Top 8 Tips for Learning to Surf
When it comes to any sport, everyone has to start somewhere — at the beginning. However, not all surfers, beginners and experienced alike, know all the ins and outs of surfing. Read on to find out different tips for learning to surf that may be unknown to even experienced surfers.
Tip 1: Use the right gear.
It is important that you have the right surfboard and gear for surfing. If the board is too small, it will be much harder to learn the basics of surfing. Thus, most adults use longboards to learn to surf on. As a beginner, a properly fitting wetsuit is important. If it’s too big, it will be uncomfortable and may cause rashes, bleeding, and make it hard to paddle and stand up. Therefore, the wetsuit should be tight, which will also increase warmth.
Of course, when it comes to learning about the right boards to ride, no matter your experience level, we have you covered at Compare Surfboards! If you haven’t already, check out the beginner’s surfboard review to get an idea of the right type of surfboard to learn with:
Tip 2: Learn from a trained instructor or school.
When learning to surf, it’s very helpful to attend a surf school with instructors that are well trained in surf instruction. This will assist in ensuring that you have the safety knowledge to keep yourself and others around you safe while surfing.
If you live in Sydney, you are fortunate to have access to one of the best surf school’s in Australia, Matt Grainger’s Manly Surf School.
Tip 3: Surf safely.
Surfing is supposed to be fun. Therefore, there are several safety tips that should be followed.
- First, the board should never be between yourself and the waves.
- Second, avoid collisions with other surfers by maintaining a safe distance, such as twenty feet. A good rule of thumb is to be the length of yourself, leash, and board combined away from other surfers to avoid collisions.
- Third, it is recommended that beginners, especially, wear a leash or leg rope. This helps prevent the board from getting lost in the waves, allowing the you the opportunity to get back on the board safely.
- Fourth, it is recommended that beginners, especially, use a safety nose guard. This is due to the possibility of impacts with the surfboard. Most parts of the board will leave only a nasty bruise when connecting with the body but the nose can do real damage.
- Fifth, it is highly recommended that beginners never surf alone.
- Sixth, it is not a good idea to push the board through the water fin first because the fin is designed to keep the board pointing nose first.
- Seventh, all surfers, but especially beginner surfers, should consider wearing a rash guard (even if it’s just a vest or t-shirt) to prevent the rash obtained on the chest and stomach while paddling. This will also help with sun protection.
- Eighth, take precautions when falling off the board, such as covering the back of your head with wrists over your ears or by wearing a helmet, and stay under water for a couple of moments. When you emerge, look for your board. A loose board can be very dangerous for swimmers.
Tip 4: Be in shape.
Surfing is a sport. Therefore, it requires an immense amount of physical exercise. As a result, it is a good idea to be in shape before learning to surf or be getting in shape as you’re learning. Regardless, expect to be sore during your first attempts at surfing.
Tip 5: Learn surfing etiquette.
Surfing is done individually, but involves a culture with an unwritten code of conduct. This is extremely important because it can help prevent accidents and shows respect for other surfers. Some of these rules are about politeness, such as waiting your turn while in the lineup. It doesn’t matter if you are on a longboard and can move faster or catch a wave further out to sea, it is important to show respect to other surfers by waiting your turn. Second, only one wave per surfer. This means that if one surfer is riding a wave, don’t ride the same wave. This is also related to safety. Other surfer-specific rules involve respecting established spots and seniority. It is also important to follow the vibe of the lineup. For instance, certain groups of surfers may be less tolerant of beginners. It’s important to pay attention to surfing traffic in order to follow expectations. Most importantly, be friendly with other surfers, but also be responsible while surfing.
Tip 6: Learn paddling techniques.
It should come as no surprise that paddling is one of the most important staple skills in surfing. Paddling is necessary to catch waves. It is important that the muscles used in these techniques are strong, such as the shoulders, arms, and back. Otherwise, you won’t catch many waves and injuries may occur. Thus, it is important to do warm up exercises involving paddling, especially as a beginner surfer. One way this can be done is through paddling past the lineup and rounding an easily accessible buoy. Another way this can be done is through paddling along the beach when it’s flat. It’s important to remember to use good technique, such as allowing your hands to be far out in front and close to the rails of the board. Using these techniques, you can dig deep into the water with every stroke, putting more energy into paddling, which is the most important part of paddling, not speed.
Tip 7: Practice makes perfect.
No one is an expert at something the first time they do it. Surfing is no exception. Practice will make you a better surfer and increase your skills.
Nothing can take the place of persistence. Get out often. Don’t make excuses for why you shouldn’t go. Having a partner to surf with will help with motivation, especially on cold, rainy mornings.
Tip 8: Have fun.
Surfing is supposed to be enjoyed. Go into the sport with an open mind and be ready to have fun.
Surfing is such a rewarding activity for those that indulge in it. However, it is just as important that surfing is done safely. So, contact us for more information on how to have fun surfing — safely and the right way.