What is a Surfing 360 and How To Do

The 360 in surfing is definitely one of the most visually pleasing and fun to do!

Although a surfing 360 look easy, it isn't at the start!

We explain what a surfing 360 is, delve into the different types and also guide you step by step on how to achieve one!

Soon your middle name will be 360!

What is a Surfing 360?

A "360" in surfing refers to a manoeuvre where a surfer rotates their surfboard in a complete circle while riding a wave. 

This advanced and stylish move involves the surfer spinning both themselves and their board, showcasing skill and agility on the waves.

Unsure of any other surfing terms? Check out our surfing terms glossary to understand more!

Surfing 360

Surfing enthusiasts often hear about the impressive "360" in the surfing world. 

This term refers to a remarkable manoeuvre where a surfer rotates their surfboard in a full circle while riding a wave. 

Picture it as a graceful spin on the water, showcasing a surfer's agility and skill.

Executing a surfing 360 involves a strategic combination of body movements, balance, and wave awareness. Surfers position themselves on the board, catch a wave, and then initiate a controlled rotation, completing the circle seamlessly. 

It's not just a trick; the 360 adds a stylish flair to surfing, earning respect from both peers and judges in competitions

Mastering this move is a testament to a surfer's expertise and their ability to navigate and dominate the waves.

Surfing 360 Video

Example of Surfing 360

Types of Surfing 360's

Surfing is an art of expression, and the 360 is a canvas for surfers to showcase their creativity. Here are some exciting types of 360's in surfing:

Frontside Surfing 360

In a frontside 360, the surfer rotates the board while facing the wave. This challenging manoeuvre requires precise foot placement and impeccable timing to complete a full circle.

Backside Surfing 360

The backside 360 involves spinning the surfboard with the surfer's back facing the wave. It demands a different set of skills, as surfers need to navigate the rotation without the visual aid of the oncoming wave.

Air 360

Taking the 360 to the next level, the air 360 is performed while the surfer is airborne. It requires not only wave-reading skills but also the ability to spin the board mid-air and land gracefully.

Carving Surfing 360

A carving 360 combines the rotation with a carving turn on the wave face. Surfers execute a smooth and controlled spin while navigating the wave, blending style with technical prowess.

Re-Entry 360

This variation involves performing a 360 right after a re-entry manoeuvre, where the surfer hits the lip of the wave and then seamlessly transitions into the spin.

Surfing 360 Kickflip

Pushing the boundaries, some surfers incorporate skateboarding influences by adding a kickflip to the 360, adding a flip to the rotation for a visually stunning trick.

These variations showcase the versatility and innovation within the surfing community, as surfers continually push the limits of what can be achieved on the waves. Next we will g into our step by step guide on how to achieve a surfing 360.

How to Perform a Surfing 360 on a Wave

Surfing's allure lies not just in riding waves but also in mastering impressive manoeuvres like the 360. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to perform a 360 on a wave:

1. Choose the Right Wave

Select a wave with a clean and open face, providing enough space and momentum for the 360. Ideally, pick a wave with a predictable and consistent break. Be sure to check the wind conditions as offshore and onshore waves are very different! 

2. Positioning on the Board

Find your sweet spot on the surfboard, slightly forward for control. Keep your weight centred, and ensure your feet are positioned shoulder-width apart for stability.

3. Generate Speed

Gain enough speed by paddling into the wave. The key to a successful 360 is having the right amount of momentum to carry you through the rotation.

4. Approach the Critical Section

As you ride down the face of the wave, approach the critical section—the steepest part. This is where you'll initiate the 360, using the wave's energy for the spin.

5. Initiate the Rotation

With your eyes focused on the direction of the spin, use your shoulders and hips to start the rotation. Engage your core muscles for balance and control.

6. Swing Your Arms

As you turn, swing your leading arm in the direction of the spin. This helps maintain balance and adds momentum to the rotation.

7. Look Where You Want to Go

Keep your gaze fixed on the spot where you want to complete the rotation. This helps with orientation and ensures a smoother spin.

8. Complete the Circle

Continue the rotation until you've completed a full 360 degrees. Extend your legs slightly to level the board as you finish the manoeuvre.

9. Regain Control

As you complete the spin, shift your weight back to the centre of the board. Prepare to ride away smoothly from the manoeuvre.

