Whether you live near the ocean or are planning to spend your next summer vacation at the beach, few seaside activities are more fun than surfing.
Paddling out past the breakers, waiting for the perfect swell, then skimming along the water toward the shore is a favorite pastime of both beach locals and vacationers alike.
That said, surfing isn’t quite as easy as an experienced surfer makes it look. And without a guide to surfing, you might find that you do more crashing than gliding in the water.
But you don’t have to worry, because we’ve got you covered! Read on to learn everything you need to know to tackle your first wave with confidence.
Master the Pop-up
Whether you’re surfing fish or using a standard board, it’s wise to master the all-important pop-up before your board ever touches the water. To do this, lay your board in the sand, taking care to do so in a soft patch of sand to protect the fin underneath.
Lie down on the surfboard as if you were paddling. Then, in one fluid motion, push off with your hands, draw your legs beneath you, and stand up. If your knees scrape your board, try again.
Once you’ve found a comfortable, confident stance on your board and can perform the pop-up with ease, it’s time to hit the water.
Now, if you opt to teach yourself rather than taking surfing lessons, you need to have someone with you. If not in the water, then at least on the shore watching. Should a worst-case scenario occur, it’s important to have someone available to help.
Standing next to your surfboard, guide it out into the water until you’re around waist-deep. At this point, hop up and lie down, then begin making alternate strokes with each hand. This motion takes a surprising amount of strength and endurance, so you might want to consider strength training before you learn to surf.
Turn Your Board and Stand
When you’re ready to attempt catching a wave, keep a close watch for approaching options. You need to choose a wave when it’s still around 20 feet away.
As the wave approaches, turn your board and begin paddling hard toward the shore. To catch the wave, you’ll likely need to use more energy than you did getting to your starting position.
You’ll know when you’ve succeeded, as the wave will lift your board and you’ll pick up speed. When this happens, it’s time to stand! Using the motion you mastered in the sand, pop up on the board. All that’s left is to cruise to the shore and start again!
Use This Guide to Surfing to Get a Head Start With Your New Hobby
Though mastering the ocean’s waves will still take a good bit of practice, this guide to surfing will help you get off on the right foot once your feet hit the board.
The best thing you can do is be patient! Everyone falls or misses a few waves their first time surfing. Take your time, relax, and have fun – you’ll be ripping the waves before you know it.
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