9 Tips on How to Turtle Roll Long Surfboards in Waves in the Safest and Most Efficient Way

Have a passion for surfing and dreaming of riding the waves with a professional surfer’s grace? Here are 10 tips on how to turtle roll surfboards easily. Keep on reading and learn how to get past white water waves during this roll.

Shortboarders usually use so-called duck dive maneuver to roll, pushing their surfboards underwater. Longboarders, however, are deprived of such a technique, as it is impossible to do it on a longboard.

How so? The thing is, when duck diving, you sink the surfboard below the approaching wave.

Longboards have a great volume, and as a result, are very floatable. Therefore, it is difficult to put a longboard under the waves.

Even though it does not take much effort to sink a shortboard under the onrushing waves, longboards have their convincing advantage—faster paddling! So join in with longboarders and let’s turtle roll!

Can’t wait to ride the waves and enjoy the feeling?

First things first! Let’s start with the principles and main tips on how to turtle roll. Make certain that all related elements of smart surfing and paddling out with a surfboard are mastered. Double-check that you know how to:

  • look for channels;
  • time the sets;
  • paddle effectively.

Now, with all the basics covered, it’s about time to talk about how to turtle roll in the waves.

As you already know, such a roll is an efficient longboard surfing skill that will help you make it out to the line-up. So, here are 9 useful tips for a good turtle roll technique:

  1. Paddle in the direction of the wave straight on. Position at an angle may get you hurled from your surfboard while doing the roll.
  2. With the oncoming wave approaching, grab the rails (side of the surfboard) just above your shoulders. You will want the nose of the surfboard to point down slightly.
  3. Keep a tight grip, as you do not want to lose control of your surfboard when doing the roll. Waxing the rails will help you to remain in control of the board.
  4. Just when you see that the wave draws upon you, take a deep breath, and roll the surfboard upside down, fin side up. With the approach of a wave, push up from the surfboard, and try to give yourself an energetic lean to one side. If you manage to raise your torso up slightly, it will give you an impulse and leverage to turn the board over.
  5. Hold the surfboard closer to yourself for efficacious turtle roll in the waves. To get an easier hold, make sure there is as little water as possible between you and your surfboard.
  6. Calm down and relax when underwater. Trying to out-muscle the wave or getting stiff will make things worse. Remember to hang on to the rails with your hands when you do the roll, but don’t wrap your legs around the surfboard.
  7. If the wave is passing over your upside-down surfboard (that often happens when you turtle roll), give yourself a frog kick underneath the water and push yourself forward. Worry about this after you successfully complete this turtle roll without the frog kick.
  8. As soon as the wave has gone by, flip the surfboard over. Kick with your legs, push with one arm and pull with the other to get back on board quickly.
  9. Once you’re back on board, paddle hard to get to the line-up. Now, you’d better do your utmost if you want to get out of the wave’s impact zone.

surfer swims

So you say, try not to flung these tips aside lightly. If you’re a newbie on surfing, practice this technique in small whitewater for a start. And very soon you will master the turtle roll on your surfboard.

Max Surfer


About Author

>> Professional surfer with over 10 years of experience >> Participant in numerous international competitions, including World Championships >> Experience in training and instructing beginner surfers

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