How To: Land An Air

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A lot of bros can punt, but few can complete.

The average surfer’s aerial-landing percentage is low. Taj Burrow, on the other hand, probably has about an 85-percent chance of perfectly landing any air he launches. Let’s learn from the master–an air ain’t an air if you don’t land it. Flyaways are lame–land that shit!

Steps one and two: Get in the air. If you can’t do this yet, don’t worry about landing. Work on the basics, then start working your way up to launching airs.

Step three: Look at your landing. Take note of where Taj is looking. He’s gauging the time he has before he touches down. He’s also looking at what his landing is doing. In this case, the whitewash is subsiding, and he gets prepared for a soft and forgiving landing zone.

Hint: Your weight should be centered and as light as possible.

Step four: As the nose touches down, Taj shifts his weight onto his front foot, while keeping his front knee bent but strong to absorb the pressure.

Hint: Stay loose, and your chances of landing increase.

Steps five through eight: Here’s where you have to let the wave do the work for you. Ride out the whitewash, and keep a grip on your board. You’ll find yourself relying on your fins to pull you back around.

Hint: If you ride backward for too long, you will pearl. Apply pressure to your tail, and you’ll spin around quicker.

Steps nine and ten: As you begin to face forward, pump your board slightly to stay up on the wave. If you let the whitewash pass you up, it’s not a make.

Caption: Taj Burrow lands them and so should you.