Learn to Paddle Like World Champion John John Florence

John john Florence Sprint Paddling Technique

John John Florence is a great example of a strong paddler.  In this video, John John Florence Sprint Paddling Technique, we investigate some key elements of a sprint paddling technique, which is slightly different than a regular paddling stroke.  When do we sprint?  Catching a wave, avoiding getting caught inside, or battling for priority in a competition.  

Even though we spend less than 5% of our paddling time sprinting, it's a pretty important aspect to our arsenal!  

The video goes more into detail of the following John John Florence Sprint Paddling Technique.  Here is a summary:

  • Entry angle is steeper. When sprinting as opposed to regular paddling, the Lift phase (or the first phase) of the underwater armstroke is shortened because in this scenario, we’re really focused on getting our hand and forearm to the front propulsive phase of the stroke which is the second phase of the underwater armstroke.
  • Keeping the elbow high during that second phase of the stroke (the front propulsive phase).
  • Maintaining horizontal balance and reducing resistive drag as much as possible. Look first at how the noses of their boards are cutting through the frontal resistive drag.  
  • Not only is the nose of the board helping break up this frontal resistance, but also they are both using their fingertips and arms to cut through and create a hole so that the rest of their body and board can proceed through that hole. When most of our body is submerged in the water when paddling, this is something we need to do so that each stroke can help us travel the furthest before taking the next stroke.
  • Positioning of their heads – nice and low to the surface of the water. You don’t see them using a lot of energy trying to arch their backs. Instead, they reserve that energy by relaxing those back muscles, relaxing their neck muscles, and redirecting that energy towards engaging their latissimus dorsi and pectoralis major muscles which are our big power muscles for paddling. Their heads are relaxed and low to the water, with their faces almost touching the water.

Whether you are new to surfing or have been surfing for decades, you'll gain valuable information so that you stop struggling with paddling.  Paddling is easily the most frustrating part of the surfing experience.  With very little effort, you can make paddling easier.  

Watch the video, write notes, ask questions.  I welcome comments and questions.  Please share with your friends if you find it helpful.

In the meantime, I'll see you in the water,



Get Free Training, Quick Tips, News and Updates with the monthly newsletter!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates. Your information will not be shared.


50% Complete

Jump In & Join THOUSANDS of Stoked Surfers!

Get Free Training, Quick Tips, and updates on Surf Training Events (Paddling, Surf Technique, Surf Fitness and more) delivered right to your inbox with the monthly newsletter. 

No Junk, All Value, No Charge...Stoked!