Perhaps one of the most complex sports that’s making people feel excited and curious about is surfing. When seeing seasoned surfers playing and riding along with the sea waves, it seems impossible not to be in awe. Sometimes, it might even make you wonder how it would be like to try to learn how to surf.
But the thing is surfing is not something you could easily pick up as you’d need to put in a lot of time, work, and effort to be better at it. Though surfing may sound like a complex sport to learn, however, it could be an excellent way to relax, interact with the sea, get some exercise, and meet other great surfers.
It might be inevitable to have some worries at the back of your mind while training to surf, such as not being good enough for the sport or fearing to fail. But you’d never know, and you’d never get to validate your doubts until you try it. To help you get started on this thrilling and extraordinary journey, here are seven surfing basics for newbies that could help you on your way to riding your first wave. Who knows, you might be one of the future surfers who just found their lifelong passion.
1. Don’t Learn On Your Own
First of all, never attempt to try learning the sport on your own. Regardless of how easy you think it might be, it’s always best if you find a seasoned surfer teacher or an experienced friend to help you out during the learning process. You could also sign yourself up for online surf coaching and training programs. The point is, never train alone. The last thing you’d want to happen is injuring yourself or, worse, endangering other people’s lives because you attempted to jump on a surfboard without any proper guidance from a professional.
2. Get Yourself A Big Soft-Top Surfboard
One of the most basic surfing tips that newbies must remember is getting themselves the correct type of surfboard. Since you’re still a beginner, it’s always best if you use big surfboards instead of smaller ones. Using a large board would help you catch more waves during your training and help you develop better basic surfing mechanics.
Aside from getting yourself a large board, it’s also important to use the ones with soft-top boards. Since you’re still practicing, you’d probably be spending most of your time sitting on your board rather than standing. In that case, that makes soft-top boards a perfect choice for beginners as they’re safer to use. Moreover, you could expect your board to hit you several times during your training. So you’d want a softer board that your body could take despite getting inevitably pounded several times.
For your guide, you could check out the following video to help you choose the best surfboard for you as a beginner:
3. Never Forget Your Surf Leash
This one is more like a safety requirement instead of a tip. While it’s understandable that having a leash on your foot could be quite tricky and annoying sometimes, it’s for the best, and you need to start getting used to it. You need not worry as it also took a while for some surfers before they got used to wearing the leash. So before you getting into the water, always remember to have your surf leash with you. This could save your life in case of any emergency or accident you might meet even on smaller waves, so it’s better to be safe.
4. Find A Newbie-Friendly Surf Spot
Before you get too hot to jump into the water with your surfboard, make sure you find the perfect spot that’s ideal safe for surfer beginners like you. Your choice of beach and surf spot could make or break your surfing success. Avoid doing your surfing lessons on a beach where experienced surfers usually go. Not only would you have a hard time dealing with these massive waves, but seasoned surfers could also be territorial.
However, this has nothing to do with your skill level not being as good as theirs. The main reason is that newbies may pose a danger to any experienced surfer on the beach since new surfers may not yet be skilled enough to handle the beastly waves, or they might not be able to control their sharp surfboards.
When looking for the right surfing spot, try to find one with steady waves and fewer beachgoers. This way, you’d have enough space to practice and make as many attempts as you can. Your learning process would also be a lot smoother as you won’t have to worry about endangering yourself or anyone’s lives. Don’t worry; as your skills get better, you’d be able to upgrade your beach in no time.
5. Spend Time On Dry Land First
Before diving right away into the water, try to spend some time first on dry land and take your time to do some warm-up. Doing some muscle stretches could reduce your risk of experiencing muscle cramps while you’re in the water. Moreover, you could use this time to check your surfboard and leash and see if they’re perfect for action.
Make sure you also observe the water first and the other surfers about what they’re doing. You’d be able to spot how and where they break. Remember this habit as this is something you’d have to do for the rest of your surfing life, not just as a newbie.
6. Practice Sitting
Sitting on your surfboard may seem like an easy task, but when you’re in the actual setup, you may find out it’s not the easiest and most comfortable thing you’d need to do at all. Sitting on your surfboard while it’s on water would require balance.
You have two types of sitting positions to choose from. First, you could sit on your board while both your feet are on the board, which isn’t easy and comfortable. Second, you may choose to dangle your feet in the water, which is easier and requires less balance. But then you’d be vulnerable to ocean wildlife. Either way, it’s best if you practice both.
7. Fall Flat
Since you’re still learning, you could anticipate you’d fall several times. But when you do, make sure you fall nice and flat. Avoid jumping off the board with your head or feet first as it’s dangerous, and the seafloor you might be diving into is unpredictable. You could either fall on your side or in the back to avoid yourself from getting injured.
During your surfing training, expect to commit countless mistakes—falling on your board, suddenly getting in the middle of other people in the water, or not being able to control your board. But then again, that’s part of learning. So try not to get discouraged with a few mistakes and always keep these surfing basics in mind. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun.