Before you can learn how to duck dive, you may need to learn what duck diving is and what it is all about. Any breaking wave that is more than two feet high is going to require that you duck underneath the wave rather than floating right over it, and this is where the duck dive term comes from. Duck diving is not something people really learn how to do when they are first learning how to surf, because most beginning surfers are surfing the smaller waves anyway. In fact, most people that learn how to duck dive do so through necessity because they end up having to tackle a wave that was larger than what they were expecting. Still, it may be a good idea for you to learn how to duck dive before you even learn how to stand up on the board.
This way, when you do encounter a wave that is too large for you to simply float over, you will know what to do rather than having to learn very quickly at the worst possible time through necessity.
As you are padding and approaching an oncoming wave, you should be shooting to have as much speed as you possibly can. Approximately two feet before you make contact with the white water, you need to grab both of the rails, or the side edges of the board, particularly about halfway between the midpoint of the board and the nose, and you should push all of the weight in your upper body onto your hands and your arms until you feel as if the nose of the board is about to go under the water. Now you should point your head down, allowing your body to follow suit.
Once your body has gone just below the surface, the next step in the process is to bend your dominant leg, using the knee of your dominant leg to push the tail of your board under the water. The momentum that you create should be enough for you to be quickly thrust under the wave which is passing quickly over you, only requiring you to be under the water for a short period of time. As the wave begins to pass you overhead, you can let the natural flotation of your board to bring you back up to the surface. Now you should have the necessary skill to paddle yourself to the lineup, or you can paddle up to the next wave and duck dive underneath it as well.
It’s not really a difficult process to learn, but it can go a long way in preparing you for real surfing. Once you know how to duck dive to line yourself up for big waves, you can begin to surf the big ones. Practice this technique until you become comfortable, and then you can go out and tackle the big ones, showing your friends that yes, you really can learn to surf on the internet!