Sup Technique: How to paddle through breaking waves

Paddling over white water Jimmy Blakeney video
Global Partner

BIC Sup legend, waterman and ACA Sup instructor Jimmy Blakeney walks us through strategy for standup paddling out into the surf through breaking waves in this video.

Tips from the Top:  Jimmy Blakeney on Paddling through Breaking Waves

Here’s the overview.  Be sure to watch the video above to see demonstration of the tips found here and a more comprehensive understanding of these statements.

Be aware of your surroundings.  Know who’s around you and whether losing your equipment might put someone near by in a dangerous situation.

For smaller waves:
OPTION 1:  Lay down on your board and paddle out with your paddle on the deck in front of you.

OPTION 2:  Paddle out in a kneeling position and paddle over the white water by leaning back and taking a hard stoke as you hit the foam.

For larger waves:
When standing up and paddling out through the surf, you’ll want to take a surfer’s stance with one foot in front of the other (see video).  Stand further back on your board in order to get the nose up when punching through the white water. Having forward momentum is important when moving through white water because without it, you’re much less stable.

Keep your knees bent and your center of gravity low over your board.  Keep that forward motion momentum in order to drive over the breaking waves.

Use your paddle as a brace in the moment the white water hits you.  Keep moving.  If you have to drop to one knee, get back up quickly and punch through to the outside of the impact zone.

Good luck out there!  Be safe and have FUN!


Previous articleStay in the Zone: What to expect at this year’s Surf Expo Orlando!
Next articleDay #1 from Copenhagen: Spills, thrills and gold medals for the men!
Evelyn O’Doherty
Evelyn O'Doherty, owner & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0, worked her way up the ranks in the world of stand up paddling. A former surfer gone rogue, Evelyn stepped onto a SUP for the first time in 2009 when a plaguing neck injury kept her out of the water from surfing. Discovering the core benefits and expanded perspective on the water that stand up paddling brings, Ev immediately was hooked. She became a strong SUP racer in the North East and a year-round SUP surfer, gathering multiple top brand sponsorships including becoming a team rider for Starboard SUP and a national ambassador for Kialoa, as well as celebrating all aspects of the sport with additional brand ambassadorships including lululemon athletica, Clif Bar, Cobian, Kaenon & Indo Board. Her love of watersports and commitment to advocacy in preserving our marine environments led to a short film made with The Nature Conservancy as part of their Clean Water initiatives on Long Island, NY, called "A New Perspective". Evelyn just keeps paddling. Today, she's stepped up to take over the helm at Standup Journal after having worked for the magazine for 2 years as senior online editor. Her dedication and belief in the power of print to immerse readers in the watersports they love even if they don't have access to the water in a daily existence plus a powerful desire to spotlight the amazing people doing rad sh*t on the water is what drives her vision for Standup Journal 2.0. Evelyn welcomes the conversation about how to make the magazine benefit as many people as possible and encourages feedback, letters to the editor and communication at . Now, as owner/publisher for Standup Journal., Evelyn continues to live in East Hampton NY where she has daily access to the water. When the swell is working, you can find her in Montauk rattling around in her Ford Ranger surfboards hanging out the back headed for points East.