For those looking at getting into SUP surfing for the first time, or for those wanting to improve their existing skills, check out these top SUP surfing tips from Loco SUP.
1) Getting out through white water – for the complete newbie Loco recommends paddling out prone (lying down) from the shallows. Wait for the set to finish then make a beeline for ‘outback’. If you’re more accomplished, paddle on your knees until you’re in waist deep water, then stand up.
As whitewater approaches you should switch to a surf stance with your weight slightly back and try to bunny hop the board over the flotsam. Keep paddling to maintain speed and move feet back to paddling stance once you’ve cleared the foam.
2) Positioning yourself in relation to the waves – for the best results look out to sea and watch the waves coming in. Identify the peak and then try to position your board as close to the shoulder as possible. If you imagine the beach is 12 noon you want the board pointing at 3 if you’re a natural footer, and 9 if you’re goofy.
The action of paddling on the seaward side will turn the board towards the beach as the wave approaches. You should aim for as close to 12 as possible to make the drop trying not to over-rotate. By standing parallel to the waves already in surf stance it’s possible to take off very late as your technique improves.
3) Paddling in surf stance – this is a key element to paddle surfing success. You can generate more power in this compact stance and you’ll benefit from not having to change your feet. The further back you stand the quicker the board will pivot. It’s a feeling thing so persevere and you’ll soon reap the benefits.
4) Using the rail to steer the board – following on from the surf stance tip, if you weight the rail on the same side as you paddle this will stop the board turning in the opposite direction. It takes a bit of practice and you might feel a bit twisted in the hips but once mastered this makes life a lot easier.
5) Using the paddle to engage turns – the paddle can be used in a variety ways but to get started think about it in terms of a rudder. When you’re about to drop in, position the paddle on the inside of your intended turn, flare up the leading edge so it doesn’t drag and skim it across the water at the same time exerting pressure on the toe side rail to carve a fluid arc.