Posted on March 29 2016
Gliding along the glassy face of a wave is enticing and thrilling for a seasoned surfer. But if you are just starting out, surfing can seem to be intimidating and a difficult sport to learn. It is essential you absorb the basic instructions to develop patience, strength, and fearlessness before hitting the surf.
And once you have perfected the art of surfing, you will find this aquatic sport pure fun. Here is a quick list of 9 surfing tips for beginners:
1. Enroll in a surf school
Like all other sports, surfing too needs focus and dedication. Join a surf school that follows regulations on standards and safety. Make sure that the school is accredited by the International Surfing Association (ISA).
ISA-approved schools have experienced instructors, who will ensure your safety and teach you correct techniques to ride waves more efficiently.
2. Select the right board
The right equipment for a beginner is a soft top board. These type of boards are longer, wider and have a hard top foam and a plastic bottom. They are durable and more buoyant. Also, choose a board that matches your body weight. You might also like to invest in SUP board covers. These covers reduce discoloration and overheating of the board caused by sun exposure.
3. Find a surfing spot
Every novice surfer must make sure to choose a surfing spot that is free from rocks and reefs. A sandy, straight shoreline will be an ideal spot as it allows for small waves to build-up. However, see to it that waves are not heaving too hard as it can become very challenging for you to ride such waves. Mushy and white water waves lend a decent shoulder to learn the basic skills of surfing.
4. Know the geography of the beach
It is essential that you learn the geography of your home beach before heading out to surf. Look for sandbars, rocks, coral reefs and jetties. Sandbars produce low waves as well as rip currents. Surfers may find it difficult to paddle against rip currents and returning to the beach might become tiresome. Hence, it is advisable for a beginner to surf parallel to the seashore to ensure his sessions are safer.
Think where you can swim to get back to the beach if you get into trouble. Learn to recognize native plants and animals to see if they are a threat to you.
5. Read surf forecasts and reports
Always check the weather forecasts before going to the beach. These reports are readily available online. You could also download an app that provides live streaming of the local beach, surf reports, tide tables, and forecasts.
Tides, wave heights, rain and other weather conditions can significantly impact surfing. For instance, winds that blow towards south-facing beaches can give rise to high waves. Understand key meteorological terms as well as signs that signal hazardous conditions.
6. Stay fit
Riding waves require a great deal of stamina, endurance and balance. Being in shape makes it easier to learn surfing. Also, paddling requires strong arms and a stronger core to ‘pop up’ (the move that requires you to stand up from lying on the board). Perform a combination of intense strength and cardio exercises to develop strong core, arms, and legs.
7. Get the basics right first
As a beginner, you should get the hang of the board first. Practice in waist-deep water and hold the board to the side. Never carry a board in front of the body because when waves come, they might hit the board and knock you backward.
Also, check how the board’s nose rests on water when you stand or lie on it. Slide forward or backward to adjust the board’s center of gravity. Keep your head forward and push upwards on the wave. When paddling, take long strokes with your palms and keep your body immobilized. Never paddle immediately after a meal. Wait for at least an hour before surfing.
8. Observe the waves
Before heading out, watch the waves for at least 15 minutes. Look where waves are breaking and where they are not. Avoid ‘green waves’ or ‘unbroken waves’ or waves that are big and challenging. Ride small ‘white waves’ initially before moving on to bigger ones.
9. Follow surfing etiquette
Learning surfing etiquette is essential for newbie surfers. If there’s a line-up, wait for your turn to catch the wave. Don’t catch a wave if another surfer is already riding it.
Hope these 9 surfing tips for beginners & our rash guards will help you enhance your surfing performance and take it to the next level!