How to Get Past Breaking Waves In Surfing

Table of Contents

Paddling out through breaking waves is a fundamental skill that every surfer must master in order to enjoy a successful and safe session in the water. As a beginner, it may initially seem daunting to navigate through the powerful waves, but with proper technique and knowledge, you can confidently make your way beyond the break. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the essential tips and strategies to help you paddle out efficiently, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable surfing experience.


What is the importance of wave observation before paddling out?

Before heading out into the surf, it’s crucial to spend some time observing the waves. Understanding the wave patterns and behavior will help you choose the right moment to paddle out and avoid unnecessary wipeouts. By studying the waves, you can identify the sets, determine their frequency, and get a sense of their power. Additionally, you’ll be able to identify rip currents and assess the size and shape of the waves, which can impact your paddle-out strategy.


What are the key factors to consider when choosing a paddle-out route?

Selecting the optimal paddle-out route is essential for a successful journey through the breaking waves. This segment will delve into the factors to consider, such as identifying channels or channels created by sandbars and reefs, avoiding impact zones where waves are breaking consistently, understanding wave angles and their impact on your paddle-out, utilizing landmarks to guide your route, and adapting to changing conditions such as tide and wind direction.


How can body positioning and timing help in navigating through breaking waves?

Proper body positioning and timing are crucial elements for efficiently paddling out through breaking waves. This section will provide insights into how to position your body on the surfboard, the importance of paddling with purpose and determination, and timing your movements to maximize efficiency and minimize resistance. By angling your board correctly and using efficient strokes, you can effectively navigate through the breaking waves and conserve energy for your surf session.


What are some techniques to effectively duck dive under breaking waves?

Duck diving is a fundamental technique used by surfers to dive beneath the breaking waves. This part of the article will explain the step-by-step process of performing a successful duck dive, including the correct body posture, timing your dive, using your arms and legs to assist in the maneuver, and resurfacing smoothly to continue paddling out. Mastering the duck dive technique will allow you to efficiently and confidently navigate through larger and more powerful waves.


How can you efficiently turtle roll to get past larger waves?

Turtle rolling is another technique employed to overcome larger waves. This section will outline the technique of turtle rolling, which involves flipping the board upside down and holding onto the rails while rolling under the wave. It will discuss the appropriate timing, positioning, and the importance of using your body weight and momentum to maintain control during the roll. By effectively turtle rolling, you can navigate through larger waves with less resistance and conserve energy for your paddle-out.


What should you do if caught in a wave while paddling out?

Even with the best preparation, there may be times when you get caught by an unexpected wave while paddling out. This part will cover the appropriate response when caught in a wave, including holding onto your board, protecting your head and neck, and staying calm. It will provide tips on recovering quickly after being caught inside, such as utilizing the whitewater to your advantage and regaining control of your board. Being aware of the appropriate actions to take when caught in a wave will help you stay safe and composed during your paddle-out.



Mastering the art of paddling out through breaking waves is an essential skill that all surfers need to develop. By understanding the importance of wave observation, choosing the right paddle-out route, utilizing proper body positioning and timing, and mastering techniques like duck diving and turtle rolling, you can confidently navigate through the surf. Remember, practice makes perfect, so dedicate time to honing your skills and gaining experience in different wave conditions. With patience and determination, you’ll soon find yourself gliding effortlessly beyond the break, ready to catch those exhilarating waves. So, get out there, embrace the challenges, and enjoy the thrill of paddling out to ride the perfect wave.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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