Paddling is an activity you do in the water but not really riding a wave and standing up. It is highly imperative to be proficient in paddling. You need to paddle properly in going beyond those breaking waves to achieve a good ride on the waves.
If you are slow in paddling, then it would be difficult for you to catch the waves. The longer you paddle out, the more likely you will get caught by the breaking waves. This can be tiring also.
Paddling Positions on Surfboard
Paddling is done similarly in both longboard and shortboard. You can easily employ a bit different variation into the paddle with a paddle. But before focusing on that, you first need to learn the right common position that you will be making on the surfboard.
Keep in mind that proper positioning in the surfboard is vital. The incorrect position will result in the board popping out underneath. This happens more often during first start, so it would be best to practice in a spot that will not knock anybody out.
- Position the weight of your body at the center of the surfboard
- Make sure to slightly raise your feet off the board’s end
- Make your body far enough back keeping the board’s nose about a few inches out of the water, however, not really far back to the extent that you are already creating much drag
Finding the most comfortable position takes some time, and this relies on your weight and height, as well as the length of your board. The wider and longer board makes everything a lot easier to learn and master.
For the beginners, they are advised to give themselves a good start and choose the day when the water is not too choppy.
Paddling a Long board – The Trick Lies on Paddling Angle and Weight Distribution
Doing a longboard paddle is extremely easy as long as you know how to paddle right. The trick here lies in the paddling angle and proper weight distribution.
The traditional length for longboards is about 9 feet to 12 feet. That is, therefore, between 3 and 6 feet over the standard shortboard measuring 6 feet. Paddling longboard is, therefore, not the same as classic surfboard paddling. However, this is ultimately fun to ride.
A long board is long and heavy. Additionally, it features varied balance points amid the upward buoyant force extended on the board and the gravity force that is applied by the surfer.
This is the reason surfers must adopt the position of their body according to the tail and nose of the board models.
The very first thing you will see particularly if you transition from short board to longboard is none other than the padding advantage that you will get over shortboard surfers.
Longboarders tend to paddle faster to the waves, and these can quickly reach line up though at times they have to push waves to get over the breaking point.
At any time that it’s technically challenging and almost impossible, long boarders will execute paddle out or roll out around the break to reach the peak.
These are ways on optimizing paddling when surfing with long board paddle:
- Lay in the long board
- Make sure that the center of your body is properly aligned with the stringer
- Your feet should also be closer with the tail than your head is of nose
- Maintain a head-up position and look ahead
- Then you must paddle in a manner that your arms enter the water at a higher angle as compared to the short board
- Integrate the S-stroke just like how swimmers make use in the front crawl
- Your feet must be kept up pointing to the sky
- When waves are about to pass by, try paddling with both arms at the same time until you finally take off. As you paddle and as you gain speed, ensure that the long board’s nose isn’t only one inch over the water surface, if this goes as it is, then it is a good sign.
Take time to memorize your position and spot in the long board, making the necessary adjustments that would enhance the performance of the paddling and the process of catching waves as well.
The Right Paddling Tricks and Techniques – Crucial Elements to Ensure Surf Progression
Better surfing certainly starts with better paddling. Proper paddling tricks and techniques are the most crucial elements that help ensure your surf progression. Paddling better allows you to catch more waves and on top of this, your progress tends to be quicker.
There are actually two things that you can do if you wanted to ensure efficient longboard paddling. These are as follows:
Minimizing Resistance or Drag
Why do you really need to minimize resistance? Well, simply because you must maximize your maximum potential in paddling. It would simply be a waste of effort and time to a concert on paddling harder and better until you fully understand the concept of drag or resistance.
Drag can be minimized if you glide efficiently into the water with minimum elements that resist your forward propulsion.
Resistance with water can be created due to many different things such as your legs, the nose of your surfboard, the rails, your arms, and more. More resistance indicates that you slow yourself down and also paddling to some of your potentials.
How Can You Abate Resistance?
Resistance can be minimized through positioning. In minimizing resistance with water, you must adapt the proper surfboard position. This means locating that sweet and good spot in your surfboard and being in the right position and sport both horizontally and vertically.
The place where your chest is laying down on the board and how the weight of your body is distributed can create a big difference between creating lots of drags or gliding into the water more efficiently.
This is accomplished with the right paddling technique. Maximizing the propulsion happens when you get ultimate power out of each paddle stroke. The aim is maximizing surface area, including arm, forearm, and hand, which push the water under.
The wider the area reached; the more water needs to be pushed. The quicker you paddle, the more waves you will catch.
If the surfer paddles using full and long-range of motions, the front arm is completely extended to make sure the hands can penetrate the water far. The backhand tends to pop out of the water just when it is totally extended at the back and upon full series of motions.
For a surfer with forearm and hand penetrating deep underneath and vertically, he can hold greater surface area and manage to propel himself forward with a lot of power.
Moreover, if a surfer has his elbow high the time his hand deeply penetrates the water, it’s actually the best way of ensuring that his forearm remains vertical once it moves underwater.
Bending the Arms When Paddling
If surfers bend their arms when they reach forward for next paddle, they also maintain a rhythm, paddling with one arm at a time. If surfers ensure that their arms are stiff when they paddle, they are actually executing windmill paddling.
Keeping the arms stiff tires, the shoulders more quickly since this need to support the weight of the arms with every paddle stroke. This also makes the board rock on all sides. This, therefore, creates drag and will slow you down.
There are mistakes that need to be avoided, such as:
- Avoid splashing water when penetrating but rather do a quiet and smooth entry. Fingertips should enter the water initially.
- As much as possible, don’t place your hands in a cupped position. The reason for this is that this cuts surface area pushed by the hands underwater which limits your propulsion. Don’t put lots of tension in your hands, for this will just be a waste of your energy. Keep hands relaxed and straight under the water.
- Avoid longboard paddle at the same time using two arms. One of the best ways of keeping your energy and surfing for several hours is paddling an arm one at a time, maintaining a good rhythm.
- Never paddle wide. Instead, extend your arms when you paddle, and your arms must be close to the rails of the surface and not really going wide on every side.
- Never rest your head on your surfboard. Pretend that there is a soccer ball placed underneath your chin. Keep your heads up to provide more mobility and stability of waves on your front.
- Avoid rolling your shoulders excessively on every side when paddling. You probably do not want to throw your weight on either side of your surfboard from each side and generate drag.
- Refrain from spreading your legs on every side, trying to balance yourself. Keeping your feet close altogether as always, and in case you feel you’re failing on either side and unbalanced, consider re-positioning your body into the surfboard’s center.
Knowing all these tricks and techniques with longboard paddles can help you a lot in paddling the right way and having the most amazing surf experience as well.