Tel: +(353) 087 6398210 

Standing up on a surfboard can look very easy but once you place that surfboard on a moving, pitching, surge of swirling water where you must simultaneously leap from a prone position while weighting and unweighting left, right, front, and back just to keep from diving face forward, you'll soon realise a lot of practice will be needed!   The place to start to stand is on the beach.   Firstly you will need to know which foot will feel most natural to you in the forward position.   The left foot forward is called natural stance and the right foot forward is a goofy foot stance.   The way to find out which way you swing (!) is to stand up straight, close your eyes and ask a friend to gently nudge you forward, the foot that goes out first to steady yourself is your leading foot!

To begin with, rather than paddling straight out the back into the line up, it's best to catch a few broken whitewater waves in shallower water.   You should have your ideal trim/paddling position at this stage, so point your board directly towards the beach and as the whitewater approaches paddle towards shore.   The wave should pick you up and push you forward which is an unmistakable feeling, however if your board pearls or nosedives you have set off positioned too far forward on the board, likewise if the wave passes under you are positioned too far back on the board.

Duck-diving is a technique to allow you to pass under breaking waves when paddling out, rather than getting hammered by each breaking wave.   Duck-diving applies to shortboards which are smaller and lighter, for longboards there are a number of techniques used to achieve the same result.   To duck-dive a shortboard, try to have as much paddling speed as possible when approaching the wave.   At about two feet before making contact with the white water, grab both rails (edges of the surfboard) halfway between the nose and midpoint of your board.   Push all your upper body weight onto your hands and arms until you feel the nose begin to go under.   Point your head down and let your body follow.   Once your body is just below the surface, bend your front leg and use that knee to push the tail under the wave.   Your momentum should thrust you under the quickly passing wave and only require you to be under water for a short time.   As the wave passes let the flotation of your board lift you to the surface.   Now you have the skill to paddle to the lineup or to the next wave and duck under it.

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Bunmahon,
Co. Waterford,
Ireland.


Tel: +353 87 6398210
E-mail: surf@bunmahonsurfschool.com