Big Wave Paddle Board Surfing Lessons

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Mavericks SUP Wade Lawson

I have found that the more I share and help people with their dream of tackling monster surf, the more I get in return.

In the past few years, I have spent more time in the ER than most people have in their entire lives. I have learned a few things, to say the least.

One of the greats, Ken Bradshaw, is available for professional one-on-one consulting; however, he’s on the North Shore of Oahu…and he’s not cheap.  So, I’m putting it out there.  If you’d like some insight from someone who has been through the meat grinder, I, too, am available for consultation.

I don’t charge money for this; however, you can pitch in for gas…and I will take you on as a student.  I’ll show you the spots, tell you where not to be, tell you when to go and how to keep cool when you get blown up.

Surfing big waves is very serious business…and some people do drown out there. It will take time, as there is a window in California when the surf gets really heavy.  There is a lot of physical, mental, psychological and spiritual  preparation involved.   If you are serious, I’ll teach you everything I know.

Nelscott.reef.big.wave.sup.wade.lawson    Nelscott.reef.big.wave.sup.wade.lawson

About big wave stand up paddle board lessons

If you are a beginner to paddle boarding, please check out the paddle board lessons page. If you are a total thrill seeker looking for the ultimate rush, then read on…

Stand up paddle board (SUP) big wave surfing is really taking the sport of stand up paddle boarding to the extreme. I’m a sponsored big wave paddle board surfer because of my ability to take on waves up to 35 feet in size. The thing I like the most about paddle boarding on these mammoth waves, opposed to a surf board, is the additional size of the paddle board and the added maneuvering control with the paddle. If you are an avid surfer and have paddle board surfing experience, are a thrill seeker like me and want to drop in on 10 foot and bigger waves, then it’s time to push the paddle to the ultimate extreme.

Big wave stand up paddle board lesson fundamentals

Big wave surfing on either a surf board or a stand up paddle board is serious business and not to be attempted unless someone really knows what they are getting into. Before ever attempting to ride a big wave on a stand up paddle board, it is imperative to be an excellent swimmer, have a strong surfing ability and experience with surfing on a stand up paddle board. If someone has no extensive experience with surfing and paddle board surfing, they should never attempt to take on a big wave paddle board surfing.


  • c a andrews

    i ride a 9 6 jeff clark i am 160lb i don’t like getting hit by the board getting through surf or during the rare situation when it wacks you i like the extra for paddling but would like to go down smaller , it seems that is better all round for bigger surf riding and dealing with the power , what board do you recomend and any tips on drop in , i instinctivly drag the face for stability at times and dig in on bottom turns thank you for your expertise and experience
    c andrews

    • Hey C. Andrews…for guys our size, the Jeff Clark 9’6″ is the best board on the market for big waves. Haley Fiske says it’s his go-to gun for anything under 30ft. – and he is built like a college linebacker. I ride a Lyle Carlson 11’8″ for Mavs and Todos. For Nelscott Reef in Oregon, I ride a 13’0 that was shaped by Dan Cobley in Hermosa Beach. It gets you in super early.

      Send me a note at and I’ll tell you more.

    • I think the better question is: Why are guns shaped like young vaginas vs. old vaginas? The answer is a simple one: hydrodynamics.
      Thank you for your question!


  • ted temple

    Wade or you in the Half Moon Bay area given you ride Mavericks? I have been teaching myself to sup double o/h + in the san mateo county area and am looking for guidance in going bigger.

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