to Paddle a Surfboard
Paddling is probably one of the
most important skills to develop in your first months of surfing.
Studies have shown that surfers spend over 50% of their time
in the water paddling. Most of the common problems of catching
waves as a beginner can be directly related to a poor or inefficient
- Your paddle stroke should be essentially
like a crawl swimming stroke.
- Keep your fingers relaxed and spread
- Use deep strokes, as close to the surfboard
- Be relaxed, tense arms make for an inefficient
- It should be smooth and not splashing lots
of water about the place.
- Your head and body should be straight and
balanced on the surfboard.
- The paddling stroke should be efficient not
The basic paddling stroke is easy to learn,
but paddling efficiently takes lots of practice. Over time
you will get better at paddling your surfboard, which will
eventually result in you having to paddle less as each stroke
becomes more efficient, and you will be catching every wave
Get a feel for paddling around on the
surfboard and the balance of it, one of the most important
skills that helps with paddling is where
you lay on the surfboard.
When you first start out you will
get some chest discomfort after surfing, especially around
the bottom rib bones. The next time you go surfing it can
be quite painful. This is normal and after a few times out
in the water you won't experience this anymore.
The other thing that you will get
is a rash on your chest and nipples, this can be painful too!!
This is also normal and will also go away after a few surfs.
If not, invest in a rash guard or rash vest. Now you know
the reason why a rash guard is called a rash
Once you get better at paddling,
you can try the 'S' stroke this is not much different except
that you curve your stroke so that your hands go under the
surfboard. The S stroke helps the water move faster under
the board giving you more power and speed.