Have you always wanted to try surfing but are unsure whether you’ll be good at it? You’ll never know until you try. Here are eight tips and tricks for beginner surfers to help you start this incredible journey. But remember, these tips alone will not make you succeed. You must put some hard work into it, and like any other sport, you must commit your time and effort to learn and improve at it.
1. Do Some Research
The greatest fear you will face as a surfer comes from the unknown: the unknown of whether you will be successful at the sport and what the ocean will provide. In this present age of the internet, mass information, and online learning, it could seem a good idea to teach yourself to surf, but it will quickly become an overwhelming experience. Instead, research and learn about surfing basics, including safety and board handling, before practicing them. Also, take the time to explore reputable surf instructors, surf retreats, a reliable surfboard rental service, and surf camps with high-quality coaching.
2. Don’t Learn by Yourself
Although it may look easy, never approach surfing by yourself. Find an experienced friend to teach you, or enroll in a surf camp to avoid hurting yourself and others or even putting your life at risk. If you choose to take surf lessons, research your teachers in advance. Ensure they have the required experience and have excellent reviews. A good teacher will not just teach you how to surf; they will also motivate you and make you fall in love with the sport.
3. Choose Your Location Wisely
Just like the other sports, some locations will be more suitable for the beginner and intermediate surfer than the seasoned pro. A surf school that offers to coach doesn’t ensure the conditions are favorable to a beginner. Think about those first few sessions and eliminate the stress of challenging situations. Choose a surfing location that is more suitable for the beginner and intermediate surfer. And if you’re unsure, reach out to your place of choice and ask what their site offers and whether different times of the year present different conditions.
4. Use a Big Surfboard
This is one of the most excellent beginner surfing tips ever. Some individuals are tempted to hop onto smaller, shorter boards as soon as possible; don’t be one of them. A large board will help you establish better fundamental mechanics, and you will catch many waves in your early stages of surfing.
5. Master the Basics
In all things, practice makes perfect. A good instructor will take the time to explain to you the elements of the surfboard and proper techniques, such as the ideal stance, and water safety. Practice these things on land, and you will flourish once you’re in the water.
6. Use a Surf Leash
Although those old-school surfers who don’t wear leashes might look cool, a beginner surfer should always wear a leash. A leash prevents your board from drifting away; thus, it allows you to catch more waves because you’re not always swimming after your board, and it prevents your board from hitting other surfers. Tie the leash on your back foot with the leash rope pointing outwards and away from your ankle. If the rope points in any other direction, it will likely tangle your feet, resulting in a severe fall.
7. Surf in an Area With Few People
You may want to hit the more popular spots in your area; however, popular spots are patronized by experienced surfers who have been there for many years and have better chances of catching the best waves. So start somewhere less popular that isn’t crowded, and you’ll get more waves, which means you’ll improve your skills faster.
8. Get Yourself a Soft-Top Board
Remember, in the beginning, you’ll spend lots of time sitting on your board rather than standing. Soft tops are excellent entry boards and are safer for everyone than their epoxy or fiberglass counterparts. A giant, soft-top surfboard will be gentle on your feet and posterior. This board is also stable to ride and easy to paddle, and you will quickly learn to read the ocean and pop up easily.
The most important tip for any novice surfer is to have fun. As you learn to surf, you’ll get in people’s way, wipe out, and kook out. But that is okay because everyone has to start somewhere. Just remember to have fun while learning the sport; you will be an expert if you put some time and effort into it.