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How ForShore’s Surf Training Can Improve Your Surfing One Bottom Turn At a Time

It may look odd, but it's a masterclass in how to improve your bottom turn with testimonials to prove it. Photo courtesy ForShore

It all starts — or ends — with your bottom turn. 

With a powerful bottom turn, you’ll have enough speed and momentum to smash the lip or launch an air.

With a slow bottom turn, your speed and momentum will fizzle, and so will your goal for the wave. 

Whether you’re just starting out surfing or you’ve been at this for a while, there’s no debate: a powerful bottom turn can make or break your wave — and your surfing as a whole.

So here’s the question: how can you improve your bottom turn? 

Also, how do you know what a good bottom turn is supposed to feel like — and what a poor one feels like?

And how can you improve the two aspects that set up the bottom turn: your pop up and take off?

Surf training is still in its infancy. Yeah, there’s breathwork and gym exercises. You can even train for airs on trampolines (we’re looking at you, Kai Lenny). 

But there’s really no way to improve your bottom turn besides, well, just surfing. 

Until now. 

Let us introduce you to ForShore. We’ll be the first to say that at first, it looks strange — surfing in a hamster wheel or doing so on a tilted trampoline on a lazy susan.

But we dug deeper into it and saw how it can completely change your bottom turn — and your surfing — and make it better than ever.   

The Story Behind ForShore

ForShore was nothing more than a thought in Jens-Peter Jungclaussen’s mind as far back as the 1990s. 

Living in Germany, Jens-Peter was windsurfing and surfing on the chilly Baltic sea.

Jens-Peter is a true waterman: at the age of 18, he held the distinction of the number #27 windsurfer in the world.

But in the Baltic sea, he noticed the difference in energy and speed between the two boardsports: with windsurfing, he could generate all the speed and momentum he wanted. But with surfing, it all depended on your bottom turn. 

He hit what he calls the “plateau of passively surfing, just going down the face” instead of generating energy, and he wanted a way to produce more energy and more momentum, through his bottom turn. 

There was only one problem: in difficult swell conditions, he didn’t know how he could get consistent repetition. 

This idea of a way to improve your bottom turn through a machine was then planted, and grew into a prototype in 2012 after he lived for 10 years in San Francisco.

A frequent in the Ocean Beach lineup, Jens-Peter wanted to further improve his surfing and knew his idea could help.

The first prototype stood on an angled piece of wood — one side strategically higher than the other to create momentum. Jens-Peter then created a centerpoint that a piece of wood — with a skateboard attached to it — that could swivel around like a pendulum, but in 360 degrees.

While it was potentially dangerous if you fell and landed on either hard wood or concrete, it allowed you to build momentum and feel what it's like to do a good bottom turn while going in a circle again and again. 

Why a circle? 

“Surfing is not going straight,” Jens-Peter told me. “When you do a bottom turn and hit the lip and come down again, that's basically a circle. And you’re able to simulate this by rotating in a circle.”  

For the next prototype, Jens-Peter kept the angled base, but instead of a pendulum rotating on a skateboard, he added a wooden circle that rotated freely on top, creating even more momentum. 

After that, Jens-Peter — in an effort to make it safer and lighter in the event that you fell — exchanged the wooden circle with a trampoline, along with mesh for safety.

Jens-Peter saw instant and personal feedback that showed this could help your surfing. He had his daughter Luccia try it out, and as she learned to surf, she never went straight on a wave like most beginners. Instead, thanks to the ForShore machine, she dropped into waves with speed and momentum.

The most recent iteration is a trampoline that rotates 360 degrees allowing you to practice your bottom turn. As far as safety is concerned, if you fall, it’s like falling on a trampoline. 

Many surfers originally saw it thanks to a post from Kookoftheday. The post was, of course, poking fun at the machine, with about half the comments adding on their own satire spin.

But the other half of the comments were curious … along the lines of hey, this might actually work. How can it improve my surfing? And most of all, how can I try it?

Here’s how the ForShore surf machine can help your surfing. 

#1: ForShore Will Dramatically Improve Your Bottom Turn

“Your bottom turn is all about energy creation,” Jens-Peter said. “Instead of passively going down the wave, you want to be pushing through your legs and leaning in so much that your elbow is almost hitting the water.”

