How to Duck Dive Your Surfboard

Duck diving is used primarily by short board surfers, although some advanced surfers still duck dive their bigger boards. We recommend if your board has to much float for duck diving, use the turning turtle method to get outside beyond the breaking waves..

It is called duck diving because it resembles a duck actually diving under the waves without getting worked by the white water. This article will help you learn the proper technique and fundamentals, so you can practice this skill correctly! Follow these basic steps and stick with it, and you can learn to duck dive and make it outside to where the unbroken waves are.
  • You need to paddle at the oncoming white water with moderate speed and power. This will help your duck dive to work properly and give you momentum!
  • You will need to time your duck dive to get you and your board under the water before the wave hits you. Start your duck dive about 6 feet before the wave hits you.
  • You will need to push your board under the water with your arms and body weight. Lift your body up and straighten your arms to push your board under the water.
  • After your board is submerged, push your back foot on the tail of the board with a quick thrust, and then submerge yourself back onto your surfboard to get under the breaking wave.
  • The nose of your board should now be pointing semi upward to bring you back to the surface.
  • As the wave passes over, you should now be rising back to the surface behind the breaking wave if done correctly.
  • As soon as you break the surface of the water you should be paddling and getting ready for the next wave to duck dive under.
  • Repeat these steps until you make it outside beyond the breaking waves.
  • After you make it out into the lineup you are now ready to catch your first wave.

With perseverance you can make it outside on even challenging sized days. Learning this skill will also give you lots of confidence when you realize how big of waves, or how much white water you can actually get under. Your surfing will improve and the days you feel comfortable surfing will also increase! Do still remember your limits and don't go out on days when you feel the ocean is more than you can handle. Good luck learning this skill and hope to see you out in the line up!

Author Tony N Gile started surfing at 12 years of age and was hooked after his first surfing session. Tony has been surfing the Central Oregon Coast for over 30 years! He also owns and manages Safari Town Surf Shop in Lincoln City, Oregon. It is a small family owned and operated Surf & Skate Shop since 1989.

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