Surfing is an amazing sport. It allows you to connect with nature and explore the Ocean as you were one with it, while pushing your own personal strength and endurance. It’s an exhilarating and rewarding activity, but it can be difficult to break into. To help you get started on the right foot and keep your morale high as you push through the learning curve, we recommend focusing on 5 key aspects of surfing.
1. Build up your balance.
Beginners should start out with larger surfboards, because large bases offer more stability and therefore more balance.
2. Practice your pop ups.
Before you get out into the water, make sure you know how to properly stand up on your surfboard. Practice doing pop ups on the beach to simulate what standing up on your board will really be like.
To practice a pop up, lie down on the ground with your hands positioned like you are going to do a push up. Make sure your hands are only as wide as your board – you need to use it as leverage. You want to push yourself up to a standing position in one fluid motion, so you can quickly plant your feet and find your balance. Practice pop ups until you feel fully confident and comfortable with this action.
Photo: Practice your pop ups!
3. Don’t drop in.
The number #1 rule of surfing is: don’t drop in. In other words, don’t steal another surfer’s wave. Quality waves can only be surfed by one person! To ensure you never steal a wave, always check left and right before taking off. If there is a surfer further on the inside of the wave than you and closer to the peak, they have priority. If you are closer to the peak, then it’s your wave to ride!
4. Know the signs of a rip current.
Safety is incredibly important with this sport. You need to stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Rip currents can be highly dangerous, so the best thing to do is avoid them. The warning signs of rip currents include:
- Waves not fully breaking in the rip
- Objects and/or surfers being quickly pulled out to sea
- A change in the color of the water within the rip (it will be darker due to sediment.
Calmly paddle back to shore if you spot a rip current. If you get caught in one, don’t panic. Paddle parallel to the shore inside of directly against it. If you paddle directly against it you will tire yourself out instead of making progress.
5. Give it time and stay patient!
Surfing is a complex sport with a lot of moving parts. No two waves are the same, so learning this sport can be a real struggle. A big part of surfing is learning to adapt to the wave you are riding, which takes a lot more time to develop skill at compared to a sport where the variables stay consistent. A great way to get into the sport is by immersing yourself in a 5-day surf camp, where you get professional coaching and can concentrate on your technique and balance without interruptions.
Photo: Surf Camp in Lanzarote (Spain)
Are you ready to learn how to surf? Check out some of the best beginner surf camps in Europe.