How to learn to surf for beginners | 2022 Edition
For those people who have always been attracted to surfing but have not dared to take the step and have been putting it off year after year, reading this ultimate edition guide made in collaboration with the experts of models and surf could be the push necessary to take the board, the wetsuit and go into the sea to ride on top of the waves; and feel the adrenaline rush through your body.
Surfing is a sport of balance and reflexes. Once you've mastered this part of the exercise, it's just a matter of letting yourself be carried away by the wave for as long as possible while steering the board through one or more fins at the rear.
To make this process simpler and more effective, it is advisable to start with wave experts or even try a surf trip to a heavenly destination. In addition, it is necessary to know how to swim fluently and have prior knowledge about the sea in which you are going to surf and the type of surf that one can find.
Different types of surf
This guide will explain how to become a better surfboard surfing, giving you all the tips you need to know in advance, explaining the importance of the equipment and assisting you in your progression from beginner to intermediate. Nevertheless surfing is not only done with a surfboard, you can have different type of surfing:
Paddle surf or stand up paddle surf (SUP)
Paddle surf or stand-up paddle surf (SUP) is one of the new styles of surfing. It consists of standing up on a unique table and moving on it to support an oar that serves to propel and maneuver on the water surface, whether they are: beaches, lakes, swamps, or other water reservoirs.
This type of surfing is amusing because it does not require great skill to do it, although it does need excellent physical conditions to stay constantly active in the water.
It consists of sliding the body directly over the sea without the board's support but with a handboard and fins. The best of this sport is to fully immerse yourself in the waves taking advantage of the momentum of a small hand board.
This is one of the newest surf varieties. It is based on the ingenious idea of transferring the kayak to the sea and taking advantage of the force of the waves, in conjunction with the paddle, to go at high speed and perform all kinds of maneuvers as with aboard. Here they combine the techniques of both sports for better development within the waves.
In the case of Skimboarding, skateboarding was introduced into the sea. It is the mixture of both sports using a small board to jump, maneuver, and play on the waves right where they break. This type of surfing technique is to wait on the shore for the right moment to jump in and start sliding with the "beach skate".
Another exciting water sport is bodyboarding, the type of surfing that uses a small synthetic foam board without fins to slide on the walls of the waves. It resembles bodysurf in the use of drive fins, the techniques used, and the body's position. Within this classification, there are other modalities:
Prone (lying down)
It is a modern style of surfing in which speed prevails due to hydrofoils adapted to the board. It is floating on the waves while lying down. In this way, the energy of the water flows between the wings with greater force, and the response capacity is surprising.
This is a modality for those who love to surf on their knees on the bodyboard. It is to go to the waves lying on the board and when it seizes them, slide the knees until they are under the body, bend the leg forward with the foot in the nose, stay in the Dropknee position and dive into it.
A Dropknee surfer has the agility to perform this modality due to the similarity between the two. In stand-up, all you have to do is place both feet on the bodyboard while riding the waves at full speed.
For those who like extreme surfing, there is the "tow surf" proposal. In this modality, the surfer uses the support of jet skis to access huge waves and thus catch them quickly at the right moment. It was invented by the most daring athletes with enough adrenaline to break waves more significant than 30 feet in height.
Surfing has undeniably revolutionised the way of facing the waves with a high level of adrenaline. Those who originated it never thought that their way of fishing would become the passion of sea lovers, leaving their roots behind. The athletes who play it confess that it is their best way of being in direct contact with nature, freeing themselves from stress and living in their world within the ocean.
Today, it is a vast industry that is gaining strength every day thanks to competitions, advertising media, and accessories for its practices. Therefore, it is not surprising that new types of surfing, other adaptations, and specialised boards for it appear in a short time since it will continue to grow as a sport and as a hobby in all parts of the world.
Essential materials for surfing
Surfing is not a complicated sport when it comes to the essential materials you need! If is summer, you most probably need only a surfboard, a surfboard leash and some wax! However when the weather starts to get colder, you probably need to add some wetsuit to your "wardrobe"
The surfboard will be the fundamental element to practice this sport. There are different types of boards: evolutionary surfboards, cork surfboards, foam surfboards, wooden surfboards, or you can even find a motorised surfboard.
It is essential when surfing that we choose the right board for our physical level, surf level, and the type of wave we will surf.
Surfboards for beginners are usually made of cork or also called soft boards. These boards are broad and thick, giving the surfer more stability. Also, with more volume, less paddling is needed to catch the wave, making it easier to stand up.
