Surfer woman with surfboard duck dive under wave in ocean.

What are the best techniques for paddling out through waves?

Paddling out through waves is an essential skill for surfers, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned rider. It requires the right techniques and strategies to navigate through the breaking waves efficiently. Here are some of the best techniques for paddling out through waves:

  1. Timing is Key:
    • Understanding wave sets: Watch the waves for a few minutes to identify patterns and sets. Sets typically consist of several waves with smaller waves in between. Try to time your paddle out during a lull between sets or when smaller waves are breaking.
  2. Turtle Roll or Eskimo Roll:
    • For longboards and larger boards: If you're riding a longboard or a big board, the turtle roll is an effective technique. As a wave approaches, grab the rails of your board, and flip it upside down. Hold onto the board and allow the wave to pass over you. Once the wave has passed, roll the board back upright and continue paddling.
  3. Duck Dive:
    • For shortboards and smaller boards: The duck dive is the go-to technique for shortboarders. As a wave approaches, paddle towards it at an angle. As the wave nears, push down on the tail of your board while simultaneously arching your back and pushing the nose of the board underwater. This technique allows you to pass under the wave and resurface on the other side.
  4. Use Rip Currents:
    • Look for channels and rip currents: Rip currents are areas where water flows back out to sea, creating channels that are often easier to paddle through. Spotting these channels and using them strategically can save you energy and make paddling out more manageable.
  5. Strong Paddle Strokes:
    • When paddling out, use strong and consistent paddle strokes. This helps you maintain momentum and prevents you from getting pushed back by oncoming waves. Make sure your paddle strokes are deep and powerful.
  6. Stay Low:
    • Keep a low profile on your board when paddling out through waves. This minimises the impact of waves breaking over you. Arch your back and keep your weight cantered on the board for stability.
  7. Be Patient:
    • Sometimes, patience is your best friend. If the waves are too big or too frequent, consider waiting for a lull or for conditions to improve before attempting to paddle out.
  8. Improve Your Fitness:
    • Strong upper body and core strength are crucial for efficient paddling. Regular exercise and practicing paddling techniques will help you build the necessary endurance.
  9. Learn from Experienced Surfers:
    • Watching experienced surfers and asking for advice can provide valuable insights into the best techniques for paddling out at your local break.


A lone surfer paddles out through the surf and waves.


Your Gateway to Surfing Excellence!

Remember that paddling out through waves can be physically demanding, and it's essential to know your limits. If conditions become too challenging or dangerous, it's always better to stay on the safe side and avoid unnecessary risks. By mastering these techniques and practicing regularly, you can confidently paddle out and enjoy more time in the lineup.

Ready to ride the waves with style and confidence? Come visit Slimes Newcastle Store today! Discover a wide range of top-quality surf gear, expert advice, and the stoke of the local surf community. Your perfect wave awaits – gear up at Slimes now!  Try before you buy with our fleet demo surf boards!

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