A quick history of ambidextrous surfing
The World Champion’s latest effort in the Maldives was one of the better stabs at switch surfing we’ve seen in a while. Whilst snowboarding and skateboarding have always embraced the double stance, in surfing the practice is getting increasingly rare. Can Italo bring it back? And where does he stand in the switch pantheon? We take a look at some of the best examples.
The World Champion has already logged serious some serious switch-time, but definitely has hit a high-water mark with his latest effort in the Maldives. Now, this is a wave that is better ridden than 95 percent of the people that travel to the tropical location, and with every turn he gets better and better. If he did two years straight switch I’d reckon he would crack the top 100 on the QS.
JOB has had 20 years of commitment to making his surfing standout, and going switch foot is one of the strings in his bow. He’s brought out his inner goofy in freesurfing settings and in competition at Pipeline, going both left and right. He even dedicated a whole episode of his Youtube series to the cause. Yep, that’s commitment.
It kinda figures that the greatest surfer of all time might be okay on the flip side and so it proves. He famously surfed the first wave of the 1987 Pro Junior against mate Shane Dorian with his right foot forward. And while it’s always gratifying to see the GOAT look a (little) bit like a kook, his efforts at pumping Padang showed just how much of a freak this guy really is. The layback snap is the icing on the cake.
Still maybe the gold standard as Mike Ho drops into a 10-foot Pipe bomb goofy and gets blown out with a giant spit. In fact it isn’t until Ho transfers back to his normal stance that his trademark style shows up.
Jason “China” O’Connor
The Gold Coast surfers dominated the Queensland points throughout the 1990s, and was perhaps the only surfer that could take on proper Kirra with either his back or face to the wall. Often captured by filmed Justin Gane of Pulse Surf China’s wizardry now seems like it's from another age.
Whether it was heaving Pipe or a playful beachie, Simon Law had the skills to put the other foot forward – and do it with style. 'The Law' as he was known ( a natural footer) goes goofy with so much steeze and precision in this footage you find yourself hitting rewind to make sure it's the same guy in the red singlet. The performance earns bonus points because The Law is bold enough to pull his switch-act mid-heat.
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