The importance of paddling when surfing

It´s not new for us that paddling is a very important part of being a good surfer. Whoever paddles most will catch more waves and will surf more. In surf, just as in other sports, you have to move and try to get the best position possible. To get to the peak is not always easy, it could be crowded, or the current is making it difficult to stay in a good place. Because of all of this, paddling is important. Who better than Kelly Slater to give us advise on how to paddle. 11 times world champion, he has a powerful paddle. Here are three tips to paddle like Kelly Slater

1.     Maintain your head steady

No moving your head side to side like you´re in a concert. The trick is to imagine our spinal column as completely rigid and be one with the board. This will reduce the unnecessary movements of the board and our paddling will yield more results. Moving our head side to side will unbalance the surfboard, making the surfer have to compensate with his/her body, and resulting in a loss of speed. So, only move your shoulders to paddle, the head stay rigid and looking towards the horizon.

Not like this:

john john florence paddle

We know that it looks like we are saying John “John” Florence is a bad paddler but this is just to show the difference in body positioning and not a value judgment.

Like this:

tips to paddle like kelly slater

2.     Maintain your shoulders straight

Mainly because when our hand enters the water it´s important to have your shoulders up and straight. This way we will have a wider range of motion to use all of our strength in an efficient way combining arms, shoulders and pectorals.

3.     Add a light torsion in your back

It can seem contradictory with the first tip, but it isn’t. When a surfer paddles it´s the same as a swimmer, you rotate your body to get the most efficient push with your arms and hands. A light torsion, while maintaining the body rigid with all of your abdominal muscles contracted is the optimal posture for paddling. Without forgetting to maintain your head up at the same time as immobile.

Now it´s just a question of practicing. Next we will leave you with one of our videos for functional surf training. 3 simple exercises that will power up our technique for paddling, get better coordination and improve our balance. Important for the everchanging conditions in which we submit ourselves.

If you liked this article visit our training section, where you will see our training videos and get the best surf exercises. Also subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest exclusive content.

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