1. Love to Wipeout
If you’re not prepared to wipeout, go home now – You’re gonna fall a lot. You need to walk before you can run. Well, with Surfing you need to fall before you can stand. This takes time and varies among people, grit and determination will get you there in the end. Remember to work with the Ocean and not against it or you’ll be fighting a losing battle.
2. Hire an Instructor to Increase Learning Curve
If you want to be out in the vast blue as soon as possible you’re going to need an instructor. They will tell you where you’re going wrong, what you should be doing and generally fine tune your technique. However, some people love finding their own way of understanding and taming nature’s beast. Riding your first wave is like no other sensation.
3. Where to get Your First Surf Board?
So you’re going to need a board if you want to surf. Boards are not the cheapest commodity going, make sure you’re committed to surfing when looking to buy a first board.
Craiglist and similar online sites are a great place to buy second hand boards, if you’re not ready to fork out for your own just yet. Depending on where you are, it will be possible to rent some gear from a local shop – Also a great place to pick up local knowledge on the area if you’re travelling or just starting out.
Typically a longer, soft board to test the water is advisable for newbies. It’s more stable and won’t hurt as much when you wipe out on your first few tries. Once you know you want to get serious, ensure you do some research and your specifications compliment the board –Height, weight etc – The best way to do this is to ask around in your local surf-shop.
4. Wetsuit & Sun Cream
Skin cancer is a very real danger for surfers. When you’re out paddling hunting for swells you have the sun beating down on you, but it also reflects off the ocean like a mirror. This greatly increases your chance of sunstroke in the short term and skin cancer in the long term. Two things will help you out here; a wetsuit and some solid sun cream. Surfers often use baby bum cream due
to its pasty nature and high zinc content. If you don’t mind looking like a bit of a wolly this is a great, cheap way to prevent skin cancer.
5. Finding the Wave
Finding the right spot used to depend on many factors, the main one being luck. Normally you’d have to pray to the sea gods for some swells. Now with GlassyPro you can check the conditions of your spot right on your phone. If you fancy an adventure or a new challenge you can hand-pick your spot; Wave direction, bottom type, recommended level, spot type & tides. That way you have no nasty surprises once you get to your designated area.
Finding your spot is all well good, but you also need to know which waves you should attempt. You can usually expect them to arrive in “intervals,” the general norm is in 10 to 15-second cycles. Aside from timing, it’s really all about practice and your intuition. Most of the time you just have to launch yourself always trying improving your technique until you catch one.
6. Practice Standing on Your Board
This may seem like a waste of time and totally not what you enrolled for when you started surfing but the more you perfect your technique the better the chances that you’re going to be able to replicate that when it matters. Practice makes perfect after all.
7. Get a Friend to Film you
No this is not about sharing your new found skills with your friends on social media. Re-watching your session helps you figure out where you’re going wrong and why you keep falling in the same damn place. Use the footage to refine your surfing and watch youtube videos of pros to compare yourself to and see where you could be improving.
8. The Fundamentals : Paddling, Balance, Start in White-Water & Surf Etiquette
80% of surfing happens to be paddling, the faster you learn to love it or accept it as a part of surfing the more enjoyable you’ll find surfing. A tough workout but it comes with a certain serenity.
Balance as you might expect is key to surfing. Yoga is a great side activity to get involved with as it really improves your core balance. Recommended: boat pose
Sometimes it’s best to start in the white-waters’ and build your confidence up before you negotiate the line ups. You may end up constantly wiping out and it discouraging you or worse you may cut a surfer off.
Ensure you read up a bit on surf etiquette before you head out or you could find yourself receiving evil stares from all sides.
9. Remember It’s Going to be Hard
Surround yourself with positive people and vibes and they will carry you to your goal – keep going to reap the rewards– you’ll meet amazing people along your surf journey who are, have or are going to go through what you have, be kind.
10. Help the new Newbies
Remember the people who helped you on your way, and pass on the experience you picked up to the new comers. At the end of the day, what makes surfing so special is its community and unique view on life. Please feel free to share any tips or tricks you’ve picked up on your adventures, here below.
“We’re all equal before a wave.”
- Laird Hamilton