wellenquerung mit dem surfboard

You are a beginner surfer and want to know which possibilites you have to get with your surf board through a broken wave?

You should know that getting through a broken wave to the line up depends very much on your board. There are great differences in crossing waves with a short board, a longboard or a softboard. So how do you get as easy as  possible through an already broken wave?

Table of contents

  1. Turtle roll
  2. Duck dive
  3. Safe seat

Getting through the wave with my surfboard – The turtle roll

The turtle roll is probably one of the easiest techniques to get through a broken wave that is coming towards you. Whether you are a beginner with a soft board or an experienced surfer with a long board – this technique is a popular method to get yourself and your board safely through the wave. Both kinds of surf boards have a lot of volume  – and therefore great buoyancy – which makes a duck dive almost impossible. But with a turtle roll you have your board well under control and can bring it safely through the white-water wave.


Get in the water and walk as far as you can with your board by your side and one hand on the nose. When you cannot lift your board over the waves anymore you lay on it and paddle towards the line-up. It is important that you only lay on the board once the bigger waves have passed you already. If then a broken waves comes in your direction, get ready. About 1,5 meters in front of the white-water wave you grab your board left and right on the rail close to your chest. Take a deep breath and then you turn yourself and your board around, bringing yourself beneath your board.

It is important to keep some distance between you and your board when you are under water. Angle your arms slightly and make sure your head is not near your board. The nose of your board has to be under water. The board should be on the surface of the water. There must not be any air between board and water. Additionally the nose should face the direction of the wave. Once all this is done and the position is correct you can relax for a short moment and wait for the wave to pass over you. To turn the wave around once the broken wave has passed you, you pull one side down while pushing it up on the other side. And to get yourself back on the board paddle hard with your feet and push yourself back on the board.

Common mistakes

  • The surf board is not in at the right angle to the wave
  • The surfboard is not lying on the water surface
  • The nose of the board is not under water
  • You turn around too early
  • You turn around too late
  • Your body is too close to the board under water

    Getting through the wave with my surfboard – The duck dive

    The duck dive is the possibility to dive with your surfboard through the wave. For a clean duck dive you need a lot of practice. But the good news is that you can practice the duck dive in the pool or in a lake. When doing a duck dive it is important to have a board that doesn’t have too much volume and is therefore pushed under the water easily. The duck dive is especially suitable for short boards. If you have a longer board or one with more volume it is easier to get through the wave with a turtle roll.

    There are two kinds of wave that you can dive through with a duck dive: broken waves or unbroken waves.

    The difference between duck diving those two waves is the pressure. When diving through a broken wave the pressure comes from the wave. In the unbroken wave the pressure is like a whirl in the wave which is moving in circles in the wave. This can help you to get through under the water.


    When you want to dive through an already broken wave you need a bit of a head start to avoid being pulled away from the wave. You have to paddle in the direction of the wave until you are about the length of your surfboard away from the wave. Then grab the rail with your hands and push the board nose forward beneath the water. Your aim is to build up as much speed as possible with your paddling to get as deep and far as possible through the face of the wave. Once you are as far as possible in the wave, your press the tail down with your foot or your knee (depending on the length of your board). This is how you make sure that your board is horizontal beneath the wave. Like this the wave can break perfectly over you. During the whole movement sequence, make sure that you perform the movements quickly one after the other. Afterwards you should try to bring your upper body to your board. Be careful not to pull the surfboard towards your upper body as the wave is still above you. When the wave has passed you, you can easily pull the nose up. The natural buoyancy of your surfboard will bring you back to the surface.

    surf training duck dive

    Common mistakes

    • Start the duck dive too early
    • Paddling too weak
    • Dive to little into the water
    • Eyes are closed
    • Don’t press the tail down enough

      Getting through the wave with my surfboard – safe seat

      Letting a broken wave pass you while sitting on your board is a possibility for beginners, when you don’t have your board fully under control yet. This method is suitable for every surfer who is surfing waves that are not too big. Plus, it is a very quick method in the case of waves breaking in the channel.

      gefahren beim surfen kollisionen


      The first important thing to note with that method is that you are sitting on the tail of your board instead of lying on your surfboard.

      If you are sitting in the channel and a wave breaks whilst you are taking a little break this is the easiest way. Grab the rail of your board with one hand and paddle with the other hand, turning your board with the nose in the direction of the beach. Now you are sitting with your back to the wave. Grab your board with both hands on both sides and pull it towards you until it is standing almost perpendicular in the water. Like this the water can pass you without pulling you along. Once the wave has passed you, turn your board around, climb on and continue paddling.

      Common mistakes

      • You turn the board around to fast
      • You don’t pull the board close enough to you
      • You don’t hold the surfboard tight enough

        Let´s stay safe in the water