An Introduction to Surfing

Paddling and Catching Waves

Some surfers argue that paddling is the most important part of surfing. Without the correct technique you will put extra strain on your body, tire out quicker and of course not end up catching any waves, which means you won’t get the best out of your surf trip. The stronger your paddling becomes the easier you will find it to catch waves.

The more you practice, the more your technique will improve, meaning you not only catch more waves but you can spend even more time in the water! Here are some tips to help with paddling and catching waves so you have the best time on your surf camp holiday with us:

Step-by-step Guide


Lay on the center of your board with your toes just off the tail of your surfboard.

Keep your legs nice and tight together and your body centered.

Lift up your chest, neck and head looking forward to where you are going.

Once stable start to paddle in alternate stroke making sure they are even.


Make sure you are only rotating your shoulders and that your body is nice and still.

Extend your arms making big strokes into the water.

Reach out beside the nose of the surfboard then drive you hand/arm through the water and then bring it out of the water next to your hips.


Keep your fingers closed, not allowing water to pass through them as this will help drive water under the surfboard moving you forwards.

When one arm exits the water repeat the same movement with the other much like swimming.


Once you are comfortable with paddling, try catching a few waves.

Line yourself up facing the direction of the beach and begin to paddle.

Make sure you look over your shoulder to see the wave approaching but don’t stop paddling.


When you feel the wave touch your toes, make sure you do two or three extra paddles.

These are the most important paddles as they help keep your speed and momentum with the wave ensuring you are travelling with the wave rather than it passing underneath you.


Once you feel the sudden boost of speed place your hands under your chest, pointing to the nose of the board.

The push-up into what is known as the prone position.

Here's one we made earlier

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