By: Jordan Johnson
You did it! You finally decided to take the huge step. Surfing for beginners can be overwhelming. There are many elements of surfing that you need to consider. We have broken down the five main components in this five-step guide for beginners. Take a deep breath and relax. We are here to walk you through it.
Buying the Right Surf Gear
Before you even think about getting in the water, you need to get the right surf gear. Surfing for beginners can be stressful during the shopping process. There are so many things to take into consideration. Which surfboard do I buy? Do I have to buy a wetsuit? If you are a complete beginner, borrow your board from a friend, or rent it. This decreases the pressure of paying a lot of money for something that you are new to. It’s like buying a car, you test-drive before you purchase. We recommend purchasing a wetsuit, because being too hot, or too cold can make for an unpleasant surfing experience. It is important to do your research to find what your priorities in a wetsuit are.
Picking the Right Location
Not many people think about the location in which they learn to surf. However, picking the right setting can make surfing for beginners a pleasurable experience. There is a massive difference between the best places to surf and the best places to learn to surf. Beginners should pick a place they feel comfortable. If you do not like cold water, don’t pick a place with freezing cold-water temperatures and vice versa.
New surfers should also think about the size of the waves when first starting out. We have all been there; picking the places with the gnarliest waves isn’t always the best. Places like Morocco, Costa Rica, Spain and Nicaragua provide new surfers with small to moderate waves. These types of waves make surfing for beginners an easier task to conquer.
So many people are afraid of the stigma of taking surfing lessons. However, there are a wide range of surfing for beginner programs that can be very beneficial. If you have time, sign up for a surfing camp. Camps give you a crash course and you will be riding the waves in no time. If not, look for day, or weekend lessons. Having someone that is experienced in teaching surfing for beginners will help you progress. If you decide on lessons, make sure you are comfortable with your teacher. You will be spending lots of time with them. Choose someone that will not only encourage you, but push you to give it your all.
You might think that you are fit, but are you surf fit? The muscles that you work out while bench pressing or squatting will help you in a minuscule amount. You will find out that having the ability to swim and paddle a sizeable amount will be your greatest asset. New, or weak swimmers should spend some time at a pool to build up there abilities. Strong swimmers, don’t ever feel over confident in your abilities as the ocean is always changing and is far more dangerous than swimming pools. A lot of people try to overlook this step. If you do, you will be rereading this post sore and wishing you took our advice.
Before you even get into the water, learning everything there is to know about saftey is a must. There are so many safety measures that should be taken seriously, but here is our top three.
Talk to the lifeguard on duty and see how the swells are before you get into the water. Knowing the water conditions is better then figuring it out in the water. If you do get caught in a rip current, don’t panic. Start to paddle perpendicular away from the rip current, this will allow for you to escape the rip.
Know Your Limits:
Surfing can be tiring and hard on the body. The cold water brings your core body temperature down. Make sure you take breaks and come ashore to allow your body to warm up.
Drink Lots of Water:
You might think that you are hydrated because you are surrounded by so much water, but in fact you are still sweating. Take some time when you come ashore to rehydrate to prevent your muscles from cramping.
Bonus – Have Fun!
The reason why you wanted to pick up a surfboard might be different to someone else. However, the one thing we all should have in common is that we are having fun. The famous surfer Phil Edwards said it best “The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”