Paddle like a PRO

5 paddle hacks to improve your surfing

Paddling is probably one of the most important but the most neglected part of learning to surf. Being able to paddle properly is key to get out to the lineup, gain enough momentum to catch waves and having a strong paddle will help you get out back much quicker. 

Fitness is a key component when learning to paddle and having strong shoulders, arms and core will help you have a stronger and faster paddle. Having said this, fitness is not everything and there is still a huge amount of technique needed to master paddling and a lot of practice. Here are our top 5 tips on how to perfect your paddle:

1. Long strokes are key

Instead of short fast strokes getting you nowhere and leaving you out of breath, try long strokes pulling the water back with your hand exiting the water nearer your hip.

Keep your fingers together and cup your hands slightly to ensure you aren’t wasting any of your strokes. When paddling out you can take it a bit slower as not to tire yourself out. 

2. Nose up, up, up, up, up.

Now we aren’t talking about your nose, but rather the nose of the surfboard. The nose should be poking just slightly out of the water; not to far as otherwise your legs will be completely underwater and you will not go very far and, vice versa, if your nose is underwater, you will not move.

If you are a complete beginner and surfing 7 – 9ft foamies, we suggest keeping your toes on the tail to help your paddle be as strong as possible; also you need to ensure your head up and looking forwards and with a small arch in your back to help you keep the perfect position. 

3. Ensure you have the correct and strong position on the board

Making sure you are positioned correctly on your board will help your paddle no end. Keep your body in the centre of the surfboard with your feet together is key to keeping your balance and giving your shoulders and arms enough room and power to have a strong paddle.

It is also important to keep your head and upper body still as this will help you to stay balanced and stop your board rocking from side to side. 

4. Watch and learn

Watching other more experienced surfers will teach you a lot, watching for their position on the surfboard and in the water will help you understand how to get the most out of your paddling and can help you learn which part of the wave to paddle on.

Lucky for us, the 21st century has brought us YouTube and other outlets that let us watch all our favourite surfers when and where we want. And if you’re interested in more “learn to surf” articles and videos, why not check out our Star Surf Camps 👉Online Surf School.

And here's one that we made earlier :)

5. Yoga and stretching to prevent injury

Stretches and yoga are a great way to ensure your muscles stay strong and supple, and help prevent any injuries. We offer yoga in all our surf camps for exactly that reason. Yoga and surfing go hand in hand, have done so for years. All professional surfers have some sort of yoga or pilates routine to help them stay flexible. And what’s good for Pro’s is good for our surf camp guests!

Our Deluxe camp in Moliets offers an amazing yoga space. Our large yoga deck is spacious enough for up to 20 yogis, it’s covered with a canvas for sun and UV protection and surrounded by trees for that extra bit of serenity and calmness during our daily morning and evening sessions!