Catchin' Waves is a surfing mini-game played from the surfboard (formerly the hut shack) located at the Cove. In this game, the player moves the cursor up and down to steer a penguin surfing along the wave. There are four game modes: Surf Lesson, Freestyle, Competition and Survival. On Surf Lesson, it is a short surf with tips on how to surf. On Freestyle Mode, it is a normal surfing mode. On Competition Mode, there are three judges who want a certain trick or move, and on Survival Mode, you must surf through rough seas and avoid icebergs and sharks. You must do these as many times as possible to get a high score from the three judges. There are several advanced moves and tricks which you can do in mid-air, or on the water. Some of these include the "Ice Breaker" and the "Lazy Wave."
It was the first game in Club Penguin in which players could play with their puffle, although it is limited to red puffles.
Prior to the release of stamps, Competition and Survival modes could be played by non-members.
Prior to an update in November 2013, it was not possible to play with a red puffle and use a surfboard aside from the default one due to puffles taking up the hand item slot.
Despite the Cove opening on May 24, 2007, Catchin' Waves was not playable for over two weeks later. This was done to coincide with the movie Surf's Up, which premiered the same week, as part of a small partnership Club Penguin had with Sony at the time.
If you bring a puffle with you, you can get a few more points which may get you a few more coins. You only can get more points by doing tricks in the air. Then your puffle will get you the maximum 3 points. Note that you cannot use this secret in the last game mode, Survival, where you will have to escape from chunks of ice from the Iceberg, as your puffle will refuse to come with the player, probably because your puffle is scared - which is ironic because of the Red Puffle's adventurous, fearless nature. However, it may also be proof that even they have limits.
You can earn much more coins in this secret if you are real good at Catchin' Waves. First play the 3rd level, Competition. Then win the first game. It does not matter on you points and the score you earn from the Judges. Then click on "Continue" when it comes out on the top of your screen. Then keep on doing this until you lose the game. Then you get your coins. If you survive very long and doing tricks all the while, you might go to the High Scores.
If you are playing the 1st, 2nd or 4th level, which are the Freestyle, Survival and Surf Lesson. Then always at the last part when the water is going down, try as hard as you can to lose balance and fall (if you have still 1 - 3 boards left). Then you will go back a little and you won't lose any points! Then do this until you don't have any more boards they will say on top (do not do this if they show you no sticks under boards) if you have any more. Then you do not lose your balance and just let your penguin go to the end.
It is possible to get the stamp about jumping the height of 20 penguins by getting the silver surfboard and going into any mode. Wait until you're way ahead of the wave, then jump the hardest. This might take a few tries.
Shooting the tube: Hold back until you reach the curved part of the wave. This will slowly gain points.
Frontflip: Move the mouse in clockwise circles while in the air.
Backflip: Move the mouse in counter-clockwise circles while in the air.
Pressing any W, A, S or D / ←, ↓, → or ↑ in the air lets your penguin do a basic aerial trick. Flipping at the same time increases points.
Grind: When in the air pressing the left mouse button pulls your penguin down faster, if you do not stop pressing the button your penguin will grind when landed. It makes points slowly. To get points more quickly, do tricks while grinding.
Trick/Grind: Do a trick (Blender, Icebreaker etc.) and leap into the air, then grind. (You can do flips with this.)