surfing, how to Hit and destroy the lip

Posted by Jul21, 2008 Comments (4)

Definitions: What is hitting or smacking the lip?

The “lip” is the highest point of the wave just before it falls or breaks. Depending on the wind strength and direction, a lip can have many characteristics. For instance, an on-shore wind (one that blows from behind the wave and toward the beach) can create a crumbling, white-water bank across the wave top.(Aslo the tide and or shallowness of the wave, will affect the lip, a deeper water wave will have a more sloped slow developing lip and a shalower wave will have a faster develpoing more vertical lip.)

While a wind blowing from the beach toward the open wave face(off-shore) holds the lip up creating a more sharply defined section with lots of curve as it throws out and over as a barrel.

Hitting or bashing the lip can also be termed a “re-entry”, “straight up“,(off the lip, lip smack). 

How to Hit the Lip: The Set Up

Assuming you can stand up and ride confidently down the face of a wave, and have good foot placement we can proceed with the maneuver which begins as soon as you get to your feet. You should be eyeing up you target zone so you can time your bottom turn.  

Look down the line and keep you eye focused on the section you think will form into a nice smackable lip. In order to meet up with your chosen section, you may have to adjust your line whether you need to ride high and wait for the wave to stand up or get low and speed up to meet an oncoming section. As with most maneuvers in surfing, speed is of utmost concern since it dictates how smoothly and powerfully you will complete your move.(one of the keys is timing your pump. Just before you hit the lip you want to be at the top of a pump so you can pump down in to a bottom turn and excell up the lip. So practice interupting your pump when you need to line up your bottom turn with sections: for example up, down, up, down, up, wait a split moment then continue, down, up etc.) 

The ACT: The Move

 if done correctly, hitting the lip should be flowing and controlled,(unless your going for a more critical effect). as you approach your target zone with your pre bottom turn, put more weight on your back foot(Its good to experiment with a quick shuffle back(only an inch can make all the difference) of the back foot before you come of the bottom) in order to create a pivot effect that will enable you to direct the forward half of your board easily upward. In addition, your shifted weight will help prepare you for approaching under the lip, but the key is to keep your speed, so that you can shift your weight back to the midpoint of your board enabling you to rotate smoothly once you feel the lip hit the bottom of your board.(Use your arms to help drive your rotation)

In mushy waves you will have to allow a little more time for the lip to form, so aim as close to whitewater on the face as possible , and slightly lower on the lip to prevent you and your board getting stuck at the top or you will be left standing while the wave travels on. In juicier waves, however, you need only to keep your weight on the crucial midpoint of your board and your feet planted firmly,letting the wave’s power do all the work. Be careful, if you hit the lip late on a powerful wave you run the risk of being thrown out into the air or having your board smacked back at you.

Categories : off the top-Snaps


  1. Mike says:

    Hey Dude! I hope you don’t mind – But I linked your site on one of my blog posts. About the “get pitted” guy smacking the lip. Word up!

  2. […] of joy this surfer is in. Just coming in from an epic sesh, filled with barrels, and plenty of lip destruction. It’s easy for non-surfers to look at this video and laugh. But only […]

  3. Jay Reichman says:

    Very wonderful content. We really stumbled upon your current blog page as well as imagined expressing we need very enjoyed studying your own web page items. Anyways I’ll end up being following for your blog as well as I hope a person put up once in the near future.

  4. admin says:

    Nice article bro, I need to get back in the water and partake in some lip destruction myself.

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