Surfing How-To: Paddle Out

Cup your hands when you paddle.

Before you can go riding that perfect wave into the sunset, you have to be able to get out past the whitewater. Sometimes the hardest part of a day in the surf can be trying to get out to the lineup. But, with the correct technique, you'll be cruising over the break and into that sweet spot. Get ready to paddle out with these tips.

Find a Calm Spot to Practice

You can paddle a board wherever there is water. If you don't have the convenience of living next to a beach, head to your local swimming pool, lake or river. Whenever you would typically go out for a swim, take a surfboard with you.
Get to Know Your Surfboard

First, get to know the surfboard and just practice balancing on it. You can sit on the board, lay down on it or swim off it. Position yourself in the center of the board and keep the board as flat as possible on the water.

The Specifics

Raise your head and lift your chest when you paddle. Bend your arms at the elbows, approximately 90 degrees and cup your hands to make a scoop. Try to paddle slowly and smoothly, finishing each paddle before starting the next one. Finish your paddle by flicking your wrist as your arm moves past your hip. The power in your paddle is the point where your arm moves past your hip.

Catching the Wave

Paddling will get you out to the good waves, and paddling will help you catch one. You catch a wave by paddling at almost the speed of the incoming wave. Two extra paddles will ensure you catch the wave successfully. Mastering your paddle speed will allow you to learn faster and catch beach waves earlier.

You can continue to improve your paddling by watching good surfers and emulating their moves. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be when your surf day finally arrives. You will be better balanced and more wave-catching savvy.


More: Beginners Guide to Surfing

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