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How to Launch in Surf - SUP Technique

Once you've decided you're ready to take your SUP to the surf, your first task is choosing an appropriate surf spot. The ideal surf spot for a beginner standup paddleboard rider is a sandy beach, with minimal wind, no rocks, no reef, and very few people around.

When you're ready to launch, make sure your leash is attached. Then wade into the water with your board in one hand, pointed directly into the oncoming waves, and your paddle is in the other hand.

Once you're in knee deep water, you're going to hop onto your board. When you're in the surf, you're going to want to hop on the board a little further back to make sure that nose is up in the air, so you can paddle it right through the whitewater.

In the early stages, you're best off staying on your knees while paddling your way out through the surf zone. Once you're comfortable doing this, you can try standing up. Either way, when a wave breaks in front of you, get some speed going and then, just as the whitewater hits you, take one last stroke. This last stroke is designed to keep you balanced as you go through the turbulent water, as much as it's designed to propel you forward. Once you're through, keep paddling until you're out past where the waves are breaking.

One thing that's important to remember is that when the waves roll into the beach, they do not come in uniformly. Some sets come in bigger than others. You're going to have to take a couple of minutes and watch. Make sure that the area that you're going to paddle out in is open and you can get right out through the whitewater.

Also, remember that waves often come in sets. If you wait until a set rolls through, the surf will be a lot calmer and easier to paddle through.

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