layback


Spine-twisting maneuver in which the surfer, during a frontside cutback or backside tuberide, bends the upper back and shoulders  and"lays back" onto the wave face. The layback cutback was popularized  by 1976 world champion Peter Townend of Australia. At the beginning of the cutback, he'd drop the rear arm, raise his front arm for balance, fall back onto the wave face, and direct the board in an arcing turn so that it ended up beneath his center of gravity, at which point he used leg strength to push back to a standing position. Surfing magazine called it the sport's "newest, most radical maneuver" in 1979; two years later, Surfer declared it "a silly trick" and "a real dead dog."

Surfers had meanwhile developed the backside layback tube stance, using more or less the same body arrangement, but while trimming instead of turning, to fit more snugly inside the tube. Australia's Simon Anderson memorably used the layback tuberide to win both the Surfabout and Pipeline Masters contests in 1981. The layback tuberide soon developed into the more functional lay-forward tuberide, with the surfer's weight shifted to the front leg. The New School surfers of the early '90s updated the layback cutback as part of their mixed power-to-slide repertoire, and it remains in use.