How To Duck Dive A Longboard, Foolish Wish?

How To Duck Dive A Longboard

Duck diving a shortboard.

What Is A Duck Dive?  The duck dive is a technique used to get through or under a wave as you are paddling out and is generally used by the shortboarder.  The longboarders will generally use the push through and turtle techniques to get through/over the wave as they are paddling out.

Shortboard? Longboard?

Generally a longboard is considered a surfboard that is 9 feet and greater in length and a shortboard is generally a surfboard under 7 feet in length (these are not hard and fast definitions).

What’s The Problem?

Generally the longer the board the more volume it has, the more volume a board has the harder it is to duck dive.  Longboards, because of their size, usually have much more volume than shortboards and that is why most longboarders do not try to duck dive their boards.  The ability to duck dive a longboard is based on the volume of the board and the weight of the surfer.

What’s The Benefit?

Let me begin by explaining the Push Up and Turtle techinques used by the longboarders to get over/through waves and their limitations.

With the Push Through technique you’re basically doing a push up on you board and letting the wave pass under your raised body.  The push through technique can only be used with smaller waves but the recovery is very quick.

With the Turtle technique you need to get off your board, flip the board over and then hold the rails of board while you are submerged under it.  You need to wait until the wave passes over the board then you can right the board and get back on it.  The turtle techinque, though very effective, requires more movement and the recovery is slow.

If you can master duck diving your longboard you get the benefits of both the Push Through and Turtle techniques, fast recovery and being very effective.

Steps On How To Duck Dive A Shortboard

  1. Paddle straight towards the wave to be ducked dived.
  2. Before the wave hits you, grab the rails (with both hands) at about chest level.
  3. Push straight down on the nose of your board.
  4. At the same time you are pushing the nose of your board use one of your feet to push the tail down.  The other foot/leg will go up which allows you to put more weight on the board and thus sink it further.
  5. Your body should be following the movement of your board, you are basically executing a dive but you now have a surfboard you must dive with.
  6. The foot/leg that is pushing the tail of the board will continue to thrust straight down which will allow the nose of the board to travel towards the surface.

Watch the video below for great examples and explanations of duck diving:

Steps On How To Duck Dive A Longboard

You will basically be using the same steps to duck dive a longboard that you use to duck dive a shortboard with the following exceptions:

  • Because the board is longer you may need to grab the rails more forward than chest level.
  • Instead of pushing straight down you will need to scoop into the wave/water, in other words, push on one side of the board until it is submerged then do the other side, you will now be able to push straight down.

Please bear in mind that because of the length and volume of a longboard you will never achieve the depth of the duck dive that you can obtain with a shortboard, in fact, you’ll probably just have a couple of inches of water above your head and body.


Duck diving your longboard is not a foolish wish but a reality.  I used the technique (which I learned from my friend Leroy) for years and I’ve seen it performed by many others.

Check out my posts: “Longboard surfboard fins” and “Longboard surfing tips.”

I hope the information I provided will help you duck dive your longboard but should you have any comments or questions, please leave it in the comment section of this page.  Thanks!

4 thoughts on “How To Duck Dive A Longboard, Foolish Wish?

  1. I’ve seen this techniques on shows and in movies and never once thought of the names for them. I find this post very interesting. I live in Texas so there’s not many beaches so I have no clue about surfing or the techniques. I thinks this is great fir beginners who want to learn how to duch dive correctly.

  2. Great read!

    I have never surfed before but if I ever do I will be sure to keep this in mind. I have seen people do this while at the beach and I did wonder how they did it. Now I know.

    Thanks for the read!

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