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August 12th, 2016
Posted In: How-To
It is always helpful to get a few surfing tips for beginners from those experienced in the surfing world. Surfing is a popular sport among folks of all ages, and for good reason, being that it’s a ton of FUN! A few worthwhile tips can get you oriented as well as keep you safe from some of the most common dangers and pitfalls that come with the territory. With that in mind, let’s get started with those surfing tips for beginners!
Surfboards for Beginners
Having access to a board of the correct size will make all of the difference in the world. Larger boards are undoubtedly going to offer a lot more stability. The rule of thumb suggests that the ideal board is at least one foot taller than the surfer using it. As a beginner, foam boards will help in making it easier and more comfortable to paddle out. You don’t want to over exert yourself before you even get out there. Find an experienced surfer friend or surf shop employee to help point you in the direction of the perfect board fit for you and send you on your way to finding your sweet spot.
Invest in a Used Board
If you have never surfed before and are looking to try your hand at it, look into just renting a board at first. On the other side of things, beginner-surfers who are sure they want to continue pursuing surfing, might benefit from buying a used board. It’s normal for newcomers put a lot of wear and tear on a board while still in the learning process. You will worry less about the bumps and bruises on your board if you haven’t put a significant investment into it, and in turn, you’ll shoot the waves with a little less hesitance and a little more freedom to give it a go!
Choosing the Right Wetsuit
Wearing the right wetsuit while in the water can be advantageous to anyone, but especially to a beginner who is already feeling ill-equipped when it comes to surf skill. The right suit will enable you to endure cooler water temperatures, providing you with more time in the waves to practice, or the option to surf in the off season! Keep in mind that there are many factors that go into choosing a wetsuit for any sport. Take into consideration the thickness, stretch, type of seam, and other added features! Have any more wetsuit questions? Check out our how-to on selecting the right surfing wetsuits!
Ability to Swim
The ability to swim is crucial for any water sport, but especially surfing. Paddling out requires at least rudimentary swimming capabilities. You might be able to use your board to float, but falling into the water or even becoming separated from your board is all too inevitable. (Speaking of which, do yourself a favor and use an ankle leash for your own convenience). You should never get beyond standing depth in the water if you cannot swim, so start small!
Respect Other Surfers
This aspect of surfing etiquette is one of the most important surfing tips for beginners: when you are out in crowded waters, respect other surfers’ space. When there are a lot of people out shredding and boards are flying, you can get into trouble quickly. If the waters are crowded, take a breather to sit in the sand and learn all that you can by watching your friends or some local surfers you may admire. Just because you’re out of the water doesn’t mean it’s a lost opportunity to learn something new.
Keep Your Eyes On The Weather
Surfing is a sport that is largely dependent on the weather conditions. Ideally, the best surfing comes with a beautiful sunny day. It isn’t exactly safe to be surfing during a storm. If the winds begin to pick up, the waters can get rough out there. Skill level does dictate your level of comfort, so some of your more experienced friends might take the opportunity to run for the waves. Just remember to pace yourself, trust your instincts and stay aware of your surroundings.
Just Go For It
Nothing ventured nothing gained!
Surfing is definitely not a spectator’s sport; it requires focus, determination and physical exertion. No one is saying it’ll be totally easy, but I can promise that it’ll be worth it. After all, the challenge is what makes your first wave taste so sweet! Give it your all and ride it out. Don’t worry about how you look or trying to avoid that first mouthful of water. As long as you’re having fun, you’re already there.
Have any surfing tips for beginners? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Avoid crowded lineups. If it has a carpark and easy access, crowds are guaranteed. I suggest finding a spot a little off the beaten path. It takes 10,000 repetitions to learn a new skill so sharing a lineup means less opportunity. Fewer surfers mean more waves for you.
2. Go early, really early. Dawn Patrol is the best time to learn and by the time everyone else gets to the beach you’ll be toweling off and heading to breakfast with 20 waves under your belt and a smile on your face.
3. Surfing isn’t just a summer sport. You’ll get way more waves in the Fall, Winter and Spring. With wetsuit technology exploding every year there’s no excuse to skip the colder months.
4. Hire an experienced instructor. A good instructor will fast track your surfing and you’ll breeze through the usual obstacles that block your progress.
5. Include core fitness, endurance training (swimming is perfect) and balance training in your workouts. Get an IndoBoard (or similar balance trainer) and do push-ups and squats on it. Every day.
6. Surf. A lot. This includes the windy, crappy onshore days. Surfing when the wind is onshore quickens your response time.
Hope this helps.
Robbie Nelson, ProSurf Coaches
Very detailed and inspiring. Thanks for sharing this post!
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