How to Paddle on a Surfboard
Learning how to paddle on a surfboard is a fundamental part of learning how to surf. Follow our simple guide and learn the perfect paddling technique.
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Please read our Affiliate Disclosure for more information.
Learning how to paddle on a surfboard is an essential part of learning how to surf properly. Knowing how to paddle will help you find the best waves, allow you to keep up with your peers, and maintain your energy for the entirety of your surfing session.
While the excitement of surfing may lie in catching those big waves, the majority of your time in the water will be spent paddling on your surfboard, so it’s important to know what it is, and how to do it right! Paddling is the technique surfers use to move through water when not on a wave. This is done by lying flat on the surfboard and using your arms and hands to push through the water.
Paddling correctly is an exercise in min-maxing: you want to minimize the amount of water resistance you meet, while you maximize your propulsion through it. There are several factors that go into making the most out of your paddle, including body position on the surfboard, bend of the elbows, hand shape, and angle of the paddle. Some of these factors work to minimize resistance, and others to maximize movement; mastering all of them will make you a paddling pro.
This tutorial video from How To Rip is an excellent example of how paddle on a surfboard using the correct technique if you need a video example:
Paddling on a surfboard may look simple on the surface, but there’s a lot to consider if you’re trying to do it right. Keep these tips in mind, keep working at your paddle, and soon you have the perfect technique down to glide through the water and catch those choice waves!
Enjoyed this article on how to paddle on a surfboard? Check out all of our Surfing Tips here.