That was the advice a guide told me on my one and only surf zone paddle. We had some extra time at the end of the tour. The guide asked what we wanted to do with the time. My nephew asked him to teach us to surf the kayaks. He said to get ahead of the crest and lean back. He was still talking, but a wave picked me up and I leaned back and was off like a rocket. What a blast.
I'm glad he told me to lean back after teaching myself to lean forward in whitewater. Mike Sawyer, remember him, he told me to head into ledges aggressively treating the water like it slapped my Mama. But you don't want to do that in the surf, I guess. You lean back and get the push right along. It was cool. The three of us, guide, nephew, and I, spent the rest of the time plus some right on to sunset surfing those little SOT's in the mild surf. I only dumped once.