Learn Proper Surfskate Pumping Form on a Wave Bank

by | Jun 9, 2023 | Tips & Tutorials

Watch My Surfskate Pumping Tutorial on YouTube
If you’re a non-surfer like me, it can be hard to learn proper surfskate pumping form. We haven’t been in the water, so we don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like.

One thing that makes it hard is that, when we’re learning surfskate pumping, we’re typically on a flat surface. But when surfers are pumping in the water, they’re never on a flat surface. They’re always on a wave, which is a curved surface.

So to learn proper surfskate pumping form easier, one little trick I’ve discovered is to use a concrete wave bank and pretend it’s a wave.

It really doesn’t take much, and you can see how mellow this one is that I like to practice on:

surfskate foot position
surfskate foot position
You’ll see how just a little bit of a wave bank like this will make all the difference in learning proper surfskate pumping form.

For more detailed surfskate pumping instructions, check out my surfskating video course for beginners.

Frontside and Backside Surfskate Pumping

When you use a concrete wave bank, you’ll realize that there’s actually two forms of surfskate pumping: frontside and backside.

This refers to your orientation to the wave. Frontside pumping is when you’re surfing with the wave in front of you. Backside pumping is when you’re surfing with the wave behind you.

Frontside Surfskate Pumping Demonstration

Let’s start with frontside surfskate pumping, which is the easiest one for me.

As you’re flowing along the concrete wave, at the bottom of the wave, compress your body by bending your knees and hips and crouching down.

Your back arm should be in front of your chest facing forward, as if you were holding a cup of coffee in front of you.

Swing your arms up to lift your upper body up the wave. Pull your legs up to follow your upper body. As you pull them up, they will extend up the wave, then compress again as you reach the top of the wave.

Backside Surfskate Pumping Demonstration

Backside surfskate pumping is the same process as frontside pumping, where you’re compressing and extending to lift yourself up the wave, like this:

But for me, backside surfskate pumping feels more awkward than frontside pumping. So one big key for me in learning backside surfskate pumping was a tip that I learned from surf trainer Kale Brock.

He says to pretend like you’re holding a shovel in your hands and you’re throwing it over your shoulder, like this:

You can practice by exaggerating the movements with the “shovel” technique. But once you’ve learned the movements, you can stop exaggerating them so much.

Now your backside surfskate pumping should look like this:

Putting it All Together

Now that you’ve seen the basic steps, now watch me demonstrate both frontside and backside surfskate pumping from different angles:

So find yourself a little concrete wave bank, and you’ll see how it makes it a lot easier to learn proper surfskate pumping form.

For more detailed surfskate pumping instructions, check out my surfskating video course for beginners.