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Surfing 101:: Improve Your Paddling Technique with these 5 Tips

In our blog post, Surfing with Heart, we shared the results of a recent study by Auckland University. The study focused on monitoring surfers heart rates during competition. One interesting conclusion the researchers reported was, on average, surfers spent nearly 54% of their time in the water paddling out to the waves. With such a large chunk of your surf session dedicated to paddling, its important to make sure you develop a strong technique.

Get your body properly positioned on your surfboard so it lays flat on the water.

Get your body properly positioned on your surfboard so it lays flat on the water.

Proper Positioning

The first step in perfecting your paddling technique is to properly position your body on your surfboard. The goal is to get your board to rest flat on the water with you on it. With many variations in board heights and surfer body types, we recommend doing a quick exercise to find their optimum body positioning.

Choose a day when the water is calm and take your board out to waist high waters. Lay on your surfboard. Slide your body forward and backward until it rests as flat on the water as possible. This is the sweet spot where you should lay when paddling.

Paddling Technique

When paddling, your head should be raised giving you a wider range of motion. Reach as far forward as possible with your arms. Drop your hands into the water and pull your stroke past your hips before pulling your arms out of the water. Dig deep for maximum pull and drive.

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Long, smooth, powerful strokes will give you maximum drive while paddling.

Remember these 5 tips to avoid getting worn out from paddling:

  • Position yourself so that your surfboard lays flat on the water.
  • Elongate your stroke, reaching as far forward and backward as possible.
  • Maintain a smooth rhythm to your paddling.
  • Achieve a more powerful stroke by digging deep into the water with each stroke.
  • Practice, practice, practice.