Spending a day at the beach is refreshing, relaxing, and of course, liberating. Most people visit beaches to relax on a day off but it is a great place to partake in fun beach exercise activities that promote healthier living.
Surfing is one of the most exciting beach activities that you can do week after week. However, it takes several hours of practice to perfect the skill as it requires you to adapt to different scenarios and challenges of the sea.
As a newbie surfer, you would want to go all-in and catch your dream wave. But surfing responsibly is essential as there are rules and etiquette that will keep you safe from injuries or accidents at sea.
So here’s a beginners guide to surfing that will help you surf your first wave without any trouble:
Take Surf Lessons
If you are a beginner and have no prior knowledge about surfing, a surfing coach will help you become a better surfer. During the course, you will learn different tips, techniques, and hacks that will boost your surfing experience. The easiest way to hone your surfing skills is by taking lessons from professional surfers who have years of experience catching waves. Ombe is an excellent surf program where the experts will not only teach you basics but also help improve your surfing skills.
Learn Surfing Etiquette
Being a good surfer is important because you will gain respect from the locals and other surfers around. The ocean is a dangerous place and these rules protect you from unwanted injuries or accidents. Some of the rules include understanding the right of way, not snaking, don’t drop in on other surfers, don’t surf in the swimming area, take turns to catch the wave, and so on.
Know Your Waves
Finding the right surfing spot is essential as there are different types of waves that are suitable for different surfers. Choosing waves that are smaller, predictable, and have a sandy bottom are the best option for beginner surfers. While catching huge waves is your dream, it is better to start small and gradually increase the size of your waves. Waves are quite unpredictable as they can even cause problems for advanced surfers as well.
When you are at the beach, you will notice many surfboards of different shapes, sizes, and fins. All these elements contribute to providing a variety of surfing benefits such as stability, speed, and maneuverability. Don’t be tempted to purchase the first one you find. For newbies, a longboard is a preferred choice as it allows you to catch waves easily and is great for practicing. There is no rule that you must own only one surfboard, so as you grow in your surfing, you can opt for a shortboard.
Buying a surfboard is not enough. You must have the right surfing gear when you head towards the beach. Making the right choices will also enhance your experience and avoid unwanted situations. While a swimsuit is good for beginner surfers, wearing a wetsuit is the better choice. Not only does it protect you from sunburns but also keeps you warm in colder climates. A leash will ensure that you always stay connected to your board and not lose it. And Lastly, surf wax will help improve your grip while catching waves.
While surfing is a fun water activity, it is also a strengthening sport. An hour on the water paddling and catching waves is similar to burning fat in the gym. So being in the best possible shape is important when you are planning to surf. Having a strong upper body and lower body strength will allow you to remain on your board longer and balance better. Most instructors will encourage newbies to several exercise routines which will improve their stance on the board.
Practice the Prone Position
When you are not out catching waves, you are probably sitting on your surfboard, waiting for your turn or the right break. Sitting on your board may not be the most comfortable thing but it takes certain practice when new to surfing. You can either sit on your board with your feet dangling in the water. Or, you learn the prone position which is an important technique when surfing. The prone position will help you paddle out of unpredictable situations when on the water. When you join a surf school, they will first teach you how to gain stability when in a prone position on land first.
Stay Away From the Big Dogs
As a beginner, you are bound to make mistakes when learning how to surf. Staying away from the big dogs means staying away from experienced surfers. Firstly, the majority of them will be surfing on bigger surf breaks, so that’s one reason why you shouldn’t tangle with them. And secondly, you may keep getting in their way by dropping in or even breaking certain surfing etiquette. A simple apology will ease down situations but it is advised to learn surfing on simpler waves first before joining these big dogs or advanced surfers.
The ocean waves and currents are always changing and never steady. As a surfer, you must learn to read the waves, wind, currents, weather, and so on. If anything feels different than what you know, it is better to avoid those waves and come back another day. Going into unpredictable waves increases the risk of something bad happening. Being a responsible surfer will allow you to enjoy surfing safely without added risks.
Are You Ready?
If you have managed to learn the above-mentioned point, you have made real progress in your passion for surfing. At the end of the day, it is all about having fun and surfing safely.
If you have any doubts, it is better to clear them up with your surf coach who will guide you and teach you the right surfing techniques. These 5 tips from Rory Brown, a nomadic surfer can help improve your surfing experience.