Backside / Toeside / backhand cutback?

On forehand waves ( or generally when doing “heelside” turns, into waves etc) I feel like I can really push into the foil and twist the upper body to give some decent torque and change direction nicely.

I’m really struggling with the cutback on the backhand (toeside??), feels super awkward, and really not able to do much more than lean over and try nurse the board around.

Any advice? Who has the best toeside cutback? Wondering how best to get these turns smooth and to engage the foil.

(should we change from backhand/forehand to toeside/heelside??)

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Interesting. I feel like I can keep the wing where I want it in the water column/wave energy through a turn when I’m frontside/toeside (facing the wave). Backside/heelside (facing the shore) its harder for me to keep the wing in the ‘push’ of the wave as I rotate, especially if I didn’t keep a ton of pump speed going into the turn.

Maybe it’s something about being able to keep the foil flatter through the turn when toeside vs heelside?

@KDW and @mikepedigo are both super smooth through the backside turns - watch their arm movements, maybe that’s a big part too?

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I wonder, but it sounds like the same issue, I can use the energy of the wave more and feel more confident to push into and accelerate on the forehand.

Just for clarity, this is the equivalent turn in surfing. I think part of it is feeling super high on the foil, surf cutbacks, it’s much easier to drive off the back foot because you can get low, but still not obvious. A lot in the shoulder twist

This is a great clip from @mikepedigo, unreal technique! From the clip, I think what I’m trying to describe is a backhand roundhouse type turn, but specifically the “down carve” part of the cutback. (Most of the backhand turns I could find are less roundhouse cutbacks and more fades back towards the pocket.)

Nice drive off the bottom

Unwinding the shoulders

Off the top and redirecting

Then here for me it falls apart, I can’t hook the foil to redirect back towards the pocket, and not really sure if there is anything clear from this in terms of how to do it better.

Leading with the front hand is probably a good idea at the least.

Here is another frame from the same video. Bent knees

Two thoughts:

  • Maybe setup related, Mike has his foot behind the mast
  • Probably shoulder related, twist shoulders to get more rotation

And then for completeness, the heelside/frontside/forehand cutback, which I find much more natural. Twist the shoulders and look where you want to go.


@Matt great breakdown. I think the back foot behind the mast helps prevent the nose from diving through the turn and also gives you extra push to swing the board around the pivot point?


I’ll read through this thread a few more times to make sure I understand what we’re discussing before I chime in. But here’s a video with lots of good backside top turns and downcarves which I think is what we’re discussing. Anything in here that @CoachCasey is doing that we can dissect?


Will check that out, but the opening turn in this clip is a good example of what I mean, critical tight “toeside rail turn” (not a backhand because this is technically a link)

from none other than @Erik himself!

I’ve felt like it might be natural to actually touch the water to get the weight balanced, would be curious to hear from Erik about that turn

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The turn at 1:05 is pretty spot on. James style with the super open stance seems to lend itself to it a bit more, but I think it’s a good example.
Think somewhat different with the big open waves, but that looks like what I’m aiming for.

The clip of Erik’s is closer to the intention, smaller wave very tight wraps on the toeside

And you want it to be more like Dane here at 13:25 right? Because that’s what I want to do.


That turn is actually a bit different technically than a cutback. With that connection I using my hand as an anchor to tighten up the turn. The anchor creates the torque.

On a normal cutback I’m using my back arm to create the torque by throwing it behind me.

In both turns I’ll kick the foil wide, that early check turn, to increase bank angle before weighting. That allows you to not move center of gravity before you have the foil where you want it.


OK, to actually weigh in on the question asked. I think that this is a turn that is very sensitive to mast placement.

When you do the frontside cutback or connection turn. You can use your knees to get your butt back over your heels, or easily hold weight forward. You can just stand on your front foot the whole way through and control the pitch of the board with your back foot. So we often move our masts forward, because we can easily counter the forward placement.

When you do the backside cutback or connection turn. Look at all the still shots. Or the Dane clip I posted. You’re essentially leaning forward to control it. BUT, your weight is on your back foot because that’s the inside foot of the turn. I wonder if off-set stance makes this turn harder @mikepedigo If your mast is to far forward it’s so easy to poke a wingtip and go down.

Example. Peaky Offshore Foil Sessions during the Luxury Casey x Earth Foil Camps - YouTube toeside turn at 5:58.

I’ve countered this by moving my mast back towards the tail a tiny bit and it keeps the wingtip in the water and makes it so you can push harder on this toeside turn.


Thanks for the info Erik. That early check is super interesting. Saw your other clip, it looks like it works nicely.

@hdip nice analysis, I think you’re right on, the frontside you can move your weight forward/back along the pitch angle much more easily, while backside it’s harder to turn and move your weight to trim.
(funny, in the Dane video he does a slight bump up before his down-carve too. And yes please that is exactly what I want to do…! I didn’t realise there was so much water touching in backhand cutbacks…)

Further investigations, I think this might be my favourite set of backend turn, Josh has a rad flowy style and it really shows on this clip on the backand. Key being a full wrap backside turn, going from rail to rail is kinda rare on the backhand, and this is a nice example, also maybe the takeaway is to really throw the back arm to get some rotation in the shoulders.

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Here’s a good example of my technique. I like to bring my back foot a bit farther back and aim to transition rail to rail around mid face or even slightly before. Sometimes this means drawing out a bottom turn and running farther in front of the wave to get more time.


Pretty much nailed it. For me it’s extra leverage for control in the height of the foil as well as being able to feel the mast as more of a fulcrum to pivot your backfoot around giving an ability to snap harder.

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I’ve thought about this before similarly to how you just explained it. For me the benefit of the extra leverage of offset riding far outweighs the downsides but you are right that some turns will pose an extra challenge in an offset position. I feel like what I’ve unconsciously started doing is placing the height of the foil to slightly favor the turn I want to do a little more. So let’s say for the back side turn off the lip, I’d rather have the board a little closer to the water so that I can press from the back foot more and take full advantage of the toeside offset of the back foot. I think this is a super subtle development but I do feel that it’s in play to some extent

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Honored to be worthy of analysis. You mentioned shoulder movement. That’s super key to me. I think of it more as full torso movement but same basic idea. For me it’s a wind up and unwind sequence. During the bottom turn you wind up for the top turn. As you enter the top turn you unwind all that energy and create the momentum for the level of arc and power you want to get out of the turn. The set up is so crucial.

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i know the exact thing your talking about, was struggling with it about a year ago and it still rears its head every now and again if i get sloppy. i think for me at least it was a mixture of being too high on the mast, counter rotation and bad upper body positioning. i found that getting really low and compressed helped because i think it forces my upper body to be in a better position whereas if im upright i can counter rotate etc more freely. and yes leading with front hand helps too. getting low also helps with micro adjustments in mast height as the foil kicks back up at you.


Recently playing around with the little pre turn “check turn” before engaging the cutback and it really helps to initiate the backhand cutback on the back of this, thanks for pointing it out.

Peyo with super square stance has a very different take on backhand turns, pretty cool

So the “check turn” you’re talking about is similar to the Scandinavian flick used in rally car driving or mountain biking? That bit of opposite yaw is definitely the key to initiating a sharp cutback when wake foiling.


Yes exactly like that. I wondered if there may be some analogy in flying, but I couldn’t find one. I think what happens is the yaw turn moves the board out from under you, giving you better initiation of the opposite direction roll. Erik does it very clearly in both directions

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