How to Surf - 10 Tips for Beginning Surfers

Ask a surfer if they remember the first time they stood up on their surfboard and you had better be ready for a long story. That feeling of standing up on the surfboard for the first time and the power of the ocean pushing you along on top of the water is an experience that you will not forget.

If you are thinking of learning How To Surf, consider these ten tips for beginning surfers.

How to surf
  1. Many people think that they might be too old to surf. Unless you're pushing 70, age isn't something you should use as an excuse to not learn how to surf.

  2. Fitness is more important than age. Do what you can to improve your cardio before taking your first lesson. It is such a sad sight to see someone lying flat on their surfboard after only 10 minutes because they are too tired to paddle. You'll have a heck of a lot more fun if you spend a bit of time working on your physical fitness before learning how to surf for the first time. Simple exercises like push ups and sit ups will go a long way.

  3. Swimming ability is very important for your personal safety. Many people rely on their surf leash keeping them attached to their surfboard. Surf leashes can break or the velcro can release from the board or your ankle. Always make sure you are comfortable with where you are surfing. If you are unsure whether you would be able to paddle back to shore without your surfboard, then do not surf in that area.
  4. 1)On the topic of safety, learn about ocean safety. Rip currents and varying wave heights are common at surf breaks. Always spend several minutes observing the ocean before paddling out. Determine where the largest sets are breaking and look for signs of rip currents.
  5. 1)For your first time out, get a lesson and learn on a longboard. Your lesson is going to include the rental of your surfboard and you will be out in the water with someone who is experienced in teaching beginning surfers. You are much more likely to have success with an experienced instructor, making your first experience with surfing that much more fun.
  6. 1)If you are off your surfboard, never let your board get between you and the oncoming waves. Keep your surfboard towards shore and your body past it towards the sea. Many new surfers learn this the hard way when a wave hits their surfboard and sends it flying towards them. Catching a board in the chops is never fun.
  7. Paddling strength plays a huge role in catching waves. Sure in the beginning if you are just catching waves in the whitewater, it isn't a big deal if you don't paddle hard for a wave, but if you ever want to ride the face of unbroken waves, you have to paddle hard. Watch someone having a lesson. You are sure to hear the instructor hollering, "Paddle, Paddle Paddle!".
  8. 1)Get comfortable with the maneuver of getting to your feet on the surfboard called the "pop up". You will most likely practice this for several minutes on the beach with the instructor before going out into the ocean. Keep practicing it until you are popping up onto your feet in one smooth and quick motion.
  9. After completing the pop up, ensure your feet and body position are putting you in the best surf stance.
  10. 1)Put these last three things all together and you have the keys to awesome surfing: paddling hard for the wave, popping up and getting into your surf stance. Focus on paddling, popping up and your stance and you will be on your feet in no time.