One of the most common things said to developing surfers is the need to learn to compress. Get your bum towards the water/board and bend from the knees.
This is the best way to stay centred over your board. It’s the best way to keep in control and is very efficient when wanting to get into a top turn position.
A common error for surfers is to bend from the hips and tip forward. Similar to someone getting into a position to touch their toes.
What “tipping” does is takes the surfer away from the centre of their board and away from having a centred balance.
Tom Curren is one of the greatest surfers of all time. I’ve been a huge fan of Tom for my entire life. When watching the clip below I’d like you to focus on the way his legs move, the way they extend and compress up and down. His centre of gravity stays very much over the surfboard.
The above clip is one of the greatest moments in surfing history. Shot by Sonny Miller and Rip Curl, the clip details Curren’s first trip to Jeffrey's Bay in South Africa. Note how compressed his bottom turns are and how much speed he generates from that compression.