10. Practice and Persistence

Perfecting the surfing 360 takes practice. Don't be discouraged by initial attempts; use each session as a learning opportunity to refine your technique and timing.

By following these steps and embracing the rhythm of the wave, you'll soon find yourself mastering the art of the 360 on the open water.

How to Execute a Surfing 360 in Air

Taking surfing to new heights, the 360 in air adds an exhilarating twist to your ride. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to pull off a 360 in air surfing:

1. Master the Basics

Before attempting an air 360, ensure you have a solid foundation in basic manoeuvres, aerials, and control over your surfboard while in the air.

2. Ideal Wave Conditions

Choose a wave with a powerful and clean face, providing the necessary lift for your aerial manoeuvre. Timing is crucial, so opt for a wave with a steep and well-defined lip. Be careful not to be a Back Paddler!

3. Generate Speed

Paddle into the wave to gain sufficient speed. The faster you approach the lip, the more height and time you'll have for the 360 rotation.

4. Bottom Turn

Execute a controlled bottom turn as you approach the wave's lip. This sets the stage for a powerful and upward trajectory.

5. Timing the Lip

As you ascend the wave's face, time your ascent to coincide with the lip's projection. Aim to hit the lip at its highest point for maximum air time.

6. Pop Off the Lip

Utilise the upward energy of the lip to launch yourself into the air. Spring off the lip by extending your back leg and crouching slightly with your front knee.

7. Initiate the Spin

Once airborne, initiate the 360 spin by turning your shoulders and hips in the desired direction. Use your leading arm to guide the rotation.

8. Tuck and Rotate

Bring your knees toward your chest to create a compact and controlled rotation. Keep your eyes focused on the landing spot to maintain orientation.

9. Spot the Landing

Spot the wave's surface as you complete the rotation. Prepare to extend your legs for a smooth landing.

10. Stabilise and Ride Out

As you descend, extend your legs to stabilise the board and prepare for a clean ride out. Use your body to absorb the impact and maintain control.

11. Practice Practice Practice!

Perfecting a surfing 360 air takes practice. Start with smaller aerial manoeuvres and progressively work your way up as you become more comfortable with the rotation.

Remember, safety is paramount, and attempting advanced manoeuvres like the air 360 should be done in suitable conditions with consideration for your skill level. Happy flying!

Surfing 360 for Beginners

Embarking on the journey of learning the 360 in surfing can be both exciting and challenging, especially for beginners. 

Before delving into this advanced manoeuvre, it's crucial to establish a solid foundation in fundamental surfing skills. Make sure you are proficient in paddling, popping up, and riding along the wave face with confidence. 

As a beginner, it's advisable to choose smaller, mellow waves with a predictable break. 

These conditions create a safer learning environment, allowing you to gradually build the skills needed for executing a surfing 360.

Start your practice sessions by focusing on carving turns on the wave face. Becoming comfortable with shifting your weight and changing directions lays the groundwork for more complex manoeuvres. 

Before attempting a full 360, spend time mastering pivoting your board on the wave using your hips and shoulders. 

This pivotal skill is essential for initiating the spin. 

Remember, progress gradually, starting with smaller spins and incrementally working your way up to a complete 360. 

Best Board for Surfing 360

Selecting the right board is a critical aspect of mastering the 360 in surfing, especially for beginners. 

For those new to the manoeuvre, consider choosing a board with a stable and forgiving design. 

A larger board with additional volume provides increased stability, making it easier to maintain balance during the rotation. 

Longboards or hybrid boards are excellent choices for beginners learning the 360, as they offer ample buoyancy and control. 

As you progress, you can experiment with smaller and more manoeuvrable boards, but starting with a stable platform will enhance your learning experience and set you on the path to mastering the 360.

Fin Setup for Surfing 360

The fin setup of your surfboard plays a crucial role in the performance of a 360. 

For beginners attempting this manoeuvre, a thruster fin setup is often recommended. 

The thruster configuration, featuring three fins, provides a good balance of stability and manoeuvrability. The side fins offer control during turns, while the centre fin enhances straight-line stability. 

This combination is beneficial when practising carving turns, a foundational skill for the 360. 

