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Beginner’s surfing tips to Help You Stand up Faster

Beginner’s surfing tips to Help You Stand up Faster
The act of gliding across a breaking wave on a long, narrow piece of fiberglass, more commonly known as surfing. Creates one of the greatest feelings known to mankind. It’s for this reason that so many people around the world pursue the sport. And why for so many people, it’s a way of life. Many surfers see surfing as a competitive activity, something in which they can challenge themselves to be the best that they can be, but a vast majority simply do it because they love it. As Phil Edwards, famous Californian surfer once said, ’the best surfer out there is the one having the most fun’. Unfortunately, when you’re learning this fun is often a little more difficult to locate, but as with most things, persistence will eventually pay off. These beginner’s surfing tips should also help.

Where should I surf as a beginner?

Types of waves: As a beginner, you want to be surfing smaller, slower waves. The smaller part is pretty self-explanatory, as these are much easier to learn on. Slower waves are, as the name suggests, waves which roll towards the beach a little slower and give you a greater period of time in which to stand up. In the initial stages, you can also learn a little closer to the beach on the whitewater of a broken wave, rather than the clean face of an unbroken one.
Wind condition: As a rule, waves are cleaner, less bumpy and easier to surf when the wind is ‘offshore’. For those who don’t know, an offshore wind is one which is blowing from the land out to sea. When the wind is ‘onshore’, it creates very choppy sea conditions. so for learning, you ideally want either offshore winds or very little wind at all.
Crowds: A lot of beginners learning to surf around one another can often be a little dangerous, but there’s very little that can be done to avoid it. Learners tend to congregate at the one spot, so you’ll likely be sharing the waves with at least a few other people. This might seem a little annoying, but try to look at it as a little bit of reassurance in the unlikely event that anything goes awry.

What type of surfboard is best for beginners?

Soft-top surfboard: These are a great option for beginners for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as the name tells you, they have a soft exterior, meaning if this board hits you or somebody else on the head, it probably won’t cause too much damage. Softboards are generally made for beginners, so it’s easy to find longer, wider types of these boards, which make learning to surf a little easier.
Long-boards: Longboards are also great to learn to surf on. Longboarding is a type of surfing relatively different to short boarding, but regardless of whether you want to eventually be doing big maneuvers on a little board, it’s best to start out with a bigger one. Long-boards make it far easier to paddle into waves, and far, far easier to stand upon. As a result, you’ll be able to develop the basic skills of surfing much more quickly on this type of board. After, as your skill level progresses, you can upgrade to a shorter board if you so desire.
Epoxy surfboard: Epoxy is a combination material which fits in somewhere between fiberglass and foam. These are also often used by beginners, with their main benefit being that they are virtually indestructible. I’ve driven on the nose of one of these boards and there was hardly a scratch on it. If you buy the right size epoxy surfboard, you won’t have to worry about breaking it and you’ll get a lot of good use out of it.
Bigger boards: For genuine learners, the longer the better. Try to find something which is at least 8’ long, relatively wide and pretty thick. All of these factors will make the board far more stable, and as a result, you’ll more quickly learn the knack of popping up on your board. Once you’ve done this, you can practice moving around on the wave and performing maneuvers. This is often easier on shorter boards, but for the initial stages stick with something a little bigger.

What other things should I consider before starting to surf?

Getting a wetsuit: Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a tropical location, you’re going to need a wetsuit while you’re in the water. Even if the water feels warm enough to go for a swim in, this doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t need a wetsuit, as there is a major difference between going for a quick dip and sitting on your surfboard for over an hour.
Waxing your surfboard: A common mistake which beginners make when they don’t have the help of a more experienced surfer is to not wax their board. Wax is a sticky substance which you rub on your board to ensure you’ll be able to stably stand up. If you try to surf a board with no wax, you will spend a lot of time slipping straight off it. Surfboards on their own tend to be very slippery, particularly when wet, so make sure you apply a solid coating of wax over every part of the board that you’ll be standing on.
Buying a leash: Another vital factor which some beginners forget about. Leashes keep you attached to your surfboard, meaning if you fall after a wave it won’t go floating away. Not having a leash can be very dangerous for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if your board is floating around loosely in the surf it can become a hazard to others in the water. Secondly, if you’re stranded without the flotation aid of your board, you can quickly find yourself in trouble.
Buying fins: Without fins, it’s virtually impossible to surf. A standard board will have three fins in a triangle formation at the back, but the exact number and their exact placement depend on the board and the surfer. Fins help to stabilize the board, and also aid surfers in performing turns. Though the latter of these may not be an initial concern of yours, the stability aspect is vital, so make sure you buy and install fins to your board.
Checking the conditions: Make sure you don’t go out for your first ever surf when there are enormous waves or terrible surfing conditions. Both of these things can be dangerous, and can easily end up putting you off surfing very quickly. If you want to learn and develop a love for surfing, make sure you practice on the right days.

