Article Written by Isabella Granara
Surfing is a skill that comes with practice – if it were easy, everyone would do it! When many beginners try and take on surfing, they tend to make some common mistakes. In this article we are going to reveal the top 5 tips for beginner surfers.
- Get a Teacher
We recommend getting a teacher because this is the fast track to learning how to surf. Teachers and coaches most likely have years of experience and can teach you tricks and habits that would otherwise take you years to learn without them. If you don’t have access to a teacher/coach, you should still do some research before you hit the waves. The Surf Continuum has a free, downloadable E-book you can download here. Going out there and attempting to catch a wave can become not only frustrating but extremely tiresome – which leads into our second tip.
- Pace Yourself
Surfing is a different breed in the sports world. You need to remember to pace yourself when you’re a beginner. On the basketball court you can take a seat where you are – in the ocean it’s a little more complicated than that. Remember that you still have to swim in with your board after surfing, and that in itself can exert a lot of power.
- Use Big Surfboard
Even though not everyone will use the same size board, multiple sources recommend that beginners use big surfboard. The best beginner’s surfboard makes it extremely easy to catch as many waves as possible – but don’t buy just the biggest board you find. Find a good one for you by asking surf instructors/shop owners/other surfers for their opinion (ideally in the 8-9 ft range). At first it will be easy to balance on and catch waves, but not so easy for fundamentals. We recommend renting a bigger surfboard and then buying another once you learn to catch waves. You’ll need other gear as well, such as a wet suit, leash, fins, etc.
- Get to Know the Ocean
This is a total game changer for beginners. The ocean obviously moves, and it can be frustrating when you’re not in tune with it. The sooner you understand this the sooner you can start to manage your own frustrations. Beginners should also practice their fundamentals BEFORE going in the actual ocean. Lakes and ponds are a great place to start, where there are no waves. Don’t start at a surfing beach and when you’re ready for a surfer beach, make sure know the ins and outs. The Surf Continuum offers a picture below that shows how surfers should look at their playing field.
The ocean can be one of the best places in the world, but also one of the most dangerous. Always be prepared!
5. Be Safe!
Always keep your head on a swivel when surfing. Be cautious of other people – avoid crowds. Beginners should not be around big crowds of surfers. It increases the chances of collisions. Waves can take you by surprise, so keep this in mind as well – never turn your back on the ocean. Holding onto your surfboard is important, as well. Don’t let your board hit you or other people. If you fall, cover your head to protect yourself. And most importantly, stay calm and don’t let the ocean get the best of you.
Let us know if you have any other tips for beginners in the comments below. Make sure to subscribe to How to Have Fun Outdoors’ YouTube Channel. We hope these tips help beginner surfers have fun outdoors!
Where our research came from: