Paddling is the basic method of maneuvering your surfboard. It is an essential part of surfing. Many people new to surfing under-estimate the importance of being able to paddle well. Being able to paddle effectively can make the difference between a poor and a god surfer.
Paddling affects your ability to get out to the waves and most importantly, it affects your ability to catch waves.
The most effective way to paddle is to stretch one arm in front of other and pull one arm at time through the water.
There are two main areas you need to look at so that you can paddle effectively. These are:
1. Lying on the board correctly
2. Legs together
Lying on the board
Lying on the board in the correct position is important as it provides optimum speed without having to use extra effort. Find the equilibrium where the surf board nose rises only slightly out of the water. This is the center of balance needed to paddle most freely through the water.
Also, be sure to position yourself in the middle of the board. i.e. not too close to one side or the other. You will find that if you are lying closer to one side of the board, your weight will cause the board to be unsteady and difficult to paddle.
The nose is only slightly out of the water.
Incorrect position: Lying too far back
When lying on the board in the water, if you are too far back, your nose will stick up out of the water. This causes drag on the tail of the board as it is too deep in the water. It will be difficult for you to paddle trough the water.
Incorrect position: Lying too far forward
If you are too far forward, the nose of the board will dig into the water creating drag by nose-diving. The faster you paddle, the more the nose of your surfboard will dig into the water and you will probably end up with a mouth full of water.
Beginners should try to paddle with legs together, not dangling over each side of the board as this will also create drag. Learning to paddle with your legs together will virtually force you to find balance in the center of the board and help the surf board move freely through the water
Paddling is very tiring exercise, but it will get easier the more you practice so don’t give in. it won’t hurt that much and is good for your health too. So practice often and regularly.