Tips for Surfing Big Waves

Are you feeling a little intimidated by the giant waves that tumble towards you as you paddle out? Don’t worry, every surfer at some point in their lives has felt that way. But rather than letting the fear consume you, it’s time to take on those big waves with confidence and style. After all, isn’t that why we surf? Here are some tried and tested tips to help you overcome your fears and make the most out of the big waves you encounter.

Tips for Surfing Big Waves

Surfing big waves is not for the faint of heart, but it can be one of the most exhilarating experiences in a surfer’s life. The key to surfing big waves is preparation and technique. One of the most important things to remember is to paddle out confidently and never attempt to duck dive a big wave. Instead, turtle roll or punch through the wave to get to the other side. Once you’re in the lineup, take your time and watch the waves for a bit to better understand their patterns. When you’re ready to catch a wave, commit fully and paddle hard, and when you’re up, focus on maintaining your balance and using your body to guide your board down the face of the wave. Above all, never panic and always respect the power of the ocean. With these tips in mind, go out there and tackle those big waves like the pro surfer you are destined to be.Tips for Surfing Big Waves

Surfing big waves is not for the faint of heart, but it can be one of the most exhilarating experiences that a surfer can have. Riding tall and imposing waves requires great skill, absolute confidence, and a lot of preparation. Are you ready to take on the challenge and go on an exciting adventure with the giants of the ocean?

Preparation is Key

Before you start riding big waves, it’s necessary to be physically and mentally prepared. Make sure you are on top of your fitness game, enhance your strength training and cardio exercises to build up endurance and gain the stamina needed to surf for extended periods. Eat healthily and stay hydrated both on and off the water. Also, it’s crucial to practice safety first by always surfing with a partner or with a group. This way, you have help in case of any mishap while surfing.

Technique Matters

While surfing big waves, it’s crucial to master the skill of surfing in general. It would be best if you were confident with your paddling, pop-up, and surfing down the line to be able to take on mammoth waves towering above 20 feet! Practice and attain proficiency in these skills on smaller waves before attempting more significant waves.

When surfing big waves, it’s crucial to paddle out confidently and assertively with good timing. Compared to smaller waves, the timing for paddling out of big waves is critical. Attempting to duck dive through the wave could leave you winded and breathless, making it harder to paddle out. Instead, use turtle rolling or punch through the wave to make it to the other side.

Another essential technique is to watch the waves for a while, so you can gauge the rhythm of the breaks, and arm yourself with tips that can come in handy when attempting to catch a wave. This helps you understand the rolling pattern of the incoming waves and differentiate the smaller ones, also known as the “inside waves,” from the massive sets that can come from further out.


When catching a big wave, committing yourself is vital. Once you spot the wave you want, don’t hesitate; paddle straight for it, and paddle hard! As the wave picks you up, focus on trying to keep your balance, using your body to move from side to side and guide your board down the face of the wave. It’s essential to shift your weight onto your back leg, and your back foot should be slightly angled to help you control your direction and speed.

It’s common for a surfer to wipeout, lose it and fall off while attempting to catch big waves, but when you fall, try to do so away from your board to avoid getting hit by it. When you’re ready to get back up again, jump back onto your board, quickly paddle back out, and keep riding those waves.

Respect the Power of the Ocean

One key thing to keep in mind when surfing big waves is always to respect the power of the ocean. Those waves are not to be underestimated. Remember to focus on your safety first, putting on the right wetsuit, leash, and never going solo. Know your limits and choose the right time and place to surf. It helps to surf with experienced surfers as you learn more from them and they can take you through the best techniques to master this exciting surf style.

Whether you do it with old used surfboards for sale or expensive brand-new surf gear, the beauty of big wave surfing is being in the moment and enjoying the thrill of surfing giants. Don’t forget to have fun, appreciate the beauty of the waves crashing around you, and enjoy the ride.

In Conclusion

Big wave surfing is a thrilling and awe-inspiring experience, but it’s important to know the risks and be properly prepared before venturing out into the water. By focusing on preparation, mastering the necessary techniques, committing fully, and always respecting the power of the ocean, you’ll be on your way to catching some of the world’s most significant and most breathtaking waves. Whether you’re using one of those old used surfboards for sale or not, confidence, respect and courage are some of the critical elements needed to surf big waves. So go forth, catch those waves, and have a blast!

