Getting out past white water on a longboard

Longboards are super buoyant and stable. This makes them ideal for learning on, but impossible to duck dive under waves.

The method of gliding over waves uses the speed and floatation of a longboard to drive you through a wave rather than under it. The wave simply passes between you and your board. It works on small waves and is the best way to begin getting yourself out passed the white water.

How to glide over an oncoming wave

-Approach the wave straight on and with maximum speed – the faster you go the more control you will have
– Keep your board perpendicular to the horizon
– 2 meters before the wave, tightly grab a hold of your rails, arch your back and lift your chest up high
– Keep weight in your thighs or toes
– The white water will pass between you and your board
– Kicking one leg up can help propel you up and forward
– Once the wave has passed by, paddle powerfully to keep yourself from being dragged backwards with the energy of the passed wave.

Common Problems

Sometimes the nose of your board will shoot up high. This makes it tricky to keep your body above your board. Hold on tight to your rails and try to lunge body weight forward as you feel your board descend and you might be able to gain control of your board again. Play around with kicking one leg up in the air behind you and pushing down with the other knee.

Sometimes your board will shoot up so high that it’s impossible to stay on and you will fall backwards with it. This usually happens when attempting to glide over a wave that is simply too big / powerful for this technique, or because you didn’t have enough paddle speed.

Powerful paddling is essential for this technique. Both when the wave approaches and as soon as it has passed.

Gliding over a wave works well on small waves. As you improve you will naturally test the limits of wave size with this method. Always be aware of others in the water around you, particularly behind you when you are using this technique.