Lying on Your Board

Good surfing begins with catching lots of waves. This requires good paddling. Good paddling begins with correct body positioning on your surfboard. Invest time getting this critical foundation mastered.

Suggested Time: 10 mins practicing in the water followed by regular reviewing during your surf sessions.

These are simple, yet highly important instructions.

How to lie correctly on your board

-Position your body in a straight line down the middle of your board
– Keep your feet and legs together
– Allow space for an imaginary soccer ball under your chest. This will mean your shoulders, chin and chest will now be floating. ALWAYS maintain this position
– With the soccer ball under your chest, the nose of your surfboard needs to be sitting about 5cm out of the water.
– If the nose of your board is sinking, slide back slightly.
– If the nose of your board is aiming skyward, slide forward.
– Your feet may or may not hang over the end of your board, this will depend on how long your board is

body is too far forward, low shoulders, legs apart, surfboard nose is sinking
body is too far back, legs are apart, surfboard nose is too high
surfboard is sitting well in the water, but shoulders are low and rolled forward
surfboard nose is 5cm out of the water, chest is elevated, shoulders are up and back is slightly arched

This short clip shows a surfer starting too far back, then she goes too far forward, then she finally finds her magic spot.

Tips & Trouble Shooting

After your first surf, you will probably have worked out the best paddle position on your board. You can use a waterproof marker pen, or put a sticker on the spot your chest should lie so that you’re not having to think this through/reshuffle your body each time you’re jumping onto your board out in the water. You won’t need it there for long.

A good way to test if you’re automatically lying in the correct place is to take your hands off the rails while lying on your board. If you are stable and don’t tilt from side to side then you’ve found that magic spot and you are ready to move onto building a smooth, efficient paddling style.

If you are having repeated trouble finding your balance, review the board you are riding. Is it long/heavy enough for you? This will quickly eliminate the problem.

If your board is suitable and you’re still having trouble – move on to the paddling module. Being stationary on a surfboard in water can be a little tricky and you might find that once you begin moving, your balance will come.

Common Errors to Avoid

-Spreading your legs and feet apart for balance
– Positioning your body too far back or too far forward on your board
– Low hunched shoulders
– Chest in contact with your surfboard