Surfing is thrilling, but it can also be a little intimidating if you’ve never done it before. After all, it looks easy enough when you see your favorite surfers gliding effortlessly across the water. It can be hard to know where to begin with learning to surf.
Living near the coast or having surf family members can spark a natural affinity for the waves and make learning to surf more enjoyable. There’s no reason not to give it a try even if you have no personal experience with surfing.
In this guide, we’ll introduce some beginner surf information, what to prepare, and a few tips for mastering the art of surfing for the first time.
Get To Know the Basics
The most important thing in surfing is to have the desire to learn and the willingness to have fun. So you just have to learn to get started as a beginner surfer.
The basic stance for surfing lessons is with your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel to the long axis of the board. You’ll want to keep your knees bent and your weight focused over the center of the board.
To paddle, place your hands on either side of the board just below the chin and use a light, circular motion. When you feel a wave begin to pick up the board, start paddling and pop up to a standing position.
Put your back foot near the middle of the board and your front foot just behind the center. Place your hands on the rails and lean back slightly to keep your balance. Once you’re up, ride the wave until it breaks and then paddle back out to catch another one.
Choose the Right Equipment
If you’re just starting to learn to surf, you need to choose the right equipment. A surfboard that’s too big will be difficult to control, and a surfboard that’s too small won’t give you the buoyancy you need.
You also need to make sure you have a wetsuit that fits properly. A wetsuit that’s too loose will fill with water and drag you down, and a surfer’s wetsuit that’s too tight will restrict your movement.
You’ll also need a leash, so surfboards don’t float away from you. Once you have the right equipment, you’re ready to start learning to surf!
Find the Right Location And the Best Time to Surf
The sport of surfing is enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. To find the right location and the best time to surf, it is important to consider the type of waves you are looking for, the level of experience you have, and the time of year.
Experts typically recommend that beginners start with small waves in waist-high water. These conditions are found at many beaches around the world, but the best time to surf them is typically during the summer months.
Experienced surfers often seek out larger waves, which are typically found on offshore reef breaks. The best time to surf these waves is typically during the winter months when swells are at their largest.
Learning to Surf the Right Way
If you’re looking for a new hobby that’ll get you out in the sun and active, learning to surf is a great option! It takes some time and practice to get the hang of it, but it’s so worth it when you’re paddling out to catch your first wave.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a board and start learning to surf today!
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Wayne Probert is a senior reporter at Zobuz, covering state and national politics, and he is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Before joining Zobuz, he worked as a freelance journalist in Kentucky, having been published by dozens of outlets including NPR, the Center for Media.