It is always a wonderful, thrilling moment when you are at the surf spot – you are looking forward to that couple of hours you are going to spend riding the waves. However, reaching the lineup might be not that easy; it is particularly true for those who are only making their first steps in surfing and are not experienced enough. And at such moments your thrill and excitement can turn into frustration and resentment – here they are, beautiful waves, so close to you, but you are unable to reach the lineup! You are paddling, and fighting whitewater – but failing nevertheless, it looks like you are not moving at all and cannot go through the surf zone.
Even you have spent a lot of time and (what is more important!) strengths, and have finally reached the lineup, it is not the end! You will have to paddle back again and again after each wave you are going to catch. This part of your surfing is not likely to be called the funniest one; however, it is something surfing cannot be imagined without. With every attempt you will lose more and more energy that is so vital for catching and riding the waves. The good news is that there are some simple and easy-to-follow tricks that can help you save up to 50% of your stamina and make your surf session longer.
- Before paddling out, look for a channel. A surf channel can work miracles – you are saving your energy and getting to the point quicker! What is a channel anyway? Waves bring water onto the shore, and this water always finds its way back to the ocean. That is a kind of an ocean river, a channel that takes the water back; it is deeper as a rule and waves do not break in a channel. Find such a river – and go with the flow! You will not have to fight against whitewater that pushes you back to the shore. How can you find a channel? Pretty simple: 1) pay attention to the other surfers – where do they go? 2) look for a spot without whitewater. Keep in mind that finding a channel at beach breaks is rather complicated as the waves there are shifting non-stop; but point breaks and reef spots make the task much easier.
- Some surfers prefer to ride the waves as long as they can, even when it has faded away. Well, it might make sense in some cases; however, surfing this way definitely makes your paddling out much, much longer. So, maybe it is wiser to get off the wave once it dies and go back to the lineup. This strategy will increase the number and the quality of the waves you ride, thus, giving you more time and opportunity to improve your skills.
- Each wave that you have to dive trough, send you a bit back; as a result, if you count these waves you will realize how much time and strength you have wasted on paddling. A way out here is counting the sets. With this, you can catch the final wave of set 1, and then get out just under the initial waves of set 2, etc. Another handy tip when going back to the lineup is to paddle right into the breaking zone before the next set. Excellent energy saving technique, isn’t it?
- Even if you are skilled and experienced, you will never reach the lineup unless you paddle hard! No mercy! Surfing is conquered only by those who work hard, who put every effort into the task. So, paddle hard, get to the lineup no matter what, catch your perfect waves and ride! It will keep you fit and strong, and with every day paddling out will be getting easier and more fun.
Be positive and confident; remember these little hints and you will definitely succeed!
Have a great surf!