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Paddling and Trim

Paddling and Trim
Paddling out should only be attempted with the right conditions as a novice, simply because it is not possible until you get sufficient experience handling the board in white water first.
In the very beginning stick to waist depth of water and get used to catching broken waves prone. I.e. lying down in a trim position on the board, that is to say in balance and in full control, making directional changes. Trim is an important word so let’s define it. When a surfboard is in trim it is cruising along with the speed of the wave supporting it, if it sinks and slows down it is out of trim. It can come out of trim under the influence of a rider or the wave depending on the position you hold on the board or the wave face. If you are too far forward on the board and the nose digs in this is called a Pearl and it means you are out of trim. You can accelerate a board up to a certain point by putting weight forward or pushing down the nose, in the extreme this will turn into a pearl unless
adjustment is made. At the opposite end of the scale if your weight is too far back the board will stall and loose speed, this is also out of trim. So to conclude being in trim is about maintaining your balance and speed at equilibrium, and your body will be centred on the equipment. In general, when lying down, try to keep the tip of your board just above the surface of the water by about one to two inches, this will be very close to the ideal trim on any board. Practise paddling with a front crawl stroke either side of the board before the wave hits and then cruising down the wave face in control towards the beach.
TIPS; Try not to wiggle around too much when paddling as this will upset the balance and stability of the board. Paddle close to the rails with long, deep strokes.
Raise your head up and arch your back as you feel the wave come underneath you, this will help you catch the wave and reduce amount of friction between the board and the surface of the water, enabling you to slip down the face of the wave.
The more speed you have the more stable the board will be, since the fin will act as a stabiliser with increased forward momentum.

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