Surfskate Pumping Tutorial for Beginners

by | Mar 1, 2023 | Tips & Tutorials

Watch My Surfskate Pumping Tutorial on YouTube
In this surfskate pumping tutorial I’ll teach you a few individual techniques, and then we’ll put them all together at the end.

For more detailed instructions and tips, check out my surfskating video course for beginners.

Surfskate Pumping Step 1:
Proper Foot Positioning

The first step of surfskate pumping is to get the proper foot positioning on your surfskate.

Your front foot should be placed either right on or just behind your front inner bolt holes. If your front foot is too far forward, your surfskate truck will jackknife. This puts your foot behind the axle to avoid that.

Your back foot should be placed anywhere it feels comfortable behind your rear outer bolt holes.

Both of your feet should be evenly centered width-wise on the board. If either your toes or heels are hanging too far off either edge, you’ll have too much weight on that side and you won’t be able to pump as efficiently.

surfskate foot position

Surfskate Pumping Step 2:
Use Your Ankles to Push Your Rails

Step onto your surfskate in the proper foot positioning.

Now, without moving anything else on your body, simply use your ankles to push with your toes and heels on your rails side to side.

Surfskate Pumping Step 3:
Add Compression & Extension with Your Knees

The next thing to add is up and down compression and extension with your knees.

To get used to this, first step onto your board and just practice bending your knees as deeply as possible to move your body up and down.

Once you’re used to that, now you’ll coordinate your ankles and knees together. To do this, I use a technique that I call “heel down, toe up.”

What this means is that when you bend your knees down, you push down on your heels. When you stand up, you push down on your toes.

Surfskate Pumping Step 4:
Push Your Back Foot to the Side

You propel your surfskate forward by driving with your back foot. When you push your back foot behind you, it moves your surfskate forward.

So now use your ankles and knees just as before. But this time, as you stand up, push your back foot behind you to the side of the board.

Surfskate Pumping Step 5:
Swing Your Arms Side to Side

Now we’ll start integrating our upper body.

The first thing to learn here is to have a forward-facing stance. Stand on your surfskate in the proper foot positioning. Now twist your knees, hips, and shoulders to face forward.

With both arms in front of you, now swing them from side to side and feel how that propels your surfskate.

Surfskate Pumping Step 6:
Coffee Cup Arm Technique

Now that you’ve learned how to face forward by twisting your knees, hips, and shoulders, it’s time to add a technique I learned from surf trainer Cris Mills called “coffee cup arm.”

When surfskating, you don’t want your back arm to be flailing around behind you, because it makes you lose your balance. You want your back arm to be in front of your chest facing forward.

To train your body to do this, imagine that you’re holding a cup of coffee in your back hand, and you have to ride without spilling it. Use a water bottle to practice.

Surfskate Pumping Step 7:
Lift and Pull Technique

Our final technique to bring it all together is called “lift and pull.”

You’ve been practicing going up and down with knee bends. Now, when you’re bent down and coming up, lift your body up, then pull your feet up. You want to feel like you’re unweighting off your board as you lift.

Now put all those surfskate pumping tutorial steps together and practice.

For more detailed instructions and tips, check out my surfskating video course for beginners.