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Phuket Surf School


A quick learn to surf guide
for newcomers to the sport/lifestyle/obsession of surfing

 Getting on and Where to Lay on your Surfboard

Whereyou lay on your surfbaord influences how fast you can paddle and how many waves you will catch. Keep reading for the basic fundamentals of where to lay on your surfboard.

When getting into the water, walk out through the waves crumbling into the shoreline as far as possible. Mount your surfboard from the side, hands on the rails, put your chest first and then swing your legs up onto the board.

Center yourself on the board, keep your legs straight behind you (hanging your feet over the sides in the beginning helps you to stay stable, but don't make it a habit), back arched with your chest slightly off the deck.

There are 2 main sweet spots on a surfboard that we generally talk about, one is where you put your feet to turn the surfboard. The other is where the surfboard is balanced. The balanced sweet spot is where we stand when riding whitewater waves and is where we want our body when laying on the surfboard. Laying on the balanced sweet spot will ensure the surfboard is level in the water, giving you maximum glide.

Turning Sweet Spot                                 Balanced Sweet Spot

When getting on your board for the first time move around untill you find the sweet spot, where the board is level in the water, the nose should be around 1-2 inches above the water. Once you find the sweet spot, measure where you are on the board, i.e. work out where you are in relation to the logo, or stretch your hand out and see how far you are from the nose. Then everytime you get back on your surfboard measure first, get in the right position then start paddling.

Got it!

If you are having trouble staying stable on the board, put your hands out to the side in the water and slowly move them back and forward, just like you are relaxing in a bath tub.

Most people starting out forget to arch their backs, causing them to lay too far back on the board. You can always tell who is the beginner from this. Laying on the back of the surfboard is like paddling with the brakes on.

For Example, Most modern surfboards need us to stand on the tail (back) of the surfboard to enable us to turn, but you need to remember putting weight on the tail of the board will also slow you down, it's like putting on the brakes, and so it is why we stand up on the balance sweet spot when riding whitewater waves and when paddling.

Laying too far back on the surfboard
Laying too far back on the surfboard

Arching your back helps you lay further up the surfboard and stops your legs from dragging in the water, also slowing you down. A rough rule of thumb is that your feet should be around the tail of the board.

Also don't lay too far up as the nose of the board will go under the water usually causing you to nose dive (pearl) and fall off while paddling... does not look cool... If it doesnt nose dive you will still be pushing water making it a lot of hard work.

Laying on your surfboard is truly an important factor in how many waves you will catch and will help you to progress faster.

Next take a look at some tips on Paddling a Surfboard

Other FAQs

How to fix your surfboard

How to spray paint your surfboard


How to forecast the surf

How to ride a body board


Where can I find Learn to Surf Books & DVDs?



All About Surfing::Saltwater Dreaming::

mailing/postal address

Saltwater Dreaming
108/3 moo 3
Cheongthalay, Thalang
Phuket 83110
Tel: +66 76 271050
Fax: +66 76 325629
URL: www.saltwater-dreaming.com

Surf Shop (location map)
Surin Beach, Phuket, Thailand