How To Catch A Wave On A Paddleboard

by Kyle
How To Catch A Wave On A Paddleboard

Do you want to catch a wave early on your paddleboard? This article will help you catch the wave with some simple tips. While riding a wave, it can get complicated if we don’t know the paddleboard basics. Paddleboard surfing is a very interesting activity that is challenging and fun at the same time. It can be very different from paddling on calm waters. It requires skill and balance. There are a few things we should keep in mind before going out there to catch a wave. 

It can look quite easy from afar but requires a lot of practice, and you only get better with time and practice. It requires time, balance, and positioning. You need to be aware of the basics before going out to surf, rather than waiting for a perfect wave and trying to ace in the first try. Take your time and start with small waves. Practice, practice, and practice!

This guide will help you keep the important things in mind and how you can catch the wave on your SUP. Before getting into the details, keep in mind that your attitude is more important. So be confident and stand on your paddleboard with the right stance before you try, and you are good to go. If you are too scared to try, you won’t do your best and balance yourself on the SUP. So be confident

Things You Need to Know Before SUP Surfing

Before you ever get into the ocean to try SUP Surfing, you need to start by learning some of the basics. Follow these instructions and you will be ready to hit the water.

The Surfing Conditions

When you are starting to catch a wave on a paddleboard, the situations you have to vary about changes, surfing and riding your paddleboard are two different situations. You need to keep in mind the height of the waves you catch. You should be looking out for knee to shoulder height waves that are breaking slowly and being aware of windy days. Windy days can make it hard to see the waves, and the quality also decreases. Stay away from ways that are breaking quickly and into the shallow water.

Where To Sit In The Lineup

Unless you are confidently riding the waves, be aware of other surfers and keep a safe distance, follow the code of conduct and pick the right spot to sit. Starting, it is easy to ride the smaller waves on the unbroken waves.

Sit outside of where the waves are breaking; this will help you in gaining speed to ride a wave. Be cautious and start from approx. 10-40 feet from where the waves are breaking will help in gaining speed. It is important to be too far out in the beginning to get the feel of tee ways. This will help you ride the waves carefully until you don’t get the grip of how to do it; keeping your distance from breaking waves is important.

Learn How To Read The Horizon For Waves

When you are starting, you might be into learning to ride the smaller waves and sometimes ignore the upcoming wanes from the horizon. Keep an eye out for those waves. Look for a darker line just outside of you onto the horizon; if you see that, keep your distance because that means there is an upcoming wave. It is usually a different color than the water.

Learn The Correct SUP Surfing Stance And Posture

The next step is to correct the stance and start with the right posture and in the right position. To keep your balance, make sure to try out in the stagger-stance. This stance helps to keep your body balanced on the paddleboard, paddle with a 90-degree angle. When trying to catch the wave, start by paddling perpendicular to the wave. Stagger stance is somewhat a combination between traditional paddle stance and full surfer position. Your one foot is in the paddleboard center, and the other is at the back just a little off the paddleboard.

Why Is A Traditional Surf Stance Important?

Why is the surfer stance so important? It’s a very vital step in surfing. It makes it easier to turn your board while trying to catch the wave. It is essential to have control over your board, being able to position yourself according to the wave and turn the board. The Surfer stance is very stable and provides you with a lower center of gravity. It decreases your chances of falling over in the water.

It also gives you flexibility in moving your weight forward or backward. You don’t have to move your feet too much. This helps to keep your board stable on the wave.

Steps To Catch A Wave On A Paddleboard

Now that you have learned some of the basics of SUP surfing, it is now time to get in the ocean and try it for the first time. If you follow these simple steps, you should be able to pick up the sport pretty quickly. Especially if you have a good beginner beach to practice at.

Lay Down On Your SUP

Go into the chest-deep water, lay down on the paddleboard, and start paddling with your arms.

Paddle On Your Chest To Get Past The Wave Break

Put your paddle on the board close to the chest, so you don’t lose it while paddle; keep it close to the chest and the handle towards the nose of the board. Now you need to get past the wave break and into the lineup.

Wait In The Lineup For Waves

Once you have made it past the waves and are comfortably waiting for waves in the lineup, keep on the lookout for the waves. 

Stand Up And Paddle Hard

When you see the wave you can catch, start lifting yourself onto your arms and trying to stand up. Keep the paddle on the board. Keep your knees bent; this will help you ride onto the top of the wave and balance you.

Remember to keep paddling; by paddling, it will be easier to catch the wave. Without paddling, it can be quite hard to ride the wave, so do whatever technique you like and keep paddling. By doing so, you will be reaching the wave at a similar speed, and that can help to ride the wave easily.

SUP Surf The Wave

When you feel like it starts to push you, you can ride the wave. Be confident and change your stance. Change your stance into surfing but keep your knees bent to maintain stability. Stay in the center of the board.

During this, there will be moments when your board feels overpowered by the water. You will learn to know the difference and understand the waves better with time. Just remember that after the wave takes, you need to change into the surfer stance.

Why Should You SUP Surf Rather Than Regular Surfing?

Why should you be opting for Sup rather than a surfboard? There are several reasons to go for SUP. Let’s answer this question of yours.


The first one is quite obvious, stability as we have already discussed in the surfer stance. That paddleboard gives you a lot more stability. Paddleboards are heavier and sturdy than surfboards, which puts them at the advantage of being more stable. Another reason is that paddling with the handle is easier than using your arms.


Because of its difference in shape and weight from the surfboard, it gives many more versatile options for the surfer. You can use it for yoga and also for fishing if you want. It is because of the length of the board, and it allows us to paddle in an environment we can’t surf with a surfboard.


It provides more ease than a surfboard. Due to its length and weight, it’s easier to stand on the paddleboard, and well, if you can stand on a paddleboard, you can definitely surf on one too. You can control and moderate your hard work. It is one of the easiest boards to surf on. It pushes you to stand up while catching the wave. It is more accessible than a surfboard. It doesn’t matter what your age is; you can start practicing on the paddleboard.


If you want to gain a few muscles while enjoying yourself, then this is your sport. It is a workout. It requires a lot of stamina and energy to push yourself up on the wave. This stamina and energy are needed to give you the workout you would love.

Now that you have all the tips and tricks to start SUP, you might want to get out on the waters and try out all kinds of tricks. But remember that it is not just a sport; you can also enjoy the view, paddle out on the waters, and enjoy the beautiful views.

To summarize all of the above blogs, pick a day with slow waves, and that isn’t too windy to keep your focus. Based on the timing and when the wave is breaking. Ride on the wave and get outback. Paddle hard towards the beach to reach the wave with a similar speed, keep your feet positioning in mind, start with a staggered stance, and then move onto more of a surfer stance.

Now go out and practice. Because SUP is fun but takes a lot more practice, be patient and try out the techniques in the water to get a bit more careful. As long as you keep practicing, you will start feeling the waves. Good luck.

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