Congratulations! You've got the basics of surfing down. At this point, you've learned how to paddle and stand on a surfboard, but your surfing lessons aren't over yet. The next step is learning how to duck dive on a shortboard. A duck dive helps you push your shortboard under the wave so that you don't have to fight the waves as they pass. Knowing how to duck dive will make your efforts to paddle out and get to the bigger waves less tiring and frustrating.
A duck dive in surfing is a move in which the surfer pushes the board below the water and moves underneath the wave, with the board. Duck diving is less painful than taking a wave to the face, but it requires a considerable amount of practice in order to perfect this skill. Don't be discouraged if it takes some time for you to master it yourself! In order to duck dive, you should be able to maintain a solid grasp on the sides of your board, take a big, deep breath and understand how to time your dive and achieve the right speed when you go under the whitewash. Be sure to remember to put some wax on the sides of your board when you wax your board. The wax will make it easier to grip the rails as you push under the wave.
There are four key steps to duck diving on a shortboard when surfing. Keep in mind that it is important to maintain your grip on the surfboard as you go under the water. Follow these steps to do a duck dive:
Although you can't completely avoid duck diving while surfing, if you have a longboard, turtle rolling may be an option. Turtle rolling requires a longboard that measures about 9 feet or longer. You can't duck dive with a longboard because the buoyancy of the foam makes it impossible to dive under waves. A "turtle roll" refers to getting past the breaking waves without tossing your surfboard. It works with a longboard because the long boards are so buoyant. To do a turtle roll, follow these steps:
Turtle rolling should be the second lesson that you learn in surfing. It is the natural follow-up to learning how to duckdive and works better for bigger boards with a lot of foam.
Both duck diving and turtle rolling are essential moves for getting through the waves. These maneuvers take some practice. After you have perfected your duck dive and are looking for your next challenge, take on the turtle roll. Both moves are key to working around crowds and challenging conditions when you are learning to surf.