It’s rare to meet someone who disliked surfing after taking lessons and becoming comfortable with the sport.
Riding waves can be the best experience of your life, in addition to opening doors to a new community filled with adventure and optimism. If you’re interested in picking up some skills, continue reading to learn about surfing for beginners.
Surfing For Beginners
Surfers tend to be peaceful individuals who are open and comfortable with nature and their surroundings. If you’re passionate about this sport and want to take to the ocean, you certainly won’t regret how it makes you feel. Many surfers report that riding waves feels like walking on water – a similar sensation to flying or skating.
Once you see a wave approaching, it provides an adrenaline kick which increases your endorphins. Consequently, you feel happy and comfortable in the water which can actually improve your mood in everyday life. Spending time in nature is a positive and healthy experience, which quickly becomes addictive. Not to mention, you’re exposing yourself to vitamin D and breathing in fresh air from the open water.
It's clear that there are major benefits to taking up this sport. If you're curious or want to improve your abilities, here are our top six tips on developing skills and confidence in the water. Remember, anyone can surf, and remind yourself of why you started in the first place when things get tough and stressful. Keep going and keep your head up.
1. Pick a Qualified Teacher
Avoid watching video tutorials to teach yourself to surf, as you need to have a qualified teacher next to you. They will observe and ensure that you’re safe before hitting the waters on your own. There are plenty of schools to teach surfing for beginners and these teach in groups. This is a great option for those who are a little uncomfortable and conscious to begin alone.
On the other hand, private surf lessons are the best option as your coach will solely focus on your performance. When participating in group surfing lessons, a coach isn’t focusing all of their attention on you, so they can easily miss your mistakes. When opting for a qualified teacher, choose one which is as near to your home as possible. Not only will it be easier to get to the beach and access the school, but you’ll feel comfortable in a familiar environment.
2. Purchase a Large Surfboard
The best tip on surfing for beginners is to purchase a larger surfboard than you’d typically see. Short boards can throw you off balance and are obviously easier to full off of. However, a large board helps you to develop the mechanics and skills of surfing to help you catch more waves in the early stages of learning. The best boards to learn on are light and wide. You should consider the width with your experience, body weight and balancing skills.
The smaller the board, the more difficult it is for beginners to stand right on the centre. When using a small board, you have to begin on the steepest part of the waves and jump up on your feet quickly. As such, this takes a lot of skill and confidence. Small boards are also harder to paddle out with, making it difficult for a beginner to maneuver into the waters.
3. Stay Calm and Trust Yourself
Aside from learning from a teacher, it’s important that you feel confident within yourself and trust your instincts. To surf successfully, you need to feel comfortable taking risks and not hesitating. Live in the moment rather than thinking about things too much. Of course, it’s crucial to put your safety first, but you have to pace yourself and remain positive that you’ll get it in the end.
When learning any new skill, it can be frustrating when you mess up. You might even feel like a failure, but remember that everyone has to start from the beginning. Keep working hard, and trust that you’ll get there. Everyone has different abilities so some people learn quicker than others, but this doesn’t make you any less of a person. Take a breath and even a break if it gets too much, but never give up. Perhaps you’ve so confident and excited about the end goal that you’re impatient and rushing the process. Pace yourself and remain calm to prevent any injury.
4. Keep Your Distance From Experienced Surfers
Hanging around with professionals will reduce your confidence and make you feel like you’re not good enough. Although we do recommend observing them from afar to pick up their skills for the future, choose to learn in zones where experienced surfers aren’t. Expert surfers concentrate on bigger and more challenging waves, and you could easily put yourself in danger.
Beginners are prone to making plenty of mistakes. Therefore, you don’t want to be in people’s way and impede other peoples’ safety. We also recommend getting to know other beginner surfers as you won’t feel alone being a part of a community. It’s also less intimidating if you’re surrounded by like-minded people and have others to motivate you during the challenging times.
Aim to learn in an environment where other experienced surfers aren’t, and at a time of the day when it’s less busy. Once you’ve had enough lessons that you feel comfortable surfing without a professional on hand, get to know your environment before diving straight in. This includes observing the waves, how busy the waters get and the water temperature.
5. Develop a Relationship With Your Surfboard
Your new surfboard will become a huge part of your life. You need to feel comfortable sitting and standing on it, so spend time standing on it out of the water. Bring it in the living room and get used to how your bare feet feel on it. It might sound strange to ‘get to know your surfboard’, but it’s a big part of the experience. It’s important that you feel comfortable with it when you’re out on the water and not like it’s a strange sensation.
6. Learn To Stand On Your Surfboard
Once you’ve become familiar with the weight, size and material of your surfboard, it’s time to stand on it. Experienced surfers make it look easier, but it takes time and patience to master. Lie on your chest on the board with your head up, and look forward. Place your hands beside your shoulders on the board with the palms down. With the strength in your arms, push your upper body up. Simultaneously, bring your feet under you to centre your body weight like a squat.
At this point, you should be in the centre of the surfboard and not too far forward or back. It works best if someone is observing you, or there’s a mirror in the room so you can see how you’re positioned. It’s important to remember that as you stand up, you stand low with the weight in your feet, firmly on the surfboard. Ensure your feet are shoulder width apart and in the same direction as your knees. After plenty of practice, you’ll begin to feel more comfortable with this action. Don’t look down at your feet, but focus forward and up.
Do You Have any Advice For Surfing For Beginners?
The above tips are the most important strategies when learning to surf. With time, patience, and practice, you’ll notice small improvements which eventually lead to life-changing developments. Riding waves is a breathless experience, and the adrenaline injections pumps your heart and blood.
Do you have any tips for surfing for beginners? If so, share your tips and tricks in the comments.
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