Many people have 'learning to surf' on their bucket list, but never really take the step to cross it out. Surfing is a perfect summer sport to enjoy the sun, ocean, clear skies. It's a sport that needs a lot of practice and patience to reach full potential. It's a great challenge to take on and test your abilities and determination. It may seem intimidating, and you might think you won't be good enough or will fail, but these are just things you need to shake off and dive headfirst into this exciting experience. We won't lie and say it's a piece of cake, but maybe these tips can motivate you to hit those waves.
The Right Equipment
Like any sport, equipment plays a huge role in how well you do with learning. The key piece in surfing is, of course, the surfing board. It makes all the difference in whether you catch waves or not, so you need to choose wisely. The perfect surfboard for beginners would be big to have enough volume and length to help you catch as many waves for practice. Soft-top boards are a must because you'll be doing a lot of sitting at first and you're bound to get hit by your board; a soft-top won't do much damage. Don't forget about the other surfing equipment including the leash, wax, and a good-quality wetsuit.
Pick The Perfect Spot
Location is everything, especially in surfing. It's widely known that beginners should start on a beach break since it's better to fall on sand rather than rocks or reefs. You should pick a spot where the waves slowly break over to reach the waist or chest level. Remember to always research the spot you end up choosing to check the wave conditions that change on a daily basis. You need to consider the wind, tide, swell, bottom, and currents. The location will determine how your learning experience for the day is going to be like.
Get A Good Teacher
It may look easy from afar, but surfing is actually a very complex sport that just cannot be self-taught. No amount of videos or handbooks can prepare you for the ocean, and you don't want to learn the wrong things then start all over again. In California, where it is known to be one of the most popular surf spots in the world, there are surfers who specialize in giving classes. The wave experts over at https://www.santabarbarasurfschool.com/surf-lessons/ advise having private lessons, which is better if you want a strong foundation and the opportunity to have one on one attention to ensure steady progress. Having private classes will not only teach you the art of surfing but will also grow your passion for it. You can have private or group lessons depending on how you learn best.
Make Friends with the Water
Let's be real for a minute, you can't have a fear of water and decide to take up surfing. You need to make nice with the water, especially since there will be plenty of falling. That's right, you'll need to make peace with it and brace yourself from the get-go. Once you're comfortable in the water, however, you will learn how to fall or wipe out. Yes, there is actually a proper way to wipe out while surfing, and it's to fall on your back or side and never on your face to avoid nosedives. You should also separate from your board by jumping away from it so that it doesn't hit you. Your instructor will tell all about handling a fall like a pro.
Surfing is a sport that requires hard work and patience to be perfected. If you want to join the big dogs, you need to take your sweet time learning all the basic surfing techniques and riding as many waves as possible. Don't expect to jump straight into the water from day one though, your instructor will probably have you practicing on dry land first. You'll do some stretches, get acquainted with your board, learn how to paddle at the right speed, and practice your pop-up.
Learn Surfing Ethics
When you learn surfing, you won't just be introduced to a sport, but also a friendly community. Like most sports, surfing has its own unspoken rules and codes between those who hit the waves on the regular. For example, you should try to stay away from the experienced surfers when you're still learning because they're more advanced while you're prone to making mistakes. Another surfing code is to never 'steal' someone else's wave. Make sure you look around while paddling, if someone's closer to the peak, it's their wave. Your instructor will get you 'onboard' with the used lingo as well to feel more included.
Ultimately, remember you're doing this to learn something new and most importantly; to have fun! Many beginning surfers get into the sport for fun but lose sight of it in the process of learning. Try to focus and learn while still enjoying yourself, because if you're not, then it's just not worth it. Once you ride your first wave, it feels indescribable and the rush will have you hooked for life.
WRITTEN BYDaria Brown