When it comes to catching waves and explaining the technique clearly then we have to tip our hats to Rob Case. Here he provides an excellent tutorial using Nat Young in a World Surfing League heat as an example.
This is well worth 10 minutes of your time. He breaks the technique down clearly as well as providing some excellent pointers on how to improve your paddling technique, speed and power.
These surfboard paddling techniques should form part of any surfer’s arsenal and can be easily applied to your surfing whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced surfer.
[themedy_media type=”youtube” url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iynJTbudlI”]
Pretty good huh?
I just have one little tip that you could add to those that you’ve already seen and that’s the ‘double paddle‘. You can see Nat Young starts paddling in the wave using the standard front crawl – one arm then the other arm, then the first arm and so on.
As he reaches his top speed he switches into a double arm paddle – more like the ‘butterfly’ in swimming terms – both arms at the same time.
There are a couple of reasons for this. The front crawl alternate arm technique is great for quick acceleration and getting your surfboard up to maximum speed.
It’s drawback is that it’s not particularly stable. Think of all those forces being created as you fling your arms forward in alternate strokes.
The double arm paddle is great for those last few strokes as it’s more stable, super powerful (both arms at once so double the power) and great for maintaining that momentum that you have worked so hard for.
It also has another benefit in that as you withdraw your arms from the water at the back end of the stroke they are both in line and ready to be put on the surfboard deck for you to pop up.
You won’t need to use this double paddle technique for every wave that you attempt to catch but if you find yourself paddling for waves and not quite able to ‘get over the ledge’ then it will definitely help.
So why don’t you double paddle all the time?
I’m glad you asked.
Because you are fitting two strokes in the place of one it’s tiring and while it’s a great technique for maintaining momentum it’s not so efficient for gaining speed in the first place.
Try this technique next time you go surfing and let us know how you get on in the comments box below.