Learning how to surf is not a very complicated process, but it’s quite technical. Surfing is an outdoor water sport that is done on the ocean or sea. The surfer uses their surfboard to catch a wave and ride towards the shore in an upright position.
Surfers ride the ocean, river, or human-made waves and glide across the water’s surface until the wave breaks and becomes exhausted.
Like all other sports, Surfing is both a recreational and a competitive sport. For some people, Surfing is a part of their culture. It’s a part of their life. Surfing is an art and can be mastered when practiced meticulously and paying attention to the technical details.
What Equipment Will I require?
The essential surfing equipment for beginners interested in knowing how to surf comprises of the following:-
1. The Surfboard
This is the leading equipment and the pivotal equipment that helps you ride waves. There are several types of surfboards for different wave conditions (big waves and small waves)and experience levels.
However, for beginners, a longboard or more giant board is more recommended as it will be easy to handle and less injurious when you fall. A foam board is also more buoyant. You must also be acquainted with all the parts of the surfboard.
2. The Leash
This is the elastic rope that keeps the surfer connected to the surfboard. This provided support to the surfer and is attached to the tail of the surfboard. If you fall or get imbalanced, the board will be next to you, and you can get onto it immediately. The surf leash must be at least the same length as your surfboard.
If you have decided what surfboard you will ride the waves with, your next step is to buy the fins. Surfboards fins are a must! Surf fins are the wheels of the surfboard and provide stability, performance, agility, and drive. The most widely used fin setups available are single fin, twin fin, thruster, squad, and five-fin.
4. The Surf wax/ Traction pad
The grip that prevents surfers from slipping off the surfboard when surfing on the ocean or sea. Surf wax requires regular maintenance, while traction pads can last very long. Traction pads are a little expensive, but if you can afford it, you can go with it—no need to wax your board again and again.
5. The Wetsuit
The neoprene garment that covers surfers and helps them endure the weather conditions is the wetsuit. You can choose wet suits according to the weather conditions because their thickness varies. There are two main types of wetsuits, that is Spring suit and Full suit.
There is a lot of other equipment also that one may use. But these are not mandatory. A bag to keep your stick, surf gadgets, and skin, ear, and nose protection will also help your surfing life easy. As one takes up the sport, they may want more fancy and well-designed pieces of equipment that show you how to surf with ease.
Learning how to surf may be easy for some and difficult for others. It depends upon how well you handle the waves and comfortable you get in catching a wave.
There is an ample number of ways through which you can prepare yourself before getting into the water. You require arm strength and endurance to paddle out to a wave and land errect. Do pushups. Pull-ups, planks, weighted exercises will be of great help to you.
To start, choose the appropriate beach and surf only at beginner spots. Before paddling out, spend some time watching people surf so that you have an idea about how to surf. You’ll want to watch where other surfers paddle out and see them break the waves with ease.
Here Are Some Surf Etiquettes That You Need to Know:-
If you’re keen on learning how to surf, you ought to know some surf etiquettes. They are made for the safety of the surfers and also for surfers to take cognizance of one another.
The surfer with the longest prospective ride has the upper hand for the wave. When more than one surfer is paddling to catch a wave, the person who has paddled closest to the peak has the right to catch that wave. Look at the peak when you paddle for the wave and check if somebody else has the right to that wave.
Don’t “drop-in” on others. Paddling to catch or dropping into a wave while someone is already riding closer to the peak is dangerous and may cause injury, collisions and make a person feel frustrated.
Paddling excessively on your shoulder for too long can disturb the wave, making a deluge of whitewater right in the way of the surfer.
You must take turns so that everyone gets a chance. Surfers wait in a line and follow that order to break a wave. When there are a lot of surfers, you must communicate to avoid collisions. If you make a mistake, just apologize.
Never paddle out through the surf or the lineup if there is another way. This keeps you and saves energy. If there is no other way out than through the whitewater, it’s your job to stay out of the course of a surfer riding a wave. Beginners should always prefer whitewater and then move on to catch more furious waves.
How to Surf- Step by step
If you have questions in your mind like ‘How to Surf,’ ‘Steps that I need to follow,’ you’re on the right platform!
1. Talk to More Experienced Surfers or Surf Coaches if you can
The best way to practice and prepare for surfing is interacting with another person nearby who knows more about surfing than you do and can give valuable bits of advice. You can seek help from a friend and him or her to get you acquainted with the basics. Otherwise, you can pay a surf coach who can teach you how to surf systematically and technically.
