How to Do an Aerial in Surfing

Hey there fellow surfers! Are you ready to take your surfing game to the next level? If so, then you have come to the right place. Today, we are going to dive into the world of aerials – one of the most exciting and impressive maneuvers in surfing. If you’ve always wanted to soar high like a bird while riding the waves, then read on my friend, because we are going to teach you how to do an aerial like a pro. Get ready to impress

How to Do an Aerial in Surfing

Learning how to do an aerial in surfing may seem like a daunting task, but with enough practice and patience, anyone can master this impressive maneuver. First things first, you’ll need to make sure you have the right equipment – a board with a lot of pop is essential for gaining the height you need to execute an aerial. You’ll also need to master the “pump” technique, which involves generating speed and energy by pumping your legs up and down on the board.

Once you have those basics down, start working on your aerial setup by choosing a wave with a steep face and plenty of power. As you approach the critical section of the wave, crouch down and compress your legs, using the wave’s energy to launch yourself into the air. As you launch, throw your arms and head back, and rotate your body to start the aerial rotation.


How to Do an Aerial in Surfing

Learning how to execute an aerial maneuver in surfing is an exciting challenge. It’s a manoeuvre that requires technique, practice, patience, and excitement. Doing aerials is a great way to take your surfing game to the next level and increase your versatility in the water. In this blog post, we’re going to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to successfully execute an aerial in surfing. So, let’s dive in!

Step 1: The Right Equipment

Before learning how to do an aerial in surfing, it’s essential to make sure you have the right equipment. If you’re serious about executing aerials, you need to invest in a board that’s designed for that purpose. Look for a surfboard that has a lot of pop, which means it has the ability to springboard you into the air. These types of boards are usually shorter and more lightweight than traditional surfboards and often have a concave or channel on the bottom to provide extra lift. If you don’t already own a suitable board, don’t worry; there are plenty of used surfboards for sale which could do the trick.

Step 2: The Pump Technique

The pump technique is a crucial component of executing an aerial in surfing successfully. Start by positioning yourself on your board for maximum speed. Move your feet slightly back, so you’re standing near the tail of the board. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, with your back foot angled at around 45 degrees. From this position, begin pumping your legs up and down, driving energy into the board like a spring. You’ll feel the board start to gain momentum; this is where you’ll generate the speed needed to launch yourself into the air.

Step 3: Aerial Setup

When you’ve arrived at the critical section of the wave, it’s time to set yourself up for the aerial. Start by crouching down and compressing your legs. This step is essential as it enables you to spring off the board’s tail, turning that potential energy into kinetic energy. From that compressed position, launch yourself into the air, throwing your arms and head back. At this point, you should have a good amount of lift, and your board should be starting to leave the water.

Step 4: The Aerial Rotation

With your board airborne, begin to rotate your body, rotating your shoulders and head first, and then your hips, looking for your landing spot. As you’re rotating, keep your board level, so it doesn’t start to turn or wobble in the air.

Step 5: The Landing

Now it’s time to stick the landing! As you rotate, keep your eyes on your landing area, and when you spot it, start preparing yourself to land. Begin by bringing your legs closer together, getting ready to touch down on your board. With your board now starting to level out, get your feet as close to the board as possible, and prepare to absorb the impact of the landing.

It’s important to perfect each step before progressing onto the next one. Practice makes perfect because with aerials, there’s no fear of being wiped out – it’s all about nailing the trick. With plenty of practice, you’ll gain confidence and increase your chances of success.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Executing an Aerial

While performing aerials can be thrilling when executed perfectly, making mistakes can lead to wipe-outs, injuries, or potentially damaging your board. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid when practicing aerials:

Mistake 1: Not Pumping Enough

The key to executing an aerial is generating enough speed and power; not pumping your legs enough will result in failed attempts. Pump as hard you can to create enough momentum and lift off the wave. A great way to check if you’re pumping enough is looking at your board’s nose – if it’s in the air, that’s a good sign that you are pump as hard as you can.

Mistake 2: Not Looking in the Right Direction

Be sure to keep your eyes on the horizon as much as possible when performing an aerial manoeuvre. It is essential to look in the right direction as you rotate your body and stick your landing. If you don’t look where you’re going throughout the full sequence, you’ll not stick the landing, and your manoeuvre will be flawed.

