How To Pump Surfing

Table of Contents

Surfing is an exhilarating water sport that has millions of people hooked on its thrills. While there are many aspects of surfing that make it so exciting, one that stands out is pumping. Pumping is the action of generating speed by moving your surfboard up and down the waves. In this article, we will cover the basics of pumping for surfing, including how to do it, what equipment you need, and the benefits of pumping.


How to Pump for Surfing

Pumping in surfing refers to the technique of generating speed and maintaining momentum on a wave without relying solely on the wave’s power. It allows surfers to navigate sections of the wave and perform maneuvers. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to pump for surfing:

  1. Positioning: Start by paddling into the wave and positioning yourself on the face of the wave. You want to be in a spot where the wave’s energy is concentrated and has the potential to generate speed.
  2. Weight Distribution: As you catch the wave and begin riding it, shift your weight slightly forward towards the front foot. This helps engage the board’s fins and provides better control.
  3. Knee Flexion: Bend your knees slightly to lower your center of gravity. This will improve your balance and stability on the wave.
  4. Generate Momentum: To generate speed, use your legs and hips to create a pumping motion. Push down with your front foot while simultaneously pulling up with your back foot. This motion transfers energy to the board and propels you forward.
  5. Timing and Rhythm: Pumping requires good timing and rhythm. As the wave pushes you forward, time your pumps to match the wave’s energy. Use the downward face of the wave to push down and gain speed, and then use the upward face to release pressure and rebound back up.
  6. Transitions and Maneuvers: As you gain speed through pumping, you can use that momentum to transition between sections of the wave or perform maneuvers such as cutbacks, bottom turns, or floaters. The key is to maintain control and flow by adjusting your pumping technique as needed.
  7. Practice and Adapt: Pumping effectively takes practice and familiarity with your board and the wave you’re riding. Experiment with different timing, body movements, and weight distribution to find what works best for you in different wave conditions.


What Equipment Do You Need for Pumping?

To pump for surfing, you will need a surfboard that is designed for your skill level. As a beginner, you will want a longboard with a wide and stable surface area. This will give you the stability you need to generate momentum and maintain control of your surfboard.

As you become more experienced, you may want to upgrade to a shorter board that is designed for more advanced surfing. Shortboards are more responsive and maneuverable, but require more skill to ride. They are ideal for pumping and generating speed on steeper waves.

In addition to your surfboard, you will also need the right wetsuit and surf gear to stay comfortable and safe while surfing. A good wetsuit will keep you warm and protected from the elements, while a surf leash will prevent you from losing your surfboard in the water.


Benefits of Pumping for Surfing

Pumping is a crucial skill for any surfer, as it allows you to generate speed and maintain control of your surfboard. By mastering the art of pumping, you can ride longer waves, perform tricks, and travel further along the coastline.

One of the biggest benefits of pumping is the cardiovascular workout it provides. When you pump, you are using your legs, core, and arms to generate speed. This can help improve your endurance, strength, and overall fitness levels.

Another benefit of pumping is the sense of flow and rhythm it creates. As you move up and down the waves, you become more connected to the ocean and the natural world around you. This can help reduce stress, increase mindfulness, and improve your mental well-being.



In conclusion, pumping is an essential skill for any surfer looking to improve their performance in the water. By mastering the art of pumping, you can generate speed, maintain control of your surfboard, and enjoy the many benefits of this thrilling water sport. Remember to choose the right wave, use your legs to create an S-shape motion, and shift your weight from your toes to your heels to maintain momentum. With practice and patience, you will soon be pumping like a pro!

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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