As you move from beginner to advanced techniques in your surfing, you will start riding bigger, green waves. These waves break deeper and further out back. To get to this deeper position you will need to master getting through white water walls and breaking peaks. This is where the ‘turtle roll’ comes into its own. This technique is easy to learn, effective and a great transition to learning about duck dives.
Turtle rolls are a lot easier than duck dives to get to grips with and are often used by longboarders (bigger boards with more volume are harder to submerge under the water for techniques such as duck dives). Timing is still very important but it is a technique I would recommend to all beginner surfers trying to reach the next step and paddle out back for those better waves.
So here we go…step by step pointers to help you master this technique.
1.Start by paddling hard towards breaking the wave. Long, strong strokes to build up speed. About one metre before the white water is due to hit, grab the board by the rails (in line with your head towards the nose of the board) and flip the board over so you are lying in the water, face towards the sky and the board is placed above you.
2.Grip the board close towards your body to stop the white water coming between you and the board. If you hold the board too close to your face, you run the risk of it hitting you. If the board is too far away, the wave will come in-between you and the board and you will be smashed ‘by the washing machine effect’ in the white water. It will take a a few attempts to nail the distance but practice makes perfect!
3.As you feel the wave begin to hit, pull the front of the nose down, under the wave and let the white water brush over the bottom of the board and you. Then all you need to do to turn your board back upright, get on, and begin to paddle towards the next wave…
Here are some beach examples to help demonstrate.
Good luck, keep praticising and you’ll soon have it nailed!