As you progress and become more comfortable with the manoeuvre, you can experiment with different fin setups to tailor your board's performance to your unique style and preferences. 

Starting with a thruster setup provides a stable platform for learning and sets the stage for a smooth progression in your 360 surfing journey.

Surfing Trick List

Surfing is an art form, and surfers often showcase their skills through a variety of impressive tricks. Here's a list of popular surfing tricks to add flair to your rides:

Surfing 360

The classic surfing 360 involves spinning the surfboard in a complete circle while riding a wave. Surfers often add their own style to this manoeuvre, whether it's a frontside or backside spin.


A cutback is a smooth turn back towards the breaking part of the wave. This manoeuvre is essential for maintaining speed and flow on the wave.


Aerials involve becoming airborne on the wave. Surfers execute manoeuvres like grabs, spins, or flips, showcasing a combination of skill and style.

Tube Ride

Riding inside the barrel or tube of a breaking wave is considered one of the most challenging and rewarding surfing experiences.


Surfers perform a floater by riding up and over the breaking section of the wave, maintaining momentum and speed.


A re-entry involves hitting the lip of the wave and riding down its face. The surfer then continues along the wave, showcasing control and power.


A snap is a quick and powerful turn on the wave face, adding dynamic and aggressive elements to the ride.


In a layback, surfers lean back on the wave, often with one hand dragging in the water. It's a stylish and expressive manoeuvre.


The reverse, or air reverse, is an aerial manoeuvre where the surfer rotates their board 180 degrees in the air, landing back on the wave.

Hang Ten

A classic longboarding move where the surfer walks to the front of the board and hangs all ten toes over the nose.

Surfers Famous for 360’s

Kelly Slater

Widely regarded as one of the greatest surfers of all time, Kelly Slater has seamlessly incorporated surfing 360s into his repertoire, showcasing precision and style.

John John Florence

A two-time world champion, John John Florence is known for his innovative and progressive surfing, including his mastery of the surfing 360 manoeuvre.

Carissa Moore

As a four-time world champion in women's surfing, Carissa Moore displays exceptional skill and finesse, including her ability to nail 360 manoeuvres with grace.

These surfers have not only mastered the art of surfing but have also left an indelible mark with their flawless execution of the iconic 360 manoeuvre.

Summing It Up: What To Do Now

Nice! You're one step closer to mastering the surfing 360, like anything it won’t come easy but if you work at it you will be rewarded.

If your interested in learning more about surfing discover our many guides that will inform you on your surfing journey. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook & Instagram to stay informed on our amazing surf shots and stories shared from surf creators around the world!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you ride a wave 360?

To ride a wave 360, position yourself on the surfboard and approach the wave with speed. As you reach the critical section of the wave, initiate a fluid and controlled rotation of both your body and the surfboard, completing a full circle. Use your arms for balance and engage your hips to guide the board through the manoeuvre.

How to do a carving 360?

To perform a carving 360, approach the wave with a carving turn, angling the surfboard across the wave face. As you carve, use your body and board control to smoothly rotate the surfboard in a 360-degree turn. The key is to blend the carving motion with the rotation, creating a seamless and controlled manoeuvre.

Do surfers still say hang ten?

Yes, "hang ten" is still a commonly used term in surfing. It refers to a classic and iconic manoeuvre where a surfer hangs all ten toes over the nose of the surfboard. While the term originated in the longboarding era, it continues to be part of surfing culture and vocabulary.

How to do a 360 in the air on a surfboard?

Executing a 360 in the air on a surfboard involves launching off the wave with sufficient speed. Once airborne, use your body movements and board control to spin the surfboard in a complete circle. Focus on balance and timing to ensure a smooth and stylish rotation before landing back on the wave.

What is a perfect 10 in surfing?

In surfing, a "perfect 10" refers to a flawless and exceptional ride, typically awarded by judges in a surfing competition. It signifies the highest possible score, acknowledging a surfer's exceptional skill, style, and mastery of the wave during that specific ride.

Has anyone scored a 20 in WSL?

As of my knowledge cutoff in January 2022, the highest possible score in the World Surf League (WSL) is 10 points for an excellent wave. Therefore, no surfer can score a perfect 20 in a single wave. The total heat score, combining the two best waves, can reach a maximum of 20 points if a surfer receives two perfect 10-point rides.

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