Surfing Series: How to Duck Dive

The duck dive is a maneuver that takes a lot of practice, but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll feel a sense of ease knowing you can dive under a wave and successfully make it to the other side. Once you know how to dive under water, you’ll learn to appreciate just how hard surfers have to work to stand up on a wave.

Photo Credit: Lonely Hunter

Here are a few techniques to keep in mind, before you jump in the water and dive under a wave:

  1. Duck dives are typically done on shortboards: Longboards are harder to maneuver underwater because of their length/volume, so longboarders typically turtle roll or use the push-up technique.  
  2. Be comfortable on your board: If you’re a beginner surfer, duck diving is going to take some time to get used to, we suggest practicing on land or in a pool to get the hang of it.
  3. Watch the waves: A wave moves to the beach and rolls around. Just after a wave builds up, the lip falls down to create a circular energy which we all know as white wash. This energy is what will guide you out into the surf.

How to Duck Dive:

  1. Paddle straight towards the wave
  2. Right before the wave hits you, hold onto the rails and push straight down on the nose of your board.
  3. As your pushing the nose down, use one foot to push down the tail.
  4. Your body will follow the boards movement and you’ll be diving under the wave.
  5. You’ve successfully made it to the other side and are ready to catch a wave.

Practice makes perfect, and we encourage you to continually practice the duck dive to ‘master’ it, soon enough you’ll be duck diving through waves right and left. Join us out in the water on a more advanced surf lesson and we’ll practice duck diving with you.

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