Surfing has been a fun and amazing activity over the years. After seeing this activity on TV as sports, people are preferring to learn it. However, learning surfing has always some caveats; especially for newbies. If you are about to start surfing then you need to learn the following five tips to surf like a pro:
Choose the Right Swimsuit and Surfboard
You do not need to kick off with high performance, super-thin surfboard, or any other hi-fi board for that matter. For learning purposes, you have to begin with a surfboard that offers some thickness and width to it, possibly a longboard from a quality wakesurf boat manufacturer. The length depends upon how big a person is. The bigger the person is bigger the board must be.
If you want to avoid a longboarder then that’s fine. However, it will a lot better and faster if you go for the longboard. A longer surf boat help in getting the basics down. From basics, you can scale down and make swift progress, think it step by step.
A shortboard is unstable and super wobbly for inexperienced surfers. Starting with a bigger boat will help in
- Ride more waves,
- Faster progress,
- Ride the waves, and
- Have excess fun
Along with the right surfboard choosing the right wetsuit is equally important. You will need to check your local surf shop in your area regarding the wetsuit thickness. Average water temperature determines what swimsuit thickness you should rent or purchase. You can ask the local surfers too what to wear.
Scout the Right Spot!
Initially, you need a beginner-friendly spot to surf. If you are unaware of one, ask the local surf equipment shop what the suitable beginner spots are. Bear in mind that weather can quickly turn a beginner-friendly spot into a dangerous place. Avoid beaches that have
- Point breaks,
- Heavy shore break,
- Reef breaks
To scout the right surfing spot you need a sandy bottom spot along with slow mushy peeling waves, and a small crowd. Your aim should be to learn to surf and not getting beat up or thrashed around and held down.
Thus, complete your homework as this will make all the difference between having a good first or a bad experience.
Choose the Right Surfing Day!
As mentioned previously, every day brings a new challenge and you have to give respect to the ocean. It might be your first day at surfing, but if the conditions are 14′ W swells @ 13 seconds, you can’t go that day under these sea conditions. Waiting to get a better day may be tiring or difficult, but you can’t compromise on safety.
Water moves around a lot more water when the surf is big and rip currents are stronger under these conditions. It becomes difficult to surf in poor conditions as all your energy will be wasted in combating the current. Again your local surf shop and surf report would rescue you here. Some surf boat suppliers have a surf report posted on their websites.
Know a Bit About Localism
Like with driving, surfing also keeps its dark side!
Surfers surfing the same spots start to feel the spot is theirs. They start to get a sense of ownership of the spot. Also, some locals feel like they can get most or all of the waves out there. Newbies who show up look intruders to them.
Localism might appear as;
- Someone yelling or dropping in at you,
- Waxing your windshield,
- Flattening your boat tires,
- Throwing your boots along with many other tactics
So what to do about it?
1: Show excessive respect to the locals. As a beginner, it would be impossible for you to surf the same spots as the locals until you improve your skills. Getting in their way would give you and locals a bad experience. Surf separately.
2: When you feel ready to surf with locals, try to be nice and offer them immense respect. You will realize most the regular surfers who, when treated nicely and with respect will treat you in the same way, (exceptions are always there).
3: Do not go with a massive crowd to the local surf spot. The locals won’t feel happy with you while you will get a negative vibe, minimum.
4: With 5 to 6 surfers at max., and you show up on the surfing spot, it is better to wait for the crowd to reduce. Let them enjoy the peak they were on first, and do not invade their territory.
5: Try to know the locals and you might gain a friend and a surfing partner. They are not that bad after all!
6: There can be more points but the idea is quite clear! Treat others the same way you want them to treat you!
Learn How to Catch a Wave
The initial few waves you encounter would be in the white water (broken waves). So, you will need to catch those waves in a prone position. Ensure your board is pointed towards the beach, wait for white water wave, and lay down on the board, and practice riding to shore. By doing all this you can practice paddling for catching the wave.
For paddling, digging down deep is a must and you need to try to stay smooth. Also, keep the board in a planning position. The paddling technique will be difficult. Don’t be too far back on the board as you will push water.