Is surfing on your bucket list? Why not do it and enjoy the sport. It’s a fun and healthy way to keep fit and also an exciting new way to enjoy great coastlines across the world. We’ve put together a list of top surfing tips for beginners, so have a read and get planning on your next surfing adventure.
Sign up to a surfing school.
You may be tempted to catch the waves on your own but it’s never a bad idea to pick a good surfing school or even go on a surfing holiday as it will put you in better stead when mastering the skill. Surfing schools are available almost anywhere you can surf. Check them out here. When choosing a surfing school or instructor, always ensure that they have a good level of experience. This can be made sure by checking reviews online or by making a booking through trusted platforms such as ours. An experienced instructor will not only teach you valuable skills and keep you safe but will also inspire you to be a better surfer.
Pick the right surfboard.
Picking the right surfboard is as paramount as picking the right surf school. The right surfboard will enhance your experience as a beginner. Those who are just starting out as surfers will find that surfboards with a bigger surface area are more appealing than smaller boards. This also allows you to master surfing fundamentals and float much better all around. Soft top surfboards are also recommended for beginners. An alternative to hard fiberglass exteriors, this not only provides comfort sitting on it, but your body will also be cushioned from falling over. If you have signed up through a surfing school, an instructor will usually help with picking the right board.
Choosing a location to surf is an important part of your learning process. As beginners mastering various surfing skills, it takes time and effort, therefore a suitable surfing beach must be chosen. Choose a beach with smaller swells to guide you effectively during your learning process, you will find that surf school often pick quiet beaches to run their lessons. As a beginner surfer you may not be aware of the various factors that influence a good surf, for example, the tides, types of waves and beach breaks all contribute to your learning process. As such an effective surfing instructor can help you through the process.
Practice on dry land
Before you jump into the sea, get some practice on land first. Do some mock standups on your surfboard, get a feel for the balance. Get your stretching done, check your surf leash and take some time to observe the sea. Have a look around and watch the other surfer and see what they are up to. If you intend on taking surfing lessons, your instructor will first guide you through theory lessons on land before you catch an actual wave. This is common practice to ensure that you are equipped with the adequate knowledge before taking it any further. As you get more experienced you will notice that this a practice is essential before taking it to the sea.
Practice sitting on the board
This might seem like the most obvious skill but isn’t the easiest nor the most comfortable when you are balancing your surfboard in the sea. There are 2 options depending on where you are surfing the world. The first to dangle your feet in the water which offers more stability but is unsafe when exposed to marine wildlife such as sharks and jellyfish. The other to sit with your feet out of the water but is less comfortable. Get a feel for both and practice them as necessary.
Master the prone and pop out
An important surfing skill in its own right, it is easiest to practice on dry land and once you get used to it, practice it in the water. Lie facedown on your surfboard while making sure you are balanced and centered. Have a feel for it, move around and practice the paddling motion as this position may become your main source of mobility. Once you get used to this, the ‘pop out’ becomes a necessary part of the movement. It is done when approaching a wave and should be done as quick, smooth and seamlessly as possible, much like the movement of a pushup.
Paddle your way forward
Paddling moves you in the direction you wish to head in and as easy as it sounds, it is important to practice it until you get it right. Perhaps the most important skill in perfecting your paddling abilities is to find the right rhythm and keep to it. You must also get used to it, as it may be exhausting in the initial stages.
Wipeouts, get back up!
This is a constant in surfing. You win some waves, you will lose some and as a result, get wiped out. You be pushed into the sea and fall more times than successfully catching a swell in the beginning stages. The most important thing is to keep persevering and remember that it is all part of the game.
Bend your knee, not your back.
When you do master standing on a surfboard and catching a wave, make sure to bend your knee as opposed to your back. This provides you with better posture and balance and will allow you to ride a wave much better. It’s also a much better look all around.
Stay perpendicular to the whitewater.
When breaking a wave ahead of you, go over it or duck under it. If you and your board are caught horizontally by a wave, you’re going to get hit and pushed toward shore. Instead stay perpendicular to the part of the wave that is breaking and knife your way through.