Cross-stepping Guide for Longboarders

Cross-stepping Guide for Longboarders

by lucia roman

Cross-stepping Tips with Dana Hamann

Finding the balance point on your board while surfing is critical.

Once you find your balance and become confident on the board, you can progress and learn different techniques to uplevel your game.

There are different techniques, like cross-stepping on a longboard and noseriding.




We create this first video with Dana @dancelightly_. You can 
download the complete guide here with videos, tricks, and balance tools.

What is Cross-stepping?

Cross-stepping on a longboard is a way of moving your weight forwards and backward along your longboard. It’s a fundamental surfing technique used for controlling speed while on the waves.

The cross-stepping technique is the most aesthetically pleasing. Walking up and down your board confidently and balancing according to the power of the wave makes cross-stepping look like a dance. 

Cross-stepping aims to transition your weight smoothly up and down the length of the board in order to achieve and maintain trim. 


Dana cross-stepping on the surf longboard

Source: @dancelightly_

It is definitely the most desirable technique to learn on the longboard. 

The temptation to keep your feet on the deck and shuffle your way along the board is powerful, as is the temptation to try to make it all the way to the front for a nose-ride. 

Noseriding is a whole other story! 



Woman nose-riding on surf longboard


Why Cross-Step on a Longboard?

As the name suggests, longboards are ‘longer’ than their counterpart. The increased length offers a few key benefits, including more stability. You also have a nice little runway to practice your catwalk. 

Since there’s more space to plant your feet and a greater amount of surface area pressed against the water, riders experience more stability on longboards. 

This is especially beneficial for newcomers looking to learn the ropes of surfing.


Woman noseriding on surf longboard on the wave

How to Cross Step on a Longboard?

Move your front foot behind your rear foot, then maintain the balance altering the position equally fast. This maneuver lets the surfer ride toward the nose of the board. If you want to move backward, practice this trick on balance beams to smoothen up your technique.


*** Here are our tips:

Depending on the type of board you are using, you need to be about arm’s length from the nose on a longboard. The balance point is evident to an advanced surfer but unintuitive for a novice.

Position of your board

To cross-step on your longboard, the board must be in the correct position of the wave. That positioning is generally in the top third of the wave (the steepest part) and right in the pocket. The pocket is the section of the wave right in front of the breaking white water – this is where the wave is steepest and has the most power to move you forward. 

Let´s break it down a bit. The weight of the breaking wave on the back of the board will counter the weight on the front - where you stand and will balance your weight.

That is why you can maneuver your board by shifting your weight and position on the board - during cross-step.


Shifting your weight from your hips first


Start with your weight on your back foot while keeping your hips and knees relaxed and loose. Then shift your weight over your front foot by moving your hips and upper body forward. Now that there is no weight over your back foot, you can bring it in front (cross-step) of your leading leg. 

To continue cross-stepping, shift your hips and upper body forward again onto your new leading foot (the foot that has just crossed over to the front). You can now bring your usual leading foot behind your back leg into an open stance again.

You don’t need to transfer your weight onto this foot, but if there is room and you want to continue cross-stepping, you can repeat the process and maybe even get to the nose!

Loose knees and hips

Keep your knees and hips relaxed and slightly bent. Keep it balanced - when you bend down too much, making a step will be difficult, and if your legs are completely straight, you will have difficulty balancing.

Woman cross-stepping on surf longboard

Keep your arms low

Initially, while you are still trying to find a solid balance on the board, you will intuitively use your arms to balance and provide you stability during your movement.

However, ideally, you want minimal movement in your upper body during cross-stepping, so keeping your arms below your shoulder line is the way to go and helps master your catwalk.


To know more about the type of board that you need. Please check our guide: Beginner guide on buying a longboard.


How to cross-step surf longboard guide



This cross-stepping on a longboard surfing tips are perfect for beginners to improve their style! 

If you want to know more, we curated a guide with Dana, she will explain the tricks and tips on How to cross-step and more.


Woman nose-riding on the nose on her surf longboard

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