- Surfing

Learn to Surf – How to Perform the Kick Out

The kick out is an important surfing maneuver to add to your surfing tool chest. The kick out is performed to escape a wave that is closing out in front of you or to avoid a collision with another surfer. Sometimes the decision to execute a kick out comes in a fraction of a second, you need to perform this maneuver quickly and forcefully.

In the spring of 2010, I was surfing at a quiet break in Costa Rica. Yes there still are quiet breaks to be found in Costa Rica. There were only four other surfers out in the water. They were all locals and were pretty much ignoring me. This was fine by me, as there were plenty of waves and lots of room for the five of us.

About an hour into the session, I was riding a wave and in a great position on it when one of the other surfers caught the wave and hadn’t seen me. As he began to drop down into the wave he saw me out of the corner of his eye. I quickly did a kick out and avoided slamming into him or his surfboard. I lost a good ride, but for the rest of the day, I gained 4 new friends.

Here is a lesson in how to execute a kick out.

Start by forcefully shoving the tail of the surfboard down with your rear foot. This causes the tail of the surfboard to sink into the water. When the tail sinks, it stalls the surfboard.

At the same time that you are forcing the tail down, rotate your body in the direction you want to turn. This will help the surfboard to quickly turn.

If the two parts of the maneuver are done together and with sufficient force the kick out will be successful, and you will go out over the top of the wave avoiding the close-out or another surfer.