10 Tips to Improve Your Surfboard Paddling Techniques

Paddling is one of the most important skills for any surfer to master. Without proper technique, a surfer will struggle to catch waves and have a frustrating experience in the water. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, perfecting your paddling technique is key to improving your overall performance in the water. In this article, we’ll share 10 tips for perfecting your surfboard paddling technique so you can catch more waves and have more fun in the surf.

Tip#1. Get in Shape:

Surfing requires a lot of upper body strength and endurance. The more you paddle, the more you’ll feel it in your shoulders, back, and arms. So, it’s essential to incorporate exercises that strengthen these areas into your workout routine. Exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and rows are great for building strength and endurance.

Tip#2. Proper Hand Placement:

Your hands should be placed on the rails of the board, with your fingers pointing towards the nose. This allows you to get a good grip on the board and generate more power with each stroke.

Tip#3. Keep Your Fingers Together:

It’s essential to keep your fingers together as you paddle. This creates a more streamlined shape, which reduces drag and helps you move through the water more efficiently.

Tip#4. Don’t Arch Your Back:

Arching your back puts unnecessary strain on your lower back and makes it harder to paddle efficiently. Instead, keep your back straight and engage your core muscles to support your spine.

Tip#5. Keep Your Head Up:

Keeping your head up allows you to see the waves coming and helps you stay oriented in the water. It also helps you maintain good posture, which is important for paddling efficiently.

Tip#6. Use Your Legs:

Your legs can be just as important as your arms when paddling. To get the most power out of each stroke, use your legs to kick in sync with your arms. This helps you generate more speed and momentum.

Tip#7. Get a Good Rhythm Going:

Paddling is all about rhythm. Find a comfortable pace and try to maintain it for as long as possible. This helps you conserve energy and paddle more efficiently.

Tip#8. Learn How to Turtle Roll:

If you’re surfing in a crowded area, you’ll need to learn how to turtle roll. This technique involves flipping your board over and holding onto the rails to avoid getting hit by oncoming waves. It’s an essential skill for any surfer to learn.

Tip#9. Practice Your Timing:

Timing is everything in surfing. You need to paddle at the right time to catch the wave and ride it all the way to the shore. Practice your timing by watching the waves and paddling at the right moment.

Tip#10. Relax:

Finally, it’s essential to relax while you’re paddling. Tension and stress can make it harder to paddle efficiently and can lead to fatigue. Take deep breaths, relax your muscles, and enjoy the experience of being out in the water.


Paddling is an essential part of surfing and can make the difference between a good and a great session. By implementing these 10 tips into your surfing routine, you can perfect your paddling technique and take your surfing to the next level. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time to see results; with practice and dedication, you’ll soon be paddling like a pro and catching waves with ease.

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