The art of duck diving is something that all surfers should learn at some point. My nephew asked me only the other day about it so I thought I’d put together this overview of how to go about it should you also want to learn.
Think back to the last time you were walking past a pond or lake and saw what appeared to be a vertical duck attempting suicide – this is where the notion of duck diving originated from. The concept may first appear to be daunting; however, if a duck can do it…need I say more?
The intention of the duck dive is to smoothly pass waves, without washing out and being carried back to shore. It will mean you’re ready to take on the wave that is right for you without all your paddling efforts going to waste and being the butt of the joke in the lineup.
Follow these tips and duck dive like a pro
The steps to learning duck diving can be summarised as so:
• When a wave is approaching, paddle towards it and just before hitting the wave push down on the nose of your board with both your hands, similar to a push-up.
• As you push your board down and go under water, try to keep your body as close to your board as you can so as to reduce drag and move as smoothly as possible under the wave.
• With your hands still pushing down on the front of the board, put one foot on the tail of the board and push down, so as to submerge the rest of the board, and then release.
• After pushing down on the tail of the board with your foot, return to your normal flat position on the board and allow the nose of it to pull you up and carry on paddling as you come up to the surface again.
• And most importantly, remember to breathe before going under.
If you have successfully duck dived, you will have smoothly passed under the wave without any hassle and should be able to continue paddling as normal. If you have not successfully duck dived, you will most likely have a face full of water.
The longer the board the more difficult it will be to accomplish so bear that in mind also.
No one is going to be a pro after the first try, and what’s that old saying again? Practice makes perfect? Well that is bang on when it comes to this, and if you’re still having problems then check out this video.
Even some of the most accomplished surfers aren’t the best duck divers, so it’s not the end of the world if you’re not the very best, but the least you can do is try, right? Happy surfing!
Josh Aggars – About The Author
Josh writes about beach life, surfing, travel and more. His passion for surfing takes him to amazing places around the World and comes through in his regular articles as he explores all aspects of the sport. He sells havaianas flip flops to help fund his travels and is known to have the largest collection of animal flip flops anywhere in the western hemisphere.