By Chris Burton
It was no ordinary coaching weekend for Bodyboard-Holidays when 2 x World champ and superstar bodyboarder Pierre Louis Costes came to town. Pierre was our guest instructor for the weekend and alongside giving the gang some expert coaching out in the water he was also on hand during our video analysis session to dish out some invaluable pearls of wisdom about bodyboard style and technique’s essential to high level bodyboarding.
Among the many questions we were eager to ask the icon of the sport, the top of the list was;
“How do you do so many amazing Backflips?”
Often seen as one of bodyboarding’s hardest moves, the backflip, when performed correctly with style, precision and functionality requires some key elements. When Pierre was asked what the top 4 things you need to master here is what he said:
A CLEAN BOTTOM TURN
As you drop in to the wave you’ll need to make sure to maintain a smooth line and drive hard off the bottom of the wave.
You’ll need to hit the lip with maximum speed in order to get high above the wave and projected upwards and outwards when performing the backflip.
HITTING THE LIP AT THE OPTIMUM TIME
As with speed, timing is also of huge importance when doing aerial manoeuvres on a bodyboard. You will need to perfect hitting the lip at just the right moment. Hitting it too early could mean not getting enough outward projection and doing your flip off the back of the wave. Hitting the lip too late could mean getting stuck under the lip and caught up in the white water.
Now that you are in the air completely inverted and in the middle of your flip you are going to need to nail the landing. The key things to think about here are extending your front arm, which puts distance between your body and your board. This will enable you to arch your back and spot your landing early.
You should be aiming to land on your board backwards facing back out to sea in the flat and unbroken part of the wave. Once touching down you can keep your legs crossed, enabling you to spin out of the move.
There it is, the perfect backflip. Easy right? We watched Pierre perform multiple backflips whilst on his recent trip to Hawaii on the T.V as he explained these pointers to us. He makes it all look so easy but as I am sure we can all agree, executing the perfect backflip on a bodyboard is far from a walk in the park. Pierre did go on to say that whilst these are the building blocks to the perfect flip, practice and repetition is the only way you are going to get this move on lock down. He has been trialing and perfecting the backflip for over 15 years so the best advice is to get out there and keep at it! Who knows, maybe one day you too will be doing them as stylish as Pierre.