As we acquire a higher level of surfing, it is normal for the size of the surfboard to decrease.
Surfers with a medium or advanced level use smaller and thinner boards to perform more manoeuvres unless they didn't decide to go into long boarding.
The wetsuit acts like a second skin underwater. It keeps us warm while giving us the flexibility of movement. The wetsuit choice should focus on the temperature of the water and the time of year in which we are going to surf. The most common is to have several wetsuits to use on each occasion.
In winter, a 4 / 3mm or 5 / 4mm long wetsuit is usually used. The first number refers to the thickness of the neoprene in millimetres of the chest and back, and the second to the thickness of the joints.
Shorty wetsuits with short legs and long or short sleeves are used in summer. 3/2 or 2 / 2mm long wetsuits can also be used. In some places, it is not usual to use neoprene, and only a swimsuit is used.
Neoprene care is critical. After use, we must immerse it in fresh water and dry the suit upside down. To avoid nasty smells after a few uses, it is essential to wash it with special soaps avoiding conventional soaps since these are corrosive and can damage our neoprene.
Surfboard leash or leg rope
The leash is a rope that connects the board to the surfer's body. The purpose of the leash or invention is to have the surfboard under control and not lose it. The leash will be tied to the foot that we put behind when getting up. It has a velcro closure, and the rope material is usually elastic-plastic to prevent it from breaking into falls.
As a general rule, you should choose a leash the same length as your surfboard. With small waves, it does not matter to have a longer or shorter leash. However, we are interested in choosing a long leash with big waves, more significant than your board since the falls are violent. In this way, when you fall, you prevent the board from coming back towards you and hitting you.
In case you want to discover how to choose a leg rope for your surfboard, follow our guide: How to choose a surfboard leash
There are two types of fins: Fixed and removable. The fixed ones are incorporated into the table and cannot be removed. It is more comfortable because you do not have to go around assembling and disassembling them. In the vast majority of boards, the fins are removable.
In most surfboards, we can find three fins, although there are many more options, such as boards with a single fin, four fins, or even five.
Choosing a surfboard fins is quite the task, that's the reason why Models and Surf provide a comprehensive guide: How to choose a surfboard fins
The grip of your surfboard
The surfboard grip is a rubber-like material that sticks to the top of the board to prevent slipping while surfing. The grip sticks to your surfboard when it's dry and lets it sit for 24 hours. After that, it is usually placed at the back of the table.
Grips can be one piece, two, three, or even five. The one-piece surf grips are for shortboards. The ones with more details give you the option to adjust them according to your table.
Paraffin or Surfboard Wax
Paraffin is a product that spreads across the top of the board. Its function, like the grip, is that the board does not slip. Surfboards are designed to be smooth, making it easy to slide on the waves. Unfortunately, this design makes it impossible to get up on the board without slipping. That is why it is necessary to use paraffin to facilitate the grip. The paraffin gets where we usually put our feet when we stand on the board.
There are different types of paraffin depending on the kind of water you are going to surf. This works differently depending on the temperature of the water. For example, cold water paraffin will not work well in warm water. This paraffin, when heated, will become even softer, making it dense. If the paraffin is for temperate waters and we use it in cold waters, it will become harder and will not seize. If you want an extra grip, it is recommended to use two layers of paraffin.
Neoprene booties, hat, or gloves
If we want to surf in cold waters or during autumn and winter, it is advisable to use neoprene booties, a hat, and gloves. The booties have a hard sole that adheres to the board to prevent slipping. They are also necessary if you are going to surf in areas with many rocks.
Surf Key Lock
If you're not living in front of your favourite spot, you need to drive a car to be able to reach the surf spot and therefore going in the water and surf! How do you protect your car key meanwhile you're in the water? Models and Surf has the solution for this problem as well! Check this guide for Surf Key Lock
Learn the basics of surfing
This guide will show you all the different basic of surfing, starting on where to learn to surf and guiding you through all the different steps until you will become confident enough to claim yourself a surfer!
Where to learn surf
Choosing the correct spot to learn to surf is one of the most important aspects since not all beaches or waves are the same. Therefore, to learn to surf, it is essential to find a suitable beach where we will start. The way the waves break varies enormously, and if we try to learn to surf in a poorly chosen spot, this could slow down the learning process. We can even endanger our integrity, inadvertently getting in the way of other surfers who are in the water.
