Using a midlength to perfect your back foot positioning

When riding a shortboard it can be challenging to position your feet, the board is sensitive and even the smallest adjustment can completely throw off your balance. 

Many surfers therefore avoid moving their feet once they have planted them from takeoff, fearing that any adjustment might cause them to fall and waste the wave. As a consequence, they often find themselves not optimally positioned on their board, making it difficult to turn the board. 

Why Use a Midlength Board?

This is where riding a longer board like a midlength can help. The added length provides more stability, which allows for a greater margin of error. It really slows things down, giving you more time so that you can practice the movement pattern of bringing your back foot into position. 

Practicing on Small Waves

A great time to experiment with back foot positioning is when the waves are small. This is because there is less concern about wasting a wave which can be mentally freeing for many, making it easier for you to focus on stepping back.

With less at stake, you can experiment more freely with your foot positioning, building confidence in your ability to adjust your feet while riding.

The Importance of Stepping Back

Stepping back into the right position is crucial for turning and controlling your board. On our recent podcast with Leah Dawson she talked about how finding the "magic spots" on a surfboard and how even moving your foot just an inch or two can have a dramatic impact.

Being comfortable with adjusting your back foot is essential for improving your surfing skills. By practicing on a midlength board, you can develop the muscle memory and confidence needed to make these adjustments smoothly. Once you’ve mastered this on a midlength, you’ll find it much easier to transfer this skill to your shortboard.


Using a midlength to practice back foot positioning can significantly improve your surfing. The stability and slower pace of a midlength board make it an ideal training tool. By practicing on smaller waves and focusing on stepping back, you can become more comfortable with adjusting your feet, ultimately enhancing your ability to turn and control your board. Give it a go and see if you can find those “magic spots” on your surfboard.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.