How To Surf - The Ultimate Guide


Paddling is absolutely key to your progression in surfing, If you want to catch more waves then a strong and efficient paddle is required. There are two main steps to having a better paddle, they are:

  1. Propulsion

In every stroke you should aim to drag as much water beneath your board as you can through long and deep arm movements with the water up to your forearm and a smooth, clean entry while aiming to minimize the splash made when your hand enters the water. Make sure your forearm is perpendicular to your arm, keeping the elbow high . This will ensure your forearm remains vertical upon entry and will give you the longest and deepest stroke naturally. Also, make sure to not paddle wide, keeping your strokes close to your surfboards rails.

  1. Drag

Even if you have perfected your strokes, if your body drags too much then you will catch no more waves than before. By making sure your body is centred and your board is balanced, you will be able to travel faster through the water. Keep your legs together and try to be as horizontal with the water as possible. This will take some repositioning at first but you will soon get better at judging the centre point of the board. All this will allow you to plane across the water. Couple this with strong strokes and you are guaranteed to catch more waves.

To Recap:

- High Elbow

- Smooth Entry

- Long, Deep Strokes

- Centre of Board

- Head Up


Now that you can catch waves, you need to learn how to pop up. First make sure you have caught the wave, it is always worth it to paddle an extra three strokes when you think you have caught the wave. Now push up your chest and look where you aim to go, make sure you’re hands are parallel to the rails of the board. Next bring up your back leg and rest it on the grip pad. Your knee should be bent out over the board, to counter this imbalance you may need to shift you body slightly. Then push down on the grip pad and raise your body enough to bring up your other leg forward in between your arms, now bring up your hands and look where you want to go.

To Recap:

- Push Up Chest

- Bring One Leg Up

- Bring The Other Up

- Get Into Stance


First you need to decide whether your goofy or regular, in most cases surfers prefer to have their strong foot at the back of their board. To tell which of your feet is your strong one, kick a football and whichever foot you prefer to kick with that will be your strong foot and the one you place at the back. Now your feet need to be along the centre line which will make you more balanced and help you not to fall. Bend your knees slightly and widen your stance to roughly shoulder width apart. By leaning forward you will gain speed, by leaning back you will slow down.

To Recap:

- Bent Knees

- Centred Feet

- Shoulder width apart however you can go a bit wider if you want


First you need to gain speed so paddle hard directly facing the wave up to about six feet away from the wave, now grab your surfboards rails and push down the nose of your board below the water using the speed you gained from the paddling. Now push down on the tail with your foot and enter your head into the water, make sure you push the tail of your board downwards so it becomes parallel with the sea bed. By kicking out your other leg you will add additional weight to the tail. Next bend your arms and pull the board close to your body allowing the wave to wash over you. Then lean back and frog kick up to the surface and brace for the next wave