The best waves usually don’t break close to the shore. They break in an area called “the outside”. To be able to make it to this surfing zone you will have to paddle your way through the oncoming waves. To reach the best waves for surfing, it is crucial that you learn how to duckdive (shortboard) or turtle roll (longboard).
Here’s a step by step tutorial :
1 PADDLE STRAIGHT
Paddle straight towards the oncoming wave. As soon as you are on a little angle you will likely lose control by the power of the wave.
2 SLIDE OFF
As the whitewater or breaking wave approaches grab the rails and slide off your board.
3 ROTATE & PULL
Just before the wave hits you flip the board upside down. Lower your head underwater and under the board. Pull the board towards you and hold on tight.
4 LET WAVE PASS
Try to keep your body vertical in the water letting your body act as a sea anchor. In smaller waves extend your arms fully, in bigger waves don’t let too much water between you and your board. Stay calm and let the wave pass you.
5 FLIP & JUMP ON
After the wave passes flip the board back over (turtle roll) and get back on your board. Now resume paddling towards the line up.