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How To Paddle Out When Surfing?

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Tips and advice for novice surfers wondering How to Paddle Out When Surfing.

Surfing tips with 3x National Surfing Champion Johnny Fryer.

1. Watch the waves before paddling out and identify easier paths through the waves out to the ‘line-up’.

2. Learn techniques for punching through waves. White-water push-ups, duck dives(shortboards) and turtle rolls (malibu boards).

3. Avoid oncoming white-water as you paddle out. Especially on large malibu boards.

4. Paddle hard and confidently to break through the ‘impact zone’ as quickly as possible.

5. Once ‘out back’, hold your position in the line-up by using landmarks as reference points.

*Don’t paddle out if the conditions are beyond your comfort level, and you should first have a good understanding of tides and rip-currents.

If you’d like to improve your surfing, why not join our surf coaching weekends or surf coaching holidays?

How To Paddle Out When Surfing?

By choosing to paddle out when there is a break in the waves you will vastly increase the speed that you make it out to the line up. Learn techniques including the turtle roll or the duck dive to increase the speed that you can get through the oncoming waves. Where ever possible avoid oncoming waves by paddling to the side of the them or angling your paddle out to avoid them. Be determined and don’t hesitate, the key is to put all of your effort in to paddling as fast as you can when you have a good lull to allow you to get out beyond the breaking waves.

After learning the basic techniques in the white water, all surfers will soon set their sites on paddling ‘out the back’ to enter into the realm of the unbroken or ‘green’ waves and reaching the ‘line-up’. This is a massive leap in a surfer’s progression as well as being possibly the most intimidating but rewarding phase of a novice surfer’s journey.

Some advice and tips for your first few attempts to get out there.

1. Watch the waves from a good vantage point to determine the best place to paddle out. Look for clear areas away from heavy breaking waves and other surfers, as well as channels between sand banks that provide a clearer path out to the line-up. *You should first have a clear understanding of how currents and rip-currents form.

2. Learn key techniques to ‘punch through’ oncoming waves. You will need to be confident with a) White-water push-ups. b) Last second head dips and. c) Duck dives (shortboards) and turtle rolls (Malibu boards).

3. Avoid oncoming waves. Especially on large Malibu boards, your first priority should be to avoid oncoming white-water even if it means paddling horizontally to do so. Getting hit by the white water will drag you back towards the beach no matter how good your punch through techniques are.

4. Paddle hard and with determination! Getting ‘out the back’ quickly is all about breaking through the ‘impact zone’ in as little time as possible. Half-hearted paddling and hesitation will exponentially increase the time and effort taken to break through. You can take a rest when you get to the line-up

5. Hold your position in the line-up. Use landmarks or buildings to gauge your position and always be aware if you are drifting. When surfing large, open beaches it is difficult to determine exactly where you are if you don’t first take some reference points

*Remember. Don’t paddle out if you are not confident, or if you think the conditions are beyond your comfort zone. Paddling out with an instructor by your side is a great way to push yourself and increase your comfort level.

If you’d like to improve your surfing, why not take a surf lesson with us?


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