Mistake 3: Late Timing

One of the most common mistakes that beginner surfers can make when trying aerials is mistiming their approach. When you rush the move, you won’t have enough speed or momentum, and you may mess up the landing. It’s essential to position yourself appropriately before you start making big aerial moves.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to execute an aerial manoeuvre in surfing requires patience, a little bravery, and a lot of practice. With the right equipment, proper technique, and plenty of attempts, these manoeuvres will become second nature, and you’ll be able to do them without even thinking about it. Keep in mind that this is not an easy manoeuvre, and it may take some time before you get it right. If executed flawlessly, executing an aerial in surfing can be one of the most exhilarating feelings out there! Get out there and practice, you got this!

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Remember, the key to mastering aerial manoeuvres is to practice them as much as you can. That means getting out on the water and trying as many attempts as possible. Mix things up by experimenting with different techniques, trying different waves, and even different boards. The more time you spend in the water, the better you’ll get at aerials, and the easier it will become.

Don’t let Failure Stop You

Like with anything else in life, the action of learning how to do an aerial in surfing is going to involve failure. You are going to wipe out a few, scratch up your board, and pop off the wave or hit your head underwater. That’s okay – in fact, it’s a good thing! Every time you fail, you’re extending your limits and driving yourself closer to the end goal. So don’t let failure stop you from achieving your dreams.

Flexibility and Core Strength

The more flexible and stronger you are, the easier aerials will become. Exercises like yoga or Pilates can be highly beneficial, and focusing on building core strength will give you more control and stability when you’re airborne.

Video Tutorials

If you’re having trouble visualizing the steps outlined in this blog post or just want to see aerials in action, there are plenty of video tutorials available online that you can refer to when practicing. These videos can be paused, rewound, and watched again until you fully understand each step, giving you a clear idea of what to do when you’re ready to hit the waves.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, fellow surfers: the five essential steps to executing an aerial in surfing. Remember to take your time and focus on each step as you progress. With practice, persistence, and patience, you’ll soon be executing aerials with ease.

Just keep in mind that executing an aerial is not an easy manoeuvre and may take some time before you finally nail it. But once you do, you’re in for an incredible ride that will leave you feeling thrilled and exhilarated! Good luck, and most importantly, have fun out there catching some waves.


Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about executing aerials in surfing.

1. Can anyone learn how to do an aerial in surfing?

Yes, anyone can learn how to do an aerial in surfing with enough practice, patience, and dedication. It’s not easy, but it’s worth the effort.

2. Do I need a specific type of board to perform an aerial?

Yes, you’ll need a surfboard with plenty of pop, which means it has the ability to springboard you into the air. There are boards designed explicitly for aerials, but you can also find used surfboards for sale that will work just fine.

3. How important is it to practice the pump technique?

The pump technique is crucial as it generates speed and energy, which is necessary for executing an aerial. Practice this technique as much as possible to build up speed and power on your board.

4. How do I know if I’m pumping hard enough?

If your board’s nose is in the air, you’re pumping hard enough. Keep practicing until you’re getting plenty of air.

5. How do I set myself up for an aerial?

You need to position yourself on your board correctly for speed and then crouch down and compress your legs. This compression directs potential energy into kinetic energy, which will launch you into the air.

6. How do I rotate my body in the air?

You should start with your shoulders and head, then rotate your hips to where you want to land.

7. How do I stick the landing?

Bring your legs as close to the board as possible and prepare to absorb the landing impact.

8. What are some of the most common mistakes people make when trying to execute an aerial?

Not pumping hard enough, not looking where you’re going, and mistiming the approach are the most common mistakes that people make when trying to execute an aerial.

9. How do I gain the confidence to attempt an aerial?

The only way to gain confidence is to practice and learn from any mistakes you make. Take your time and work on each step to build your confidence slowly.

10. Do I need to be in top physical shape to execute an aerial?

Having a strong core and good flexibility can make executing an aerial easier, but it’s not a strict requirement. If you’re committed to learning, you can build the strength and flexibility you need as you practice.

11. How can I develop the patience to learn how to do an aerial?

Patience comes with practice. Keep at it and don’t get discouraged by any setbacks. Remember – it’s all part of the learning process.

12. How do the wind and waves affect my ability to do an aerial?

Surfers typically look for specific weather and surf conditions that are conducive to executing aerials. Wind and waves can make a big difference, so be aware of the