The Right Gear

Having the right equipment is essential to surfing big waves. It would be best if you had a board that has enough buoyancy to keep you afloat, given the weight of a big wave, yet light enough so you can handle it. Also, the fins must be sturdy enough to control your movements and guide your board down the face of the wave. A leash is also necessary, so that you remain with your board as you surf, even if you wipeout. Finally, ensure you wear a wetsuit that fits well and keeps you warm in case the water is too cold, and to add extra buoyancy.

Know the Conditions

It is essential to know the prevailing conditions before tackling a big wave. One of the critical things to keep in mind is the wind. Offshore winds are ideal as they help smooth out the waves, allowing you to get a more extended ride. Cross-shore winds are not ideal, as they can create choppy, disorganized waves that are challenging to surf. Know the tides to ensure you surf during the two hours leading up to high tide, as that is when the waves will be at their biggest.

Watch Big Wave Surfers

One of the best ways to learn how to surf big waves is to watch big wave surfers in action. You could watch tutorials on Youtube, but watching experienced surfers in person is a great way to learn from the pros. Observe their tactics, the way they approach the waves, and how they position themselves. Most experienced surfers are accustomed to being watched and won’t mind answering a few questions about their technique.

Trust Yourself

Confidence is everything when attempting to catch a big wave. Keep your focus and do not let fear get in the way of your ride. Remember that you’ve prepared yourself well, practiced your techniques, and know you have the right gear. Trust yourself, and you will take on those waves with confidence and style!


Surfing big waves can be one of the most challenging experiences for a surfer but also one of the most rewarding. Remember to be prepared both mentally and physically, know the conditions, practice your techniques, watch and learn from experienced surfers, and stay confident in your abilities. If you have the right mindset and gear, there is no reason why you can’t challenge yourself to catch waves that most surfers would not dare. So, go ahead and make use of those old used surfboards for sale, or buy a shiny new one, and get out there, catch those waves, and have fun!


Still, have some burning questions about surfing big waves? Here are some FAQs about the topic to help you out.

What kind of board is best for surfing big waves?

The board you choose for big wave surfing should be buoyant and have enough volume a bit larger than the typical shortboard. The longer length helps you to catch the wave quicker while providing excellent control while going down the waves. It can be a step-up board or a gun, generally ranging from 7-9ft in length.

What are some essential safety tips for surfing big waves?

Always surf with a partner or a group, respect the ocean, and it’s essential to know the right safety procedures. Be sure to train to be a stronger and proficient swimmer. Inspect and maintain your equipment regularly, wear proper safety gear, such as a wetsuit, leash, and helmet. Ensure you know first aid procedures so you can respond promptly in case of a surf-related injury.

Is surfing big waves only for professional surfers?

Big wave surfing is for everyone; however, it requires expertise and competence on smaller waves first. Once you have honed your skill and followed the essential safety tips, then you can start to catch the bigger waves.

Can you surf big waves in warm climates?

Yes, you can surf big waves in warm climates. A big wave is created by any weather system, and it’s not necessary that tropical areas only have small waves. During El Nino, warm water can cause bigger waves in surfer-friendly beaches.

Do you need to be a certain age to surf big waves?

There is no age limit when it comes to surfing big waves since skills are acquired with practice and experience. However, before attempting big waves, make sure you have the physical and mental capability to handle the challenge.

What is the best time of day to surf big waves?

The best time to surf big waves is during high tide or the two hours leading up to high tide. During this time, the waves will be much bigger, and the waves’ energy will be strongest.

How do I know if the waves are too big to surf safely?

You must know your limitations and be aware of the ocean conditions. If you’re not accustomed to surfing big waves, start with small waves that you’re comfortable with and slowly progress to more significant ones. Always check with local authorities, weather patterns, and consult with other surfers when surfing in unfamiliar territories.

What is the worst that could happen if I wipeout when surfing big waves?

A typical fall from a surfboard is no big deal. A wipeout when surfing big waves is a different story. Falling from significant heights and being underneath the waves for an extended period can cause serious injuries like drowning, broken bones, head injuries or bruising.

How do I recover after falling while surfing a big wave?

When you fall while surfing big waves, take deep breaths and try to swim to the surface as quickly as