Nowadays we all know the importance of exercising and staying in shape. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is much easier when we enjoy what we are doing to get there. Surfing is one of the those activities that allow you to burn a massive amount of calories, get some sun, and love what we we're doing. When you imagine a beach setting, you usually become relaxed and euphoric, well atleast I do!
Where to Start
For those who are considering learning how to surf, you just need a bit of guidance and a few hours of practice in the water. Bar far the most important first step you need to take is to make sure you can handle yourself in the ocean. Are you able to swim with and under a few waves? Are you calm and cool when floating in the ocean? If you are then proceed to selecting the correct board for your first ride. When beginning you should be using a longboard between 9 and 10 feet in length. Children can use a board closer to 7 or 8 feet long. If possible, without breaking the skag (fin), stand on the board on some carpet or the sand. Try to get a feel for what the board is like under your feet. Practice bending your knees, using your hips and core to control your body weight.
Stay Clear of Others
Find an area without other surfers or swimmers since you are going to have difficulty controlling the direction the board will be going. Getting hit by a surfboard is extremely painful and dangerous so it is best to begin learning in a wide open area. You should also try to stay near a lifeguard tower in case you need the extra help.
Your First Wave
As a wave approaches, turn your board in the direction of the beach and beggin paddling your arms. Your stomach needs to be flat on the board along with your legs directly behind you also on the board. Paddle your arms out to the side pushing the water backwards in order to propel the board forward. Try to build some momentum before the wave gets to you, otherwise the wave will just pass right by. Keep your weight slightly back as it makes catching the wave easier. If you lean too far forward, the nose of the board will dive straight down when the wave gets to you. Keep your core tight and your head slightly up in the direction you want the board to go. You also want to avoid having your chin too close to the board while you paddle to avoid having it hit if the board move up and down.
Catch the Wave
When you feel the push of the wave, in one smooth motion, put your hands under your shoulders and push your body up like one big push-up and jump to your feet. Your legs should be firmly underneath you and you should use your hands for balance. Most of surfing requires you to use your core for control. Standing up is usually the most difficult part when people are learning to surf. Practice with slow and controlled movements on smaller less intimidating waves. It will be easier to paddle back out which also means you can get more rides in one day.
Observe, Practice and Enjoy
I highly recommend watching a few surfers in action before stepping into the water. Remember to practice, practice, practice and you will get it down before you know it. People tend to give up trying after one or two bad falls. But after you get acquainted in the water, surfing will come naturally. The first time you reap the rewards, you'll realize that it was all worth it. Nothing beats the feeling of riding a wave!