Photo: Ellen Caldwell paddling out the back | Walrus

Getting out back on a longboard or a longer board like a mal can be a little challenging. When the waves are smaller the best way to get outback is to go over it (see our image sequence). Check out our tips and you should have no trouble getting outback. Let’s get to it then.

Izzy Henshaw pops over the breaking wave.

Photo: Walrus

The approach

As you paddle towards the wave you want to go over, its time to get your hands in the pop-up position, head up, shoulders forward and your eyes looking in the direction you want to go. Placing your hands on the board will help keep you stable through the process.

Lean back

As you begin to get closer to the wave, its time to start adding more weight onto the back of your board. Use your knees to guide you and keep your board stable. Keep your hands in the same position as before. The aim is to get the nose out of the water slightly; its very different to the start of a duck dive.

Over you go

Now youve begun to go over the wave, your hands are still firmly fixed on your board, and your knees are pushing down a little more. Keeping your chest up and open with your eyes fixed on the horizon will help keep your stability through the final stage.

The final push

Its now time to bring your knees up a little more. See how Izzy has positioned her knees; they are pretty bent at this stage, giving the board the final drive up and over. Once you feel like youre over the wave, its time to start pushing down with your hands, still keeping them in the pop-up position.

Back to paddling

Now youre up, and over the wave, its time to resume your paddle position and either get ready to do the same again on another wave or find your spot to wait for the next set to roll in. The key to this manoeuvre is to stay strong throughout the entire process. Believe you can do it, trust in your ability and go for it!

Alternatively on a longer board you can do a turtle roll and go under the wave.

How to do a turtle roll:

With more and more surfers turning to bigger boards like mals and longboards, it’s important we look at the safest ways to get outback. Surfing the waves out back for some can feel like an impossible task, with many fearing paddling out on a bigger board. We have teamed up with the fabulous Week Awake to bring you a video focusing on how to turtle roll your big board. So whether you’re a budding longboarder or someone who favours a bigger board, this video should give you a step by step guide on how to turtle roll with ease.
We have broken the tips down to give you more of an understanding of how this process works. It may look complicated, but trust us, you will get it in no time! 
1. The first thing to think about is your approach. Many surfers stop paddling and immediately start rolling, which is the worst thing you can do. It would help if you approached the wave with speed, so before you’re ready to turtle roll, make sure you paddle hard. Approaching the wave with speed will give you the momentum to power through the turtle roll and out the other side. 

2. Next up, you need to make sure you and your board are perpendicular to the wave. If you or side-on at any point, you’re going to wipe out. So get your board in the correct position and begin your roll. 

3. Bring your hands up to the rails and hold on, begin to roll the board. 

4. Once you’re under the board, let your body hang down, this will act as an anchor for the board and prevent the chance of you and the board being dragged back.

5. Another tip we have for you is to bring your shoulders together while under the water; think about clamping the board together with your arms strengthening your grip. One other thing to try is to give your board a little extra push. See how in the video Maya gives the board’s nose a little push through the wave, helping it drive forward.

6. Once you have felt the wave move past, it’s time to roll back on to your board and begin paddling again. Get back out there or prepare for the same again if another wave comes.

It may take a few attempts to get it right, but stick with it and believe in yourself and you’ll start to get outback with ease.

Watch Maya demonstrate how to do a Turtle Roll here: