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Luke Stedman performing a carve at Lower Trestles. Photos by Rian Castillo

Alternative names: gouge

A carve is a full rail move that is done on the open face of a wave, it is all about smooth lines, speed, power, spray and rail!

How to

Like with a lot of moves in surfing the more speed you have the better! Having lots of speed will make the turn a lot easier to do and also make it look a lot better! So what you are looking for in a wave is a nice open face, you don’t want the lip to be coming down on you but you want to be doing the turn in the pocket or curl, where there is plenty of power in the wave. If you do the turn too far out on the shoulder you will sink or bog a rail or loose all your speed so doing it in the critical section is key.

As you come off the bottom you want to angle your board as if you were going for a snap. If you come off the bottom angling too high you will end up going into a Reo. So angle your board about 45 degrees towards the section at the top of the wave you want to carve on, when you get towards the top of the wave start your turn by transferring your weight off your toe side rail and onto your heel side rail, you should have your weight evenly distributed over both feet whilst putting pressure on your back foot to drive the turn, at the same time really open your body up so spread those shoulders, remember to keep that weight evenly placed over both feet during the entire turn. By doing this your rail will be set in the wave allowing you to carve surf. During the turn make sure you keep your knees slightly bent. When you have come round as far as your happy with its time to come out the turn and go back down the line. To come out of the turn all you need to do is stay centered over your board, tweak your front and back ankles so you have pressure on your toes and lean into your toe side rail, its best to keep a little more weight on your back foot when you come out the turn because if you stay on your front it’s very easy for your rail to catch/bog and throw you off balance. This will release you from the carve that you have just done on your heel side rail.

See also