Tip 3 - Catching A Wave

So how come the surfer next to you effortlessly caught the wave that you missed? It looked like they used no effort at all; while you were paddling so frantically it resembled a scene from Jaws. Blame your board, the tide, Brexit or just your technique?

So, you are out back on a 2 - 3ft day with a nice chunk of Atlantic heading toward you. Firstly, make sure you have enough time, do not rush it. You need that wave to be a good 3 to 4 board lengths away when you start paddling. As you lie down on your board use the tail to find the correct position; toes hovering over the last couple of inches is a rough guide for a correctly sized beginners board. 

Keep that chin and chest up, lift those feet and take slow, smooth paddle strokes (without over reaching). As the wave gets closer you get quicker. Paddling is not a one-speed thing, start slow and build up the speed without it getting scrappy, remember smooth = fast. Do not kick your feet they should not even be in the water so will have zero propulsion benefits!

As the wave starts to lift you, keep paddling but take 4 fast (controlled) strokes, but breathe in deeply and hold it, you need to inflate your lungs ready for a big exhale before you pop up. Correct breathing at this point is crucial in making a decent pop up, yet rarely understood or utilised by the newbie - which will be part of Tip 4...........

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