2. Practice on the Ground First
Attach the leash to your back foot and the tail of your board, then lie belly-down on the board so that your body is lined up straight down the middle of the board. From this position, practice your paddling motion with both arms to get a sense of the muscles that you will be working on. You have to pull the water back to produce an opposite reaction and propels your body forward. Try to glide through the water.
3. Learn to Stand on the Board Properly
Once you’ve taken off, keep your knees bent, your arms extended, your feet firm and stable on the board, and your torso leaned forward for better balance and stability. Learn to maintain a perfect balance in the standing position.
4. Find a Spot
Before you plan to surf, visit a couple of good surfing beaches and take a good long swim to make sure you feel confident in the water. Avoid surfing anywhere you aren’t comfortable swimming and staying by yourself. Pick a beach that is safe for a beginner. You don’t necessarily need high waves to learn how to surf.
If you can’t find any advice that seems valuable, search the internet for recommendations and ideas. Pick the apt equipment and surfboard, according to your experience level and surrounding conditions.
5. Paddle Around and get Comfortable in the Water
When you get comfortable on the ground, head to the perfect spot in the water to test your abilities. The nose of your board should be slightly above the water.
You should know where to lie on the board. If you’re too much towards the nose, there is a chance of your head being entirely inside the water; if you’re too much towards the tail, the nose of your board will get elevated to a level that is higher than usual. It’s crucial to maintain a perfect balance so that you can catch waves successfully.
6. Catch a Wave
This perhaps is the most essential and crucial part of learning how to surf. Find if the waves are the right size for you. If you estimate that you can’t swim back to the shore from that place, don’t take the chance.
Step 1. Start in the whitewater (foamy and mushy waves) and don’t leave it until you get the hang of it. Make sure that your stance and balance becomes perfect. Whitewater is the best for beginners because the waves are not so tumultuous.
Step 2. Next, start catching slightly bigger green waves – be very observant and work on positioning. Try to catch waves as soon as you can, so they aren’t too angular. When you see the waves coming, jump onto the board and start paddling with long strokes and kicks to gain as much speed as you can.
Step 3. Then, all you need to do is turn the board in the direction of where the wave is breaking. Make sure you have priority on that wave (meaning nobody is paddling for the same wave above you in the line up) and also see that the area is not too crowded.
Step 4. When you get comfortable next, you have to do is standing up on your board, also known as popping up. One foot will be in front and the other at the back. Your knees should be slightly bent, and your arms and face are supposed to be in the direction you’re heading.
Step 5. At this moment, you are trying to catch the same speed as the wave. You are paddling with a little angle towards where the tide is going, not straight to shore
Step 6. Keep looking back at the wave to make sure you are still in the right spot. While dropping the wave, you have to be vigilant and ensure that nobody else is coming your way or dropping the same wave.
Step 7. In case you fall off, put your hands over your head to avoid injuries. Avoid falling in shallow areas. You may get hurt.
Even after multiple attempts, if you’re not able to get the hang of it, it’s perfectly okay. Some may take just hours to learn how to surf, while others can take more than a week. It also depends upon how physically active your body is. The majority of surfers say that surfers have a relatively smooth learning curve and can get started pretty fast!
Do not do anything that will endanger your life. Take all precautions while surfing and start from scratch, so you know every technique in detail. Initially, the waves can be quite intimidating, But don’t forget that practice makes a man perfect.
Benefits Of Surfing
If you still feel Surfing is not worth it, I’m going to list some fantastic benefits that you ought to know:-
Surfing trains your brain to react spontaneously. It also helps improve the coordination of the body with the mind. It helps people overcome their fears because waves are quite intimidating. It makes a person more courageous and helps them gain confidence.
Surfing makes people happy, and at the end of the day, that’s what holds paramount importance.
Better balance and Flexibility
Standing up on your board requires loads of balance. When you learn how to surf, it improves your balance immensely. You also learn how to cooperate with other surfers and follow the rules.
Surfing is one of the best ways to burn calories and improve BMI. One can learn a new skill as well. If you want to lose weight and have fun simultaneously, you must learn how to surf.
Since you make use of bodyweight in surfing, you’re toning your muscles more than going for a workout in the gym. Although you can train some of the muscles used when paddling, you can’t 100% increase your paddling strength at a gym. Above all, it’s highly beneficial for the cardiovascular system.
There are many more benefits of Surfing and other exercises for students that can convince you to at least try this sporting and recreational activity. All you need is the perfect beech and your enthusiastic self to learn how to surf on those beautiful waves!
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