Tips on How to Surf Small Waves Like a PRO


A lot of surfers nowadays tend to toss out riding small waves. For some of us, small waves are not worth the ride. However, there are so many gems and valuable lessons, even in riding the tiniest ripples. In fact, you get to learn a lot more when you surf in small waves than you do from big waves. Not only that, these tiny waves help you improve, as well as develop your surf skills.

In this post, we will be talking about everything that you need to know about how to surf small waves like a pro. Because small waves tend to be more difficult to ride, you will constantly be forced to perform subtle bodily adjustments to be able to keep gliding through the waves. With this, change your outlook and still go for a ride even if all you see are small waves. We promise they’re worth it. Keep reading this article if you want to know more.

Tips on How to Surf Small Waves Like a PRO

The Technique

One of the most critical things when doing the small waves surfing is speed. This would mean that you need to be able to pick the right wave and just let loose. It will also be helpful for you if you paddle as hard as possible. If you require an additional boost, try kicking your feet. If you are riding a longer board, you may also need to try to take off just behind the board’s peak. Doing so will allow you to reach the stand-up moment, but now with a lot more momentum and speed.

Once you have caught the small wave, try lifting your arms. This action will help your release some weight on the surfing board. Instantly after, you may need to adopt a subtle forward stance. You may notice that when you do this, your surfboard will also move faster.

Probably the greatest trick to ride small waves is that you need to stay with your toes on the center of the board, allowing you to be steady as you glide through the lines. Don’t be reluctant to be a little adventurous, as you may also find an opportunity to do a few complex maneuvers. Surprisingly, even a two-foot surf height allows you to perform tail slides, floaters, and cutbacks. However, you may not be able to do some rare 360s or aerial maneuvers.

Try keeping a low profile when surfing in small waves. Over the top movements wouldn’t work and it might seem a bit ridiculous if you’re being watched by beachgoers. Another helpful tip is that your body must remain still. Your body should also be prepared to move backward and forward on the surfboard. In addition, you must never forget about the wide distance between your two feet, as well as the low stance. Doing so will allow you to reduce the drag while you glide even on the flat spots. Lastly, it allows you to increase your speed.

Tips for Small Wave Surfers

If you are into serious small wave surfing and have the desire to level up your game, you might find these tips helpful. First, get rid of your leash. In case you didn’t know, the lease, no matter the size, would only create unnecessary drag. While it makes a big difference physically, it will also help you mentally, making you feel unleashed or unhindered.

Wearing a thinner or a shorter-armed wet-suit may also be helpful, especially if you are going for a small wave surf session. As you are wearing lighter materials, you will also be able to paddle a lot faster. Board shorts are also an option if you want a quick 20-minute surfing time. You will be all loose, allowing you to paddle quicker to be able to keep warm.

Some surfers also have this belief that if you polish your board, the speed also increases. In fact, you may find a DIY surfboard tuning kit, which is basically a polishing kit that incorporates a coating that dramatically increases your board’s performance. Speaking of boards, you must be able to choose the right one for you. Even when you are just enjoying the water, you may need to change your surfboard for the better by choosing the fattest and longest board you can find. Doing so allows you to catch all waves, even the smallest ones.

Another helpful tip for you when riding small waves is to find the steepest part of the wave. While this comes with experience, all you need to do is practice. Even if you find the steepest part onshore, you must be able to utilize the wave as much as possible. In fact, a good part of the small wave will provide you with a little amount of speed, which will be enough for you to keep going.

Speed is Key

When you are out riding a short surfboard in small waves, all you need is speed just to be able to stay afloat. What you can do is to learn how to pump efficiently while getting the maximum speed out of the available wall. Bottom turns may not be able to do much in small waves. However, fast projections paired with pumps will aid you in maintaining the momentum. For performance surfing, the same lessons you learn from speed generation in riding the small waves are also the same when you surf bigger walls.

You must also learn how to read a wave. This is the great advantage small waves give surfers like you. They give multiple opportunities for you to analyze them, specifically the mechanics of its motion. There is literally no point if you keep focusing on the subsequent section on a small wave. What you can do is to look further down the line instead while you learn how to get a feel of the wave, allowing you for strategic surfing.

Professional surfers generally have an idea of the lines to draw when riding all waves. They think ahead, even beyond the imminent maneuver. Even when you think that all the surfer’s actions seem automatic, even the small waves can provide significant learning opportunities to develop a certain kind of foresight in surfing.


Practice and hard work pay off. When big opportunities come your way, we are confident that you’ll be able to go for it. You may regard surfing as a relationship, a hobby that you’ll be doing for a long time. Whether you are riding small or big waves, just get out there and make the most out of it.

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