You need to be able to quickly change direction & do small adjustments to get the most precise positioning possible.
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Practice: Pivot while Sitting on your Surfboard
A good thing to practise is to pivot yourself while sitting on your surfboard. Sinking your surfboard by putting more weight back towards the tail will help you pivot the board very quickly. The deeper the tail goes in the water, the more manoeuvrable the board is.
By grabbing the surfboard by its nose and sinking the tail, surfers get a small propulsion towards where they want to go to. Sinking the tail helps them quickly change direction to paddle in a new direction.
Being able to quickly change direction while sitting on your surfboard will help you reach waves you previously couldn’t reach because you thought you didn’t have enough time.
Other Ways to change Direction while Paddling
There are other ways to change direction efficiently, although sitting down is more practical if you need to do a 180-degree shift. You can also simply arch your back to sink your tail and change your paddling direction. This helps a lot when you want to change direction without having to stop paddling.
Another practical tip is to swivel your arm in the water to change direction. You can put more weight towards your left or right ribs when paddling for slight directional changes while still paddling and keeping momentum.