Paddling Out on a Longboard with the Turtle Roll

When you’re beginning to surf, or indeed learning any sport, the basics always need to come first. When surfing, it’s particularly important. Safety on the water is paramount. Whether you’re improving your stamina for swimming in rough conditions, or learning how to break through an oncoming wave, hard work now will allow you to enjoy your time on the water, while ensuring that you’re safe.

Speaking of breaking through waves, if you’re a long boarder, then you’ve probably heard all about the turtle roll. It’s a technique that all beginners will learn at surf school, Malibu Makos surf camp being just one example. Before you can line up a wave, you have to actually get out past the ones that are breaking all around you. The turtle roll is the technique that will allow you to do that.

You may be familiar with the duck dive. It’s the technique short board surfers use for breaking through waves. They essentially push their board under the wave, and the buoyancy will bring them back up on the other side. Regardless of your how good your surf school is, due to the size of a longboard, the duck dive is impossible, which is where the turtle roll comes in.

The turtle roll is a little more complex, and requires practice and strength.

Performing a Turtle Roll

Although it might seem a challenge at first, these steps will detail the basics of performing a turtle roll. The rest is up to practice and repetition. Once you nail this move in the water for the first time, you will gain a feel for how it works, and will improve your technique with each successive turtle roll.

  1. When confronted with a wave you will need to time your movement perfectly. You need to be fast and precise, so don’t be dismayed if it takes you a few attempts to perform the turtle roll successfully. As the wave approaches, paddle towards it with as much speed as you can.
  2. Before it breaks place your hands on either side of the board, just around the shoulder position. Move off of the board so that you’re in the water, and take a deep breath…
  3. Move your head under the water, and pull the board above you, just before the wave breaks. As you do this, the board is going to flip over, so the underside (where the fins are) will now be facing upward, with the deck facing towards your body.
  4. As the wave passes, surface again, flipping your board, and getting back on to begin paddling again to meet the next wave. The trick to all of this, is your timing. Go under too soon and you’re going to lose ground, too late, and you may be washed off your board.

The best way to master the duck dive is in the company of experienced friends, or at a professional surf school. Malibu Makos surf camp provides surfing lessons for beginners, and offers group sessions for team building, birthday parties, and other events. A surf school Malibu will enable you to learn techniques like the turtle roll, in safety, and under the supervision of expert instructors and lifeguards.

As you build your skill set and confidence on the water, you will find surfing to be more rewarding and enjoyable. Choose a surf school in Malibu, to get you there faster.

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