There are few feelings in life as exhilarating as the rush you get from catching a big wave and riding it all the way. Most people from the first time they ever step on a surfboard find themselves hooked. But surfing is a lifelong journey, and the foundations that you build on will be fundamental to your progress. Here are five important tips for first-time surfers.
Tip 1: Enjoy the Process
Surfing is an extremely technical and difficult sport and it can be very frustrating when you first start. Hours spent waiting for a good wave seems wasted when the reward is just a few seconds standing up. Be realistic and try to enjoy the process.
Whilst it can be demoralizing watching an experienced surfer whizz past you as you wipe out for the fiftieth time that day (or that hour), remember that everyone started just as you are now. Surfing is not a skill that can be mastered overnight. It takes years of practice, but the harder they work, the sweeter the rewards.
Tip 2: Get the Right Gear
As in any sport, whether it’s cricket, rugby or surfing, the right equipment is very important. Choosing the right surfboard is the most important decision you will make when you are first starting. Beginner surfboards are thicker, longer and wider than advanced surfboards and offer better buoyancy.
Again, be patient and don’t be embarrassed about buying a beginner’s surfboard. It is far better to learn the fundamentals on an appropriate board than it is to try and skip straight to an advanced board that you are unable to handle. As well as your surfboard, a good rashguard and shorts will help protect you from the rough surface of the board.
The experts at https://www.southernman.com.au/rip-curl/ say that there are brands and styles out there on the market to suit everybody. It is not about buying the latest thing or the most expensive gear. Surfwear is primarily about function so choose something that you feel comfortable with, not just something that looks cool.
Tip 3: Location! Location! Location!
Just as there are different color slopes in skiing for different levels of skier, there are different spots for different levels of surfer. When you first start, look for a spot with slower breaks and sandy bottoms. As frustrating as it may sound if you are going to be falling off a lot, (and you are going to be falling off a lot!), soft sand hurts a lot more than jagged rocks or coral.
But no two sandy beaches are the same, so make sure you do your homework on where is a good place to learn. Surfing can be very dangerous and if you choose the wrong spot without having the requisite experience or skills, you could put yourself in harm’s way. There are loads of surfing websites online which can point you in the direction of a suitable spot nearby.
Tip 4. Learn the Basics from an Experienced Teacher or Friend
Most people would never try to teach themselves how to drive a car or ride a horse, and surfing is no different. As previously noted, surfing is one of the most difficult sports you can try, and it is vitally important that you learn the basics correctly. Bad form breeds bad form and especially when you are first starting, you do not want to create an incorrect muscle memory or establish bad habits.
Get a few lessons from a professional instructor or have an experienced friend teach you the basics. Trying to unlearn bad technique is much harder than learning good technique, to begin with, and the best surfers mastered the basics before they ever started working on their advanced skills.
Tip 5. Learn the Rules
There are so many rules in surfing, and every surfer when they first start, finds themselves being accosted by another surfer for an offense that they didn’t even know they had committed.
Remember that the rules do not exist just to cause you embarrassment; they are there so that everyone stays safe and so that every surfer in the area can enjoy the waves equally. Learn the rules online so you know what they mean if you hear them being quoted, and when you are sitting on the beach, watch to see how more experienced surfers give way to each other.
Surfing is one of the most dynamic and exciting sports on earth and with so many awesome locations to do it, once you start, there is a lifetime worth of waves to ride. Be patient and enjoy the journey. Just remember that everyone started just where you are now. Learn the basics now and give yourself time to grow.