How to paddle out to breaking waves

  • Surf tips
  • Posted 1 month ago
  • 3 min

Discover how to navigate breaking waves with ease and save your energy for catching the perfect wave.

Common mistakes to avoid

Every surfer’s journey begins with learning, and it’s common to encounter obstacles along the way. One of the most challenging aspects for beginners is paddling out through breaking waves. The key mistakes include positioning too far forward or back on the board, failing to paddle into the wave for momentum, and not aligning the board perpendicular to the wave. These errors not only waste time and energy but also make it harder to reach the ideal spot for catching waves.

Techniques for efficient paddling

To conserve your energy for what truly matters—catching waves—employ these techniques based on the conditions:

  • The Cobra: Ideal for small waves or whitewater, this technique involves paddling towards the wave, then pushing up with your hands under your chest. This allows part of the wave to pass between your body and the board, helping you maintain progress without being pushed back.
  • The Six O’Clock Sit and Spin: Best for slightly bigger waves, where the Cobra is less effective. Sit on your board’s tail, spin it around, ensuring it’s perpendicular to the wave, and lean back to let the whitewater pass without pushing you back.
  • Ditching Your Board: In certain conditions, especially when the waves are too big for a turtle roll or duck dive, it may be necessary to let go of your board. Ensure it’s done safely to avoid injuring yourself or others.

You can watch the video below to get more details in action:

Final Thoughts

Paddling out through breaking waves is a skill that improves with practice and understanding. By avoiding common mistakes and applying the right techniques, you can save your energy for catching waves and enjoy your surf session to the fullest.

Let us know your thougts !

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