Sure, you can try to recreate this when there’s waves — but what makes surfing fun is its unpredictability.

All three waves in a set can be completely different. That, plus the crowd factor, can make it nearly impossible to solely focus on your bottom turn. 

ForShore allows you to practice your bottom turn again and again — and again.  

The end result is muscle memory that knows how to do a powerful bottom turn and set up the rest of your wave with plenty of momentum and speed.

“Everything I was practicing on ForShore came to life,” said Keoni Johnson, who tested the machine himself. “I feel like I was the best surfer [during the most recent session] I’ve been.”

Elias Smith, who also tested the machine, agreed. “Every time I surf, my bottom turn is getting better and better after learning techniques on the ForShore machine.” 

The truth is that on a wave in the ocean, you tend to do what you know to not mess up the wave, right?

It's hard to throw yourself radically into a bottom turn (as you should) because it feels like you are going to crash. 

But with ForShore you can try it out in the most radical way — without paying the price of losing a wave or crashing.

#2: ForShore Will Dramatically Improve Your Pop Up 

We all know the feeling: after not surfing for a while, your pop up can be slow, throttling you over the handlebars. That’s where ForShore comes in. 

Not only can you practice your bottom turn; you can also practice your pop up. 

Jens-Peter explained to me how simulating a pop up on a flat surface doesn’t work, because for most waves, as your paddling, the tip of the board is already leaning down. 

With ForShore, you can replicate this exactly: because the machine is angled to a degree of your choosing, you’re already leaning down as you practice your pop up. 

“Especially on a big day, when I’m going to surf Ocean Beach, I actually do 10 pop ups on the machine before paddling out, and it helps me feel so much more prepared when I’m in the water,” Jens-Peter said. 

#3: ForShore Will Help you Smack the Lip With Power 

By creating a more powerful bottom turn with the ForShore machine, you’ll be able to powerfully hit the lip — doing so more vertically than you ever imagined. 

“When you’re about to hit the lip, you want to be almost in a controlled fall,” Jens-Peter said. “You want to be using gravity to create your momentum, and you can simulate this exactly with the machine.” 

“If I had one of these ForShore machines in my backyard, every day I’d be working on it,” said Elias Smith. 

#4: ForShore Provides Instant Feedback to Improve 

The hard part of improving your surfing is the feedback loop. Can you convince a friend to sit on the beach and record you so you can see what you’re doing — and what you’re not doing on a wave? 

Probably not. 

That’s where ForShore comes in.

When you’re on the machine, you can receive instant feedback from surf coaches about your stance, your arm position, whether or not you're using your core enough and more.

“You can do a bottom turn in slow motion, and create muscle memory that way, and when you get out in the water, your body will remember how to do it correctly,” Jens-Peter said. 

Trew, a member of the City Surf Project in San Francisco explained that he started out surfing in a bad position and got in the rut of going straight.

Then he tried ForShore. 

“It translated perfectly,” he said. He explained that after he used it, “I managed to get 3 turns and a cutback, which I wasn’t able to do before. I did it without thinking. [ForShore] made me more self aware and I could adjust myself and give myself feedback.”

#5: ForShore Helps You Get "the Feeling" Down

Do you know what a “good” bottom turn feels like?

Not just any bottom turn, but one with real power? 

How is it supposed to feel in your legs? 

How much should it burn your quads when you put real energy into it?

You can get this feeling from the ForShore machine, providing that feedback loop so that when you’re in the water, you can know what it’s supposed to feel like. 

“A bottom turn feels very different when you’re really putting energy there instead of just passively going down the wave,” Jens-Peter said. 

“If I did a few drop ins front side back side before going out on a big day or small day, it would help me get that muscle memory down,” said Will Sandler after trying the machine for himself. 

ForShore's Surf Training

Jens-Peter admits that while ForShore isn’t a product yet, it is marketable — and he’s hoping to get the word out about it. 

“I have people try it out to tell me afterwards if they feel like they have a better bottom turn, or if I’m crazy,” he said with a laugh. 

And what everyone has told him has been the same narrative: this is a legit way to improve your bottom turn on land to make you better in the water. 

If you want to give it your own test today, follow or DM ForShore on Instagram


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