Taking your first surf lesson is a big deal. Extreme sports require a lot of equipment and usually some sort of talent, or else failure might just end in tears and broken bones. Fortunately, water isn’t as rough of a landing as other surfaces, but it can still pack a punch, all the same. If you don’t want to take a spill on the open ocean without finding some sea legs, first, then you’re in luck. There are several different ways for people to take their first surfing lessons on land, or on calmer water, before hitting the open seas.  

Boarding on Land Can Help with Boarding on Water

Try taking a longboard to a longboard skate park, if you really want to learn how to surf. Longboards in many ways mimic the movements of a surfboard, though the terrain is definitely different. To get the feeling of moving and swaying on a surfboard without having to propel yourself along, you can try using a big stick. This doesn’t mean any old log you find laying around; this big stick is actually a specific device for longboards that acts like a land paddle.

Eventually, when you graduate to actual surfing, you can still use a paddle for sup surfing, which is using a paddle to assist during surfing, or you can forgo the paddle and just leap in. For now, though, try using a street paddle while you longboard, to get the hang of surfing movements in an environment that you can control easier than the ocean. A skate paddle will also help you when you move on to the next round of surfing for beginners.

Boarding on Calm Water Can Help with Surfing the Ocean

The next step in learning how to surf is learning how to keep your balance on a board floating in the water. On a calm day, you can actually paddle board in the ocean, but you can also practice on a lake or calm area in a wide river. Stand up paddle boards have been becoming more popular as a sport, and it does also help people learn how to surf. Stand up paddle boarding is basically balancing on a wide, flat board while propelling yourself through the water using a paddle board paddle.

Once you think you’ve got the hang of balancing on a paddle board, and you also feel confident with your movements on a longboard, then it’s time to start with a real surfboard on some tame ocean waves.

First-Time Surfing

What you want to do for your first actual surf session is either bring along a friend who is already a proficient surfer, or hire some sort of guide or coach. Next, choose a beach with mild waves, to start practicing. Remember what you learned during your stand up paddle boarding lessons --that the movements of a surfboard are similar to riding a longboard -- and you should be just fine.

However, all extreme sports take practice to get good at, so don’t be surprised if you swallow a lot of seawater your first time. You’ll get better as time goes by.