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Overcome, My Life /
October 18, 2022

Nerding Out on Surf Technique

Over the years, I’ve developed a very unique style of surfing due to the ways that I’ve had to adapt. People ask me all the time how I do it.


I’m never quite sure how to answer that – I just go out there and surf! But, I have adapted a TON, trained like crazy, and fine-tuned my technique which has significantly helped me get to where I am today.

If you want to nerd out with me and start talking surf, here is a breakdown of the technique behind my rides:


I remember when I was younger, my paddling skills were pretty great. I had a really powerful paddle and I could out-paddle most people my age. I guess that was due to being on the swim team when I was little and now I still have a really strong arm for paddling. After I lost my arm, my surf coach recommended that I put my arm kind of underneath my board when I paddle so that my hand is directly under the middle of my board.

I don’t go in a circle when I paddle, in case you’re wondering. I go pretty straight, actually! People are often like, “If you only paddle with one arm, how do you not go in a circle?” I always think this is so funny. I’m like, “well, the fins are in the bottom of the board, so that’s not really an issue”.

Getting Under Waves

One key thing for me is opening my eyes when I duck dive. When your eyes are open, you can often kind of maneuver your way through the clouds and the little pockets in the whitewater. Sometimes I do this thing where I stand on my board so I can sink it really deep in the water. And then I just kind of bend down, grab my board and duck dive. This allows me to get the board down way deeper than if I was just duck diving normally by starting on my stomach.

Catching the Wave

I definitely specialize in late drops! Partially this is because when I’m paddling into a wave I don’t usually like to take more than three or four strokes. I just want to get right into the wave. So yeah, I definitely take a lot of late drops and I make a lot of them so it’s not too bad! I also usually do this thing where I sit and kind of lean back to get the tail of my board in the water and then kind of like scootch forward with my board to get going forward and propel myself into the wave.

Standing Up

For standing up, I guess the momentum of the wave is the biggest thing that I focus on. By this I mean like sometimes slower, small waves are like the hardest thing to get up in. But, if the wave has some ‘oompf’ and more momentum, you can kind of just get into the wave way easier. I also always put my hand in the middle of the board to push up.

The Handle on My Board

My dad makes my handles. I remember when I was first struggling to duck dive and get out through the whitewater. He was watching me struggle and he noticed that the lifeguards had handles on their boards and he said, “ok, we’re going to make you a handle”. We get our supplies from Surf Co. Hawaii and they have these leash plugs for boards that don’t come with a leash plug. We just stick those on the board and then we get some fisherman’s surgical tube and a little bit of rope. It’s really easy to put together actually! You can put it on in like 10-15 minutes.

Relearning to Surf

It was almost nice that everything happened when I was so young because you’re so more much more adaptive when you’re young. So to re-learn to surf, I kind of just started off on a longboard and worked my way down on shorter boards and just slowly adapted with persistence. There are always struggle days, but I’m stoked that I didn’t give up!

Hope you enjoyed this fun look at my surfing technique! Here’s a video if you want to watch me put it all into practice:

This journey has not been easy, but I chose to continue to fight for my passion of surfing and to overcome. You can do the same thing with tough things in your life!

I am cheering you on to adapt and live unstoppable!

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