How to Surf – Beginners Guide to Surfing

So, you think you’re ready to go for a surf, and are keen to get to the beach with your surfboard? Before you even start, there are few things you need to know.

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  1. THE LEARNING CURVE Know this: surfing is one of the most difficult and complex sport in the world. Your playground is constantly changing, not one wave is the same. Elements such as wind, tides and swells are affecting the waves you surf differently every single day.It’s a very challenging but enjoyable learning process. Once you catch your first “green wave”, that’s it, you’re hooked! Knowing the learning curve helps you prepare your attitude and expectations towards your surfing. Contrarily to snowboarding, for example, there’s no moment at the 3rd day where you think “Ok, I got this” and then very rarely fall again. You will fall again, and again, and thats the beauty of it, learning to pick yourself up everytime and start all over again. Its a very powerful sport and a leason on its own.

Learn to surf information are always useful.

2. YOUR SURFBOARD IS IMPORTANT Choosing the right surfboard will completely change the experience.It’s not about having the “brand new model”. It’s about having the right volume and rocker. The volume is the measurement of how much flotation the board has. It’s a function of length, width and thickness. Basically, when you start surfing, you want lots of volume (choose either a longboard or a foamboard, boards that are wide, thick, long and have a flat rocker).  Ask for advice in a locally owned surf shop. It’s the best way to get advice from people who know what they are talking about. 3.

3. CHOOSE THE ADEQUATE SURF SPOTS This is extremely important. It can determine whether you have the best time of your life, or the worst. Many surfers will tell you: “start on a beach break, it’s safer”. This is true, but only to a certain extent. Of course it’s better to fall on sand then on rocks or coral reef. But the truth is, there are some sandy beach breaks for advanced surfers, and some rocky point breaks for beginner surfers. To make things even more confusing, some spots can be perfect to learn on some days, and on other days only be good for experts. It all depends on the wave conditions. If you want to know if a spot is good for your level, you must not only look up the spot info, but also the daily wave conditions. Surfline.com is a good website with handy informations.
4.HAVE SOMEONE TO SHOW YOU THE BASIC TECHNIQUE Imagine learning the wrong basic techniques and then having to “unlearn” your bad habits before you can continue your progression. It can get frustrating if not even dangerous. Have an experienced friend or surf coach show you the right basics for the first few days.

5. LEARN ABOUT SURF ETHICS There are many, many rules to go by in surfing: don’t paddle inside, don’t drop in, don’t snake, don’t ditch your surfboard, and so on. It may sound like Chinese when you are new to the sport. Here’s the top 3 things you should focus on at first:

  • DON’T DROP INThe drop in is the main violation of surf ethics. It’s the one we see way too often.Basically, it means “stealing” somebody else’s wave. Quality waves are meant to be ridden by only 1 surfer. This way the lone surfer can enjoy specific powerful areas of the wave, where only 1 surfer can fit.So how to know if it’s your wave or somebody else’s? When you paddle for a wave, look on both sides (right and left) before you take off. If a surfer is catching the wave further inside, closer to the peak, he has priority.
  • CHOOSE THE RIGHT SURF SPOT FOR YOUR ABILITY
  • RESPECT THE LOCALSIf you are new to surfing, you might not know this. Every surf spot has its own “vibe”. Some spots are more “localized” then others.This means some local surfers are more “inviting” to strangers than others, and this varies in different surf spots. Just always remember: you are not home. These surfers might have been surfing these waves for years, since they are kids. When you get to a surf spot, take time to feel and analyse the vibe. Be positive, respectful and unselfish. Share waves and don’t drop in.

Surfing etiquette is a set of rules that should be observed while surfing. This guide will teach you who has the right to surf a wave, not to drop in, not to snaking and other useful things that will keep you on the right side of more experienced surfers.

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Now, Before you go any further you should first check a couple of things. A bit of reading and preparation now will save you a lot of time later.

Gear

It’s important to get the right gear in order for your surfing to quickly progress. The main barrier to progress is starting on an unsuitable board. Make the right choice now and improve rapidly. Also learn about the other pieces of equipment like the surfboard leash, wax and surfboard fins. When it comes to beginner boards, bigger is better—as big as you can carry. Understand? You should be aiming for at least an 8′ board but preferably one over 9’6”. If you can get a foamy,then that’s even better. A big foam board (see soft top surfboards) will ensure that you catch the waves easily and that you don’t get hurt as you spend your days falling off and onto your board. Size does matter!

Preparation

If you are serious about surfing and want to be ready for that first session, find out what you need to know in the run up to arriving at the beach. The better you prepare, the more fun you will have: you’ll be fit and ready, have the right gear and be at the right place. Go go go!

Fitness for surfing

Surfing is a physically demanding sport. You need to be strong, flexible and have excellent endurance. The fitter you are, the longer you’ll be able to surf for. The faster you can paddle, the more waves you’ll get. We’ve got lots of articles, specifically for surfers, to help you get into shape.

What ABOUT THE SURFBOARDS?!

Surfboards come in all shapes and sizes, some even come with a bit of surprises. The most common types of surfboards today include the: shortboard, longboard, funboard, fish, gun and hybrid.

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Shortboard – The shortboard surfboard design reinvented high performance surfing in the 1970s and continues to allow surfers to push the boundaries of the sport. The shortboard is usually found at a length of under seven feet long.  It will have a greater amount of rocker which allows it to surf in critical sections of the wave. It is most commonly seen with sharp noses,thins rails, and either three or four fins.

Longboard – This is the oldest and most traditional of modern surfboard designs. Longboards typically range from 8 feet to 12 feet long, at least 2.5 inches thick and twenty inches wide.  This extra volume allows them to paddle incredibly well and catch waves with ease. A beginner should start on a longboard shape to learn wave selection, paddling technique, and turning basics. Expert longboarders are known for their smooth style, surfing in a very fluid manner.

Funboard – A funboard is a larger surfboard with a lot of volume but not quite that of a longboard. They typically range in from 6 feet to 8 feet long. The funboard is a perfect for surfers who want to transition to a smaller board while still maintaining additional paddling power and stability. The funboard can come in a variety of tail shapes, nose shapes, and foils.

Fish – The fish design gained popularity in the 1970s and has origins in the knee-board. It is typically found shorter and wider than the shortboard and because of this it works very well in small mushy surf. A fish is a relatively flat surfboard with only a bit of rocker, allowing it to paddle very well and carry speed through flat sections of a wave.

Gun – This is the surfboard that you take out when the waves are huge. A typical gun ranges in length from 6’6” to 10’.  The extra length allows a surfer to gain enough speed while paddling to catch the huge and fast moving waves. It is designed for big drops and handling very high speeds with good control.  A gun will have a great deal of rocker and will most likely have three of four fins.

Hybrid – A hybrid surfboard design mixes a few design elements from different board types. One common example mixes the characteristics and performance of a shortboard with the stability and tail design of a fish. This is a great board for medium size days or even just a heavier surfer who wants to surf a smaller board.

Other – As you learn more about surfing you will hear about some other less common surfbaord designs. Some that come to mind are the stand up paddle board, bonzer, mini simmons, alaia and tow in board. Each of these types excels in specific conditions.

Courtesy to http://barefootsurftravel.com
http://www.surfing-waves.com
http://www.surfscience.com
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