This move is all about your technique; it is a very technical move to land so it requires a lot of mental preparation.
Words TIMO MULLEN – Photos JOHN CARTER
The reason why I say mental preparation is because I found I had to force my brain to break this move down into two separate moves. I found that when I approached the lip with “I’m going to do a forward off the lip” in my head then I always flew out the back, so I forged a new strategy. I try to break the move down into hitting a normal aerial first then throwing the forward loop rotation. That way the initiation of the aerial should force your projection out in front of the lip and raise the chance of landing in front of the wave. Breaking the move into these two key parts changed my progression massively; it really is the secret to this move. It also helps to move your hand further down the back of the boom than normal when throwing the forward loop. Conditions wise, I would say side shore down the line conditions are best as they make you project in front of the lip more, side off is pretty good too but you have to hit the lip a lot later to ensure you do not fly out the back. My top tip for any rotational moves off the lip is to ensure that the nose of your board is facing towards the beach as you hit the lip, I see so many people trying goitas etc and before they hit the lip, the nose of their board is already pointing out to sea behind the wave so that is pretty much where they will end up!
As you can see my approach to the lip is the same as a normal aerial, my nose is pointed at an angle towards the beach to try and ensure I project back in front of the wave.
At this point I have already initiated the ‘aerial’ part of the move and can already see that I should land in front of the wave if everything comes together.
OK, this is the point I start to pull the trigger, by throwing my front hand forward I can gain extra boost out in front of the wave and gain some extra air time from the updraft of the wave.
Now I am committed, the rest of the move should be exactly like a normal forward loop or spin loop depending on how much boost from the lip you have gained.
At this point I can pretty much see that I am going to land in the wave so I am thinking about my landing and making sure my rig is ready to keep flying to avoid getting bogged in the whitewater.
I’m nearly there and now bracing for impact within the whitewater.
Touchdown! Fortunately it was pretty windy this day so it was easier to keep my rig flying. I have now loads of weight and pressure on my front foot to make sure I keep my momentum and not float out the back of the whitewater, if I’m lucky I can sometimes complete this move over an A frame section then continue off further down the line to the next section.
What a feeling, as with any move off the lip, there is immense satisfaction and stoke when you stick it and feel the board free from the grips of the wave you just landed in front off! Since these shots were shot in Ireland the forward off the lip has gained some fresh new exposure courtesy of Victor Fernandez. During the Aloha Classic he landed in my opinion a pretty much perfect one. I’ve seen Victor stick these before at Ho’okipa but this one was probably the best one I have seen him land. Victor scored a 7.2 for his wave, which I think was a little underscored as this move is only being landed by a handful of guys in the world. The move in theory should be within the capability of most top PWA sailors but it does require a lot of practice in a spot with consistent conditions and not many crowds. Landing out the back of the wave ruins the wave for the guy behind, so at somewhere like Ho’okipa this move is hard to practice due to how busy it is.
Well the obvious variation is the double off the lip by Koster, which I’m sure we will see landed at some point very soon. Thomas Traversa does a pretty slick variation, which is more like a grubby or lateral rotation that he has pretty dialled. My next goal is to try a table top forward off the lip, should be a sore spring!
“ My top tip for any rotational moves off the lip is to ensure that the nose of your board is facing towards the beach as you hit the lip ”