What are the first steps I need to take to learn to surf?

Practice popping up on the ground: This might sound counter-intuitive and is a step which many learners don’t feel the need to implement. Don’t underestimate it’s important though. The act of popping up to a standing position is relatively simple on the stability of land, but on a moving surfboard, it isn’t a natural thing to do. Practicing on the ground, and committing the movement to your muscle memory, makes it far, far easier to do it when you’re out in the waves.
Learn how to stand on the board properly: This can be done while you’re still on the safety on land as well. There’s no point perfecting your popup if you have no idea where to stand on the board, so make sure you understand where each of your feet should be once you do stand up. Putting your feet in the right spot stabilizes the board and makes it far easier to stay standing once you’re up.
Paddle out to your spot: This may or may not be at the ‘lineup’. The lineup is where most surfers will be sitting, as it’s where the waves are breaking. If you’re a first-timer though, you might opt to practice in the whitewater, in which case you’ll stay much closer to shore. Regardless, decide where you want to catch your waves from before you enter the water, finding a marker on the land to help you position yourself. Once you’ve done that, paddle on out!
When a wave is coming, paddle hard towards shore: When you see a wave that you think you can catch, turn your board to face the land, and paddle as fast as you can. Preferably, you should start this when the wave is around 5-10 meters away from reaching you. This way, you’ll get up a little bit of speed before the wave reaches you, which helps you in two ways. Firstly, it makes it far more likely that the wave will pick you up and carry you. Secondly, it means you won’t be faced with a huge change in speed when the wave does pick you up, something which can often cause beginners to overbalance
Repeat what you practiced on land on the board: This is the hardest part, but if you have the right equipment and have practiced on land, you should be able to manage to pop up on your board and ride the wave. Maybe you’ll fall the first time, and the second time – maybe you’ll fall hundreds of times, but eventually, you’ll get it right. When you do, the feeling is indescribable.

How do I survive a wipeout?

Inevitably in surfing, you’re going to wipe out on more than a couple of occasions. This prospect can be intimidating initially, but the best piece of advice I can give you is not to panic. When a wave is throwing you around, it’s easy to start desperately trying to swim to the surface while you’re still in the grasps of the wave. All this will achieve, however, is to waste energy and rob you of important breath. Simply let the wave have its way with you – eventually, you might even come to enjoy this aspect of surfing – and once it’s finished you’ll naturally begin to float to the surface. When you know for sure which way is up, you can hasten the process by swimming to the surface yourself, but don’t bother trying to fight against the force of the wave before it’s passed you.

FAQ

What’s the right age to start surfing?
Whenever you like! Many people worry that they’re too old to start surfing, but this is a flawed idea. Surfing is for people of all ages, and many people surf well into their later years of life. Sure, it’s probably easier to start when you’re young, but there are plenty of people who have stood up on a board for their first time in their 60’s, 70’s, and probably even 80’s!
Is surfing dangerous?
If certain rules aren’t followed it definitely can be, but if you do the right thing then you’ll avoid any potential problems. Make sure you don’t surf somewhere above your level and always ensure someone is at the very least watching you, or preferably near to you in the water.
How long will it take to "learn to surf for beginners"?
This depends on a number of factors. Many people will stand up the first time they try surfing, while others might take a few sessions. It will take you to properly surf the open face of a breaking wave, but if you practice regularly you’ll likely see a fairly rapid improvement.
Can I hire equipment?
Sure, and this is often a great way to get introduced to surfing. Many people don’t want to commit to buying a wetsuit and a board before they’ve ever surfed, something which can cost up to $1,000 or more. If this sounds like you, then there are plenty of great surf shops which will hire out boards and wetsuits, allowing you to decide if the sport is for you before you break the bank buying equipment.
Should I surf with someone?
Ideally, yes. Even as someone who has surfed for a number of years, I always prefer to have someone with me in the water on the off chance that something goes wrong. For beginners, it’s definitely preferable to go surfing with a friend, and even better if that friend has some experience with the sport.
Conclusion Learning to surf presents plenty of challenges, but when you first stand up on a surfboard you’ll find that they’re well and truly worth overcoming. These “surfing tips and tricks”  have provided you with some actionable steps to learn how to surf your first wave, which will hopefully help you to more easily fulfill that dream which so many people never make into a reality. By following these beginner’s surfing guidelines, you’ll be standing up before you know it, but always remember the best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.

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