Learning how to stand up on a surfboard is obviously the first step of your big surfing adventure. So if you have been surfing for a while then you will just have to breeze over this. We are focusing on the newbies to the sport. After all, we were all once there.

For me, I was so eager when I first got into surfing, when I was not in the water I was practicing my moves outside of the water. If you start learning through a surf school they will tell you what to do, and you will most likely start off on the beach with a demo, practicing what you should do before venturing into the ocean. If an instructor takes you straight into the white water, I can't say they are going about it in the right fashion.

People struggle if they don't know how to surf and it can be difficult not knowing where to begin, especially if you have selected the wrong kind of board. This is a nightmare. The first thing you have to do is to go into a rental shop and find someone with a little knowledge. Get a minimal or a longboard because you won't learn how to surf with a short board. This may look sweet, but believe me, you are just going to get frustrated.

Once you have learned the joys of catching a wave, you can move onto higher levels and try out some of the top surf spots in California or South Africa. Surfing makes for a great vacation for the entire family.

learn to surf

Steps to learning how stand up on a surfboard

Now that you have your board sorted, it is time to begin with a demo.

  • Lie on the board on the sand, not too far up and not too far down. You want the right sort of balance. If you are right up by the nose you are going to sink. If you are too far down, the nose is going to flick up, causing havoc.
  • Now pretend you are paddling - give it a couple of arm strokes and then either jump up to your knees or hold the rails and jump up in a crouching position. Pull them to your stomach and hop on.
  • Most beginner surfers these days will start off on their knees. It is more difficult to get up to your feet, unless you have stomach muscles so to help with this, do push ups - that is going to help.
  • Once you are there, feeling steady and confident, twist your body, with your feet apart, moving to one side and gradually stand up.  Keep your weight centered, rather leaning slightly forward. One foot should be at the tail of the board and the at the midpoint.
  • Practice this at home on the carpet or the grass. Once you get the motion right, you will find it a lot easier.

paddling for a wave

The most important thing is that you have fun. Don't take this too seriously because everyone went through this stage and this is just par for the course. You will wipe out and have that washing machine effect, but you just have to laugh it off.

It's all part of the adventure. If you are too intense about this and just paddle like crazy for every wave, you are going to wear yourself out so just take it easy.

Remember, this takes practice, so reading up on this text book style is not really the way to go. This is a basic guide, but the more you practice, the better you will get at it.

How to put a leash on your surfboard

I thought I would add this in because it will crop up for sure.

A lot of surfers skip this step, but it is definitely necessary to learn how to attach a leash on your surfboard because there will come a time when this will come handy. You may buy a new board, you may be asked by a newbie or you may even find yourself in a tricky situation where you need to reattach your own leash.

Every so often a leash needs to be put on your board. They don't last forever. However, this is why you also have to care for them properly as well - we will get to that later.

Basically, the leash comes in a package with the cord so there is nothing too complicated about this. You may have a velcro strap or a loop connection. The difference between the two is that with the velcro type you can just tie it, however, with the sewn loop connection, you have to make sure that the cord is threaded through the loop.

  • Make a loop with the string and thread the unfastened ends through the loop that you have, making sure that there is space for the whole leash through, when it is attached to the board.
  • Pull this tighter
  • Once you have the knot in place, you can attach it with the leash to the board.
  • Thread the cord through the leash plug at the bottom of the board. Thread it back to where the knot is and into the loop.

Attaching the leash to the cord is the next step. This only applies to the velcro strap because the sewn leash is already done for you. Start by pulling the velcro bit through the cord.

Now close up the velcro. Most people are going for velcro and when buying a new board you will most likely see this type of material attached.

One more thing about the sewn loop - the final step is to thread the whole loop into the cord. You may find that there is not enough space to do this and so you have to make a new knot. This is one of the reasons why velcro is the preferred choice.

surfboard leash


Surfboard leash care - the proper way

 So I told you we would get here - You don't want to waste money unnecessarily on a new leash every so often, so it is definitely recommended that you treat your leash well.

  • Don't wind the leash around the fins of the board. Over time this starts to wear away.
  • If you are going to coil the leash, make sure it is loose because it more likely to snap if you are winding up all the time.
  • As an after thought, it is not necessary to go out and buy a new pack every time your leash breaks. If it is a major snap, then that is unlucky. However, you should look out for an odd bit of string because that is all you need should it break here. Have this is in your board shorts, just in case of emergency or in case you want to help out a buddy.