|One thing I think we can all agree on is that to be a good surfer you must possess an effective, strong, fast paddle stroke. Ever wonder if you're using the most effective paddling technique? I certainly do. Especially if I'm paddling out in waves of consequence and you see the telltale dark, ominous shadow moving towards you from out the back! We've received quite a few comments regarding paddling, so it's just a natural progression to speak a bit more in-depth about the subject. I reached out to some of the best surfers in the world and asked their opinion on what are the keys to an effective, efficient paddle stroke.|
|The tips are seemingly simple, but implemented properly, they should upgrade your ability to catch more waves, have more fun and, with some of the training advice we've provided over the past few months, make you feel better while doing it.JAMIE MITCHELL [Paddle board champion/big-wave surfer] |
1. Keep relaxed. When you're paddling, don't tense up and get all stressed. Relax the shoulders and keep everything loose. People tend to miss a wave or get frustrated and you see them thrash or look like they're chopping wood or something. Keep it simple and stay relaxed - that's the best way to move along quickly.2. Hand position. People ask me all the time how I hold my hands and fingers when paddling. Do I keep them close together or have a slight gap? I personally just relax the hand and it tends to have a slight gap. If you keep your fingers together, it feels unnatural -- like you have to try to keep them like that.3. The catch. Have you ever watched a good swimmer's stroke underwater? Maybe you should. You want to try to copy the same stroke that they are doing under water and transfer it to your stroke on your surfboard. (Especially if you are thinking of paddling Maverick's after that last swell!) Here's a youtube example of this. 4.Feel the water. Yes, that's right -- feel the water. You need to feel the pressure of the water against your hand from the time it enters to the time it leaves the water. The more you feel it, the harder it is on your arms but the faster you will go. 5. And if you are after that extra edge and want to take it to the next level, try to grab a paddleboard and do a couple of sneaky training sessions to strengthen your stoke.KELLY SLATER [Nine-time World Champion]
1. Place feet together
2. Paddle with your stroke under your board, almost compressing water against the bottom of your board.
3. Keep chest/head up so you can see and then lunge down into the stroke when needed. LUKE EGAN [Former World Tour surfer/Parko's righthand man]
1. Touch your chin on your board when paddling for a wave.JOEL PARKINSON [World Title runner-up
1. The more hollow the wave, the deeper and harder the paddle stroke.
2. The mushier the wave, the more you want to stay on top of the water with a lighter, less-water-penetration, quicker stroke.MICK FANNING [Two-time World Champion]
1. Long, powerful strokes. Pull from the lats.
2. Head not too high.
3. Switch on your core for stability.GREG LONG [Big Wave Champion]
1. Position yourself on your board correctly. Where you actually lay will be different depending on what type of board you ride, but each