Noseriding, you’ve seen it on YouTube, in photos, and probably at your local spot. It’s a playful move in a longboarder’s repertoire. While the noseride seems as simple as shimmying to the front of the board, most fearless riders who give it a go uninstructed—and some instructed— will find themselves nosediving before they’re noseriding.

At its most basic, a noseride is just the pinnacle of a good cross-step. Surfers talk about noseriding like the action is its own separate trick, probably because it requires more skill than the cross-step from the surfer who’s hangin’ five, or ten toes on (or over) the nose. 

Here are our top tips to get you noseriding, our favorite gliding motion in the ocean.

Woman looking out of passenger window of red toyota truck with two single fin surfboards on roof

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Start with the proper setup:

Many shapers design boards specific to noseriding, and the boards tend to have relatively less rocker than longboards designed for more top to bottom surfing. A traditional single fin is going to be the name of the game as it gives you a more stable surface on the nose. While length is specific to the rider’s height and weight, on average, a longer board will give you more stability.

Keep in mind that you’ll likely take a lot of falls before you walk on water, so having a bathing suit that’s made for surfing will help you pop up without popping out.

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Woman cross stepping on single fin longboard wearing surf bikini top and bottom

Dial your cross-step:

Before you even dip your toe in the water, practice shuffling one foot in front of the other on the beach in a cross-step. If you want to add accuracy, you can trace the rough outline of your board’s shape in the sand and use this to get a better idea of how many steps it will take to get up to the nose (and hopefully back). This way, you have some muscle memory and an idea of where to stop without thinking too much about it.

Woman doing a cheater five on single fin longboard wearing a surf bikini in Bryon Bay

Look for ideal conditions:

For noseriding, waist to chest high waves with a calm, offshore breeze are optimal. Even more important is the wave shape. Look for mellow feathering waves to learn on. If you’re reading this, you may have already tried to move far forward, and instead of walking on water, your board sank in. This is where the next step is important.

Woman doing a cheater five on single fin longboard wearing a surf bikini in Bryon Bay

Timing is everything:

The easiest time to get forward on your board is immediately after a hard bottom turn that gets you back to the top of the lip close to the curl. The longer you wait after that first hard turn—or the more mellow your turn is, the less likely you are to pick a good angle. The right angle will ideally cause your board to generally stall long enough for you to get to the nose before the wave energy starts to push you down the line again.

When the majority of your weight is forward, ahead of the wave, but the majority of your board's weight is backward behind the wave, that will help to balance—think of a seesaw. Getting the fulcrum point of the wave peak as far towards the nose (and your feet) without letting the wave pass you by is key to hanging out near your nose for longer.

Woman cross stepping on single fin longboard wearing a surf bikini in Bryon Bay

Don’t forget your body posture:

As you start to walk forward, pretend you’re a marionette puppet with a string above your head that holds your spine upright and tall. This leaves your chest up and your back straight, allowing you to shift your weight while still remaining tall, not crouched.
Keep your arms below your heart, keeping your core strong. Raising your arms can throw off your center of balance.

Woman nose riding with her friend cheering her on from the shore. Both wearing surf bikinis

Our best piece of advice: 

Start with a cross-step a short ways up the board, progress to a hang five, then a longer hang five, and eventually make your way to that hang ten you’re dreaming about.

Two women on a party wave wearing surf bikinis in Byron Bay

Getting back into your regular stance may require practicing your cross-step in reverse on dry land, but soon you’ll be able to break out a noseride consistently, letting you confidently get back to your tail to prepare for the next section.

After all, noseriding is a classic maneuver that still warrants applause from groms and pros alike. Add it to your bag of tricks and hang ten, baby!

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