Badass Backside Floaters With Cory Lopez
The Textbook column returns! This is the page in the magazine that helps unravel the secrets of those awesome surf moves all the hot guys, er … um, hot pros are doing these days. The move featured is called a backside floater–performed by Cory Lopez, who's known around the world for his great backside. Here's Cory hauling ass through a big floater at J-Bay. Photos: jackenglish.com
The key to locking into the beginning of the floater is approaching the lip from a subtle diagonal angle. If you come straight up out of the bottom turn, your floater will turn into an off-the-lip, which is the opposite of what you're trying to do. A floater could actually be called an on-the-lip.
This is the most critical point of the backside floater. When the outside rail of your board clears the top of the lip, it's time to redirect your weight from leaning out to standing straight up. This can be done by shifting your weight onto your heels and leaning toward the back of the wave. Don't lean too far or you'll fall out the back, and your friends will heckle you.
Here's where Cory adds his own flair. He tweaks his nose out toward the back of the wave–adding a rock 'n' roll effect to his floater. It makes the move look way better and adds an element of tech to an otherwise basic move. This tweak is done by adding pressure to the back foot while relieving some of the pressure on the front foot. In other words, push the tail down and aim your nose at your friends watching your floater from the lineup.
This is when you must decide when it's time to come down and complete the maneuver. If you wait too long on top of the lip, the wave's gonna break, and you'll get hit by the whitewash coming back up. You'll fall and possibly break your board. After providing your friends with a few laughs, your session will be over.
Keep the nose up and your weight centered. Prepare for landing.
Your stomach is dropping out, and you feel cool because you're weightless–trippy.
Connect to the bottom of the wave, prepare for impact, and bend your knees.
Dude, you rip. Now do another one.