How To Perform Floater On A Wave In Surfing

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Surfing is an exhilarating sport that allows individuals to connect with the power and beauty of the ocean. Among the various maneuvers in surfing, the floater is a move that showcases skill, control, and style. Executing a successful floater requires a combination of technique, timing, and wave awareness.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of performing a floater on a wave. Whether you’re a beginner looking to enhance your surfing skills or an intermediate surfer aiming to add flair to your repertoire, this article will equip you with the knowledge needed to execute a flawless floater.


What is a floater in surfing?

Before diving into the details of how to perform a floater, it’s important to understand what it actually entails. In surfing, a floater is a maneuver where the surfer rides up and over the breaking section of a wave, essentially “floating” on top of it. It’s a visually impressive move that showcases control and style.


How do I choose the right wave for a floater?

Timing is crucial when it comes to performing a successful floater. Choosing the right wave that provides the ideal conditions is essential. Consider the following factors:

a) Wave size and shape: Look for waves that have a clean face and a steep, unbroken section where you can perform the maneuver.

b) Wave speed: Opt for waves that offer sufficient speed to carry you through the floater without losing momentum.

c) Wave power: Waves with moderate power are ideal, as they provide the necessary force for executing the maneuver effectively.


What are the key techniques for performing a floater?

Executing a perfect floater requires a combination of proper technique and body positioning. Here are some essential techniques to keep in mind:

a) Approach and timing: As you approach the breaking section of the wave, time your floater so that you can ride up the face as it begins to pitch over.

b) Speed generation: Prior to reaching the critical section, generate speed by pumping your arms and legs to maintain momentum.

c) Body positioning: As you ascend the wave face, center your weight over the board and keep your body low, allowing for better stability and control.

d) Eye focus: Maintain a constant gaze toward the beach while performing the floater to enhance balance and maintain a smooth transition.

e) Redirecting momentum: As the lip of the wave begins to pitch, shift your weight slightly forward to redirect your momentum downward, avoiding unnecessary wipeouts.


What are common mistakes to avoid when attempting a floater?

While learning to perform a floater, it’s common to encounter certain mistakes that can hinder your progress. Being aware of these pitfalls will help you overcome them more effectively. Avoid the following:

a) Poor timing: Attempting a floater too early or too late can result in losing the wave’s power and momentum, leading to a failed maneuver.

b) Lack of speed: Without generating enough speed before the floater, you may struggle to maintain momentum and get caught behind the wave.

c) Incorrect body positioning: Leaning too far back or standing too upright can cause instability, leading to loss of control during the maneuver.

d) Fear and hesitation: Confidence plays a significant role in executing a successful floater. Fear and hesitation can disrupt your focus and timing.


How can I improve my floater technique?

Improving your floater technique requires practice, patience, and dedication. Here are some tips to enhance your skills:

a) Video analysis: Record yourself while attempting floaters and analyze your technique. Look for areas of improvement and make necessary adjustments.

b) Core strength training: Strengthening your core muscles will improve stability and balance, enabling you to execute floaters with better control.

c) Balance and stability exercises: Incorporate exercises like yoga, balance boards, and stability training to enhance your body’s ability to maintain balance during the maneuver.

d) Surf different breaks: Challenge yourself by surfing various types of waves, which will expose you to different conditions and improve your adaptability.


What are some advanced variations of the floater maneuver?

Once you have mastered the basic floater, you can explore advanced variations to further showcase your skills. Here are a few:

a) Re-entry floater: After performing a floater, redirect your momentum back down the face of the wave and into another maneuver like a snap or cutback.

b) Air-drop floater: Instead of riding up the face, initiate a floater while free-falling down the face of a wave, adding an extra level of difficulty and style.

c) Alley-oop floater: Combine the floater with an aerial maneuver, rotating your board 180 degrees or more while floating on the wave.



Mastering the floater in surfing requires a combination of technical skill, wave selection, and experience. By understanding the fundamental techniques, avoiding common mistakes, and dedicating time to practice, you can elevate your surfing to new heights. Remember, progression in surfing is a continuous journey, and embracing the challenges and joys of the sport will lead to a rewarding surfing experience. So grab your board, hit the waves, and embark on the exciting adventure of perfecting the art of the floater.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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