How Not to Duck Dive

Duckdiving on a surfboard is not easy. Sometimes you dive too early or just not deep enough. If your technique is not perfect every time, the wave or whitewash will pull you back towards the beach and use a lot of your valuable energy. Energy you would better use for surfing instead.

Here are 5 common mistakes when duckdiving:


Always paddle as hard as you can at the incoming water. It is crucial to have plenty of speed for a perfect duckdive. Try to attack the wall of water coming at you.


When you push your board down, try to aim for a 45-degree angle of penetration. Deeper is usually better. In smaller surf just getting well under the surface will generally work too.


Lean forward and push all your upper body weight onto your hands and arms. Push down against the tail with your leading foot and let your body follow. If you are not deep enough the circular motion of the wave will catch you and push you backwards to the shore.


Lot of people tend to forget to lead with their head just like a duck. If your head is up, it’s an easy target for the wave to catch you. Keep your head down until you’re safe under the wave.


Timing is the key in this maneuver. Lot of people are duckdiving too early and end up being trashed by the lip’s impact and the turbulence just below the surface. Try to start it one boards length away and look for a spot where you avoid being in the lip’s impact zone.

Follow these tips on how not to duck dive. Try to practice in flat water, in small mellow waves or even in the pool.

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