Your First Pop Up
In my opinion, THE BEST feeling in the world is going surfing. Surfing allows you to free yourself from the pressures and stresses of your day to day routine. Did I pay the bills? Will I finish my homework in time? Is my boss happy with how I'm performing? All of these worries float away while out in the ocean surfing waves.
Most people at some point in their life think about surfing and say, "Yeah I want to learn how to surf." Awesome! However, most people don't pursue it because they do not know how to surf and do not want to take surf lessons. For all of you out there here's a step by step guide to help get you off the couch and into the water while surfing your first wave.
Step 1: Get a friend to do it with you.
Call, text, facebook a friend and tell them they are going surfing with you. Obviously, if they don't want to go then find someone else. Having a friend beside you will increase the fun and will help push you when you feel like not following through in going surfing.
Step 2: Rent or borrow a surfboard and/or wetsuit.
So you and you're friend(s) have made plans to go surfing. The next step is to acquire the proper gear for surfing. If the water is colder than 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius, then you're going to need a wetsuit. Easiest way is to go to a surf shop on the way to the surf and rent a wetsuit, which is usually around 10 to 20 dollars. Also, you can rent a foam top surfboard anywhere from 8 feet long to 10 feet long depending on your height and weight.
Step 3: Beach warm up.
Surfing is as physical as any other sport whether it's snowboarding, basketball, or soccer. In order to surf, it's best to be loosened up. After putting on your wetsuit you'll want to bring the surfboard down the beach to the edge of the water. Go ahead and set it down and proceed to stretch. Surfing uses a lot of the back and triceps from paddling, as well as your legs for when you're actually riding the wave.
Step 4: Practice the pop up.
Popping up is the action of standing up to your feet on your board. The best practice is to lay on your surfboard on the sand and practice standing up in one fluid motion. Remember that when you pop up you want your feet perpendicular to the board about shoulder length apart. Also note that you want your knees bent so you will maintain balance better.
Step 5: Catch the wave.
Since you are new to surfing it is important to stay in the shallows and try to catch a wave that has already broke, also known as white water. When you see a wave break with enough white water you need to start paddling in the same direction as the wave. Occasionally look over your shoulder to see exactly where the wave is. When it's almost upon you make sure to do two EXTRA STRONG paddles to help you catch the wave.
Step 6: Pop up.
Now that you've caught the wave it's time to stand up. Remember, it's just like your practice pop ups on the sand. Now go ahead and do it! If you fall don't worry, you can just paddle back out and do it again. After an hour out in the water with your friend you should be able to catch the wave and stand up on your surfboard! Congrats!