Surfing is something that you should try at least one time in your life. Unfortunately, many people who want to pick up surfing are afraid that they will get out on the water and embarrass themselves or get hurt.
Don’t let these fears stop you from getting out in the water! Instead, follow these top 7 tips for beginners surfers and you’ll be on the right path to surfing with ease and confidence.
- Book a lesson
We always recommend booking a lesson when you are new to surfing, getting a surfer friend to take you the first time is not the best option. Even though they may be able to surf, they may not be able to teach. We really recommend booking a lesson before hitting the waves.
Not only will this help you progress faster, it will also keep your safer from possible injuries.
- Get The Right Surfboard
Too many inexperienced surfers roll out on the beach with shortboards under their arms because they “look cool”. I’ll tell you what’s not cool: flopping around in the water for two hours because you can’t find your balance on a board that is built for experienced surfers.
Instead, use a beginner board. For surfers who are just starting out, I always recommend they start with a soft-top board. Large and long soft-top surfboards provide tons of buoyancy and stability, perfect for getting your paddling and pop-ups down, as well as a softer exterior, which is far safer considering the amount of times you’ll be bailing.
- Practice Your Technique On the Beach
Don’t worry about looking kooky. Ignore the haters and practice your techniques before getting into the water. You’ll feel far more comfortable than just paddling out blind. Rest your board in the sand and practice your pop-ups until you feel comfortable. Think of popping up like a quick push-up. It is controlled, yet fluid. Watch some videos online to get an idea of the correct form.
We also recommend lying on your board and finding your paddling “sweet spot”. You want to make sure that you’re centered on your board. Not only will this land paddling practice help to lock in your form, but it will also get you warmed up so that you don’t tire out too quickly once in the waves.
- Pick the Appropriate Waves To Practice On
Do yourself a favor and don’t walk on out to Trestles or North Shore on your first day. You will get pummeled by waves and forget why you ever wanted to try surfing in the first place. Instead, find a beach with consistently small waves that is good for beginners. All it takes is some simple research to find a local beginner spot near you.
Trust me, take some time and get used to these small waves. Surf them again and again and again until it is second nature. That dedication will eventually lead you to surfing larger and larger waves.
- Know How To Wipeout
You will never be able to avoid wiping out when you begin surfing. You are going to fall again and again. It may be frustrating, but don’t give in. Wiping out is part of the process. Have fun with each wipeout. Analyze what you did wrong or what you could have done better after every failed attempt.
Understanding how to fall, when to hold your breath, and how/when to come back up, is kind of an art. Check out some of my favorite wipeout tips here.
- Never Paddle Parallel To The Waves
Whether you decide to paddle over a small wave or duck dive under a large wave, it is necessary that you never turn your board parallel to the whitewater. Turning parallel gives the breaking wave more surface area to push back, and will likely send you plummeting towards shore where you’ll have to start all over again.
Think of your board like a knife and cut through that wave head on.
- Have a Good Time
Look, there’s no better advice that I can give you then to stay positive and have fun while you are out in the water. That is the whole point of surfing. No surfer paddles out everyday because they want to kill themselves doing it. They paddle out because each wave that they catch provides a rush of adrenaline, excitement, and fun, that they can’t get from anywhere else.
When you look at surfing as a whole, it’s quite a feat of human ingenuity. The fact that we’ve learned how to harness the almighty power of the ocean in such an exhilarating way is quite amazing.
Surfing provides a feeling unlike anything else, and I highly recommend going out at least one time in your life to see what it’s all about. Make sure to follow our beginner surf tips and you’ll be on your way to surfing like a pro in no time!
Blog written by: Camille Pilar