right up until the last moment possible – remember, you’re jammin’ all the way round the house. After doing this several times, practice will tell you at what point you want to be releasing from the turn, still keeping enough speed to be able to bottom turn out. Appas is now finally taking his arm out of the face, as he’s now starting to pull his leading shoulder forward to allow him to start changing direction.
6. Appas has reached the full extent of his carve, his board is now pointing in completely the opposite direction to when he started. At this point, you want to be looking down the wave in front of your board at the place you’re going to bottom turn out, and leading with your shoulders start to shape your body to do so. Jason tucks his back leg in and starts gathering his weight on his front leg for his next bottom turn. At this point, if you want to chuck a bit of extra spray, why not give it a good headflick? And if you’re feeling really manly, fly down the line again and crank another one – even harder.