It would help if you avoided strong breakers, coral reefs, and huge waves that break on very strong and hollow beaches. It is advisable to start learning to surf on a beach where the waves break gently and do not exceed one meter in height. Remember that you are beginning to learn surfing and that it is only the first step. The time will come for you to perform feats on big waves. If you choose a small space on a quiet beach, it will be much easier to learn to surf.
No leaving for a place with big waves right off the bat! Remember that you don't know how to surf and that, to improve, it is better to start at the basic level. So, look for the place with low waves, so you are less at risk of suffering from an inconvenience.
Another good measure is to look for busy beaches. Even if you need to be especially careful not to disturb or hurt bathers, this is a measure that can make you feel more protected and easily helped if something happens. If you find it too difficult, you can look for places with surf schools and lifeguards, so security is certain, and you have all the necessary support.
Surfing for beginners: Learn how to catch a wave
When you start surfing it is important to start on the shore, between the foams to learn how to take a good take-off, but there comes a time when you are ready to go to the peak and start catching the waves before they break. Either because there were too many people in the spot, because you did not know the wave well or because many series were not entering. And the feeling that one of these sessions leaves you is not pleasant. In this post, we are going to give you some tips that you can apply to catch more waves.
Once you have your board and have chosen a good spot without crowds, the next step is learning to paddle. It is a crucial starting point, an essential element when learning to surf and must be mastered little by little, training our body for it.
Rowing should start in small waves and, if possible, row when the sea is calm and there are no waves. It is best to walk with the board until the water reaches the waist and then lean over the surfboard, laying the body on the deck. On a shortboard, you should keep your weight centred in the middle of the board. The trick is to find the optimal adjustment position so that the board offers less resistance when paddling.
Once you get the board to slide through the water quickly, you will have found the ideal balance, so you will have to adapt to that position. Next, begin freestyle, cupping your hands to row, lifting your chest to reduce the weight at the front of the board. Once you learn to balance both arms, head, and legs, you can now paddle towards the line, searching for the first waves.
How to face a wave?In order to reach the area where the waves are born, it is essential to cross a border that at first may seem impossible: the area where the waves break. The first thing we advise people who want to learn to surf is to take a good look at where and how the wave breaks, and if there is a channel that can facilitate access.
To cross this area, the first thing to do is face the wave decisively, without stopping paddling. If you stop, you will be an inanimate object that the wave will carry towards the shore and you will have to start over.
Face the wave perpendicularly, any deviation will make you lose stability and the most probable thing is that the force with which it arrives will give you a good roll.
To overcome the wave you must execute a maneuver called " do the duck". This is achieved by holding your board by the sides and pushing it down, submerging it as much as you can just before the wave hits you. As the wave passes over you, push the back of the board with your foot, keeping the board horizontal. The wave will have passed and you can continue paddling until the next one arrives.
This is one of the hardest aspects for those who are learning to surf since sometimes it is very frustrating to paddle and have a wave throw you back to shore. But the moment you do, you'll be ready to go to the next level.
From that moment on, a new stage in your surfing begins. With bigger waves and new sensations. You are no longer a beginner and now you have a world of possibilities before you to have a great time.
Difference between foam waves and easy waves
Learning to catch easy waves involves knowing how to differentiate if it is a wave or a foam. As a general rule, foams push you forward with force, that is
why when you start surfing, you may catch waves of foam during your first sessions. The foams are relatively easy to catch, as the force of the broken wave pushes you forward.
On the contrary, the waves that are noble and flabby have little force that allows you to enter the wave. You have to visualize it beforehand and anticipate.
Communicating with other surfers in the water can help you catch more waves in one session. " Are you going for that one?" "Are you going to the left or to the right?"
Simple and quick communication with the people around you can avoid situations where two or more people paddle the same wave and can help you catch more waves. Sometimes you don't paddle a wave because you think someone else is going to catch it. When you see that that person is not going to paddle that wave, it is usually too late. In these cases communication is essential.
There are some waves where you can surf both to the left and to the right. They are known as the A-shaped ones. In these cases, communication will help you know in which direction the other person is going, and you can both catch the wave.
Analyse the spot
When you go to the beach, spend a couple of minutes analyzing the spot from the outside. Although it is your local spot, conditions can change from one day to the next, especially if it is on a sandy bottom. In addition, there will be peaks that are more crowded than others.
Sometimes it is worth trying a different peak, where there are fewer people. The waves may not be as good as the other ones, but you will end up catching many more waves.
Don't paddle back in the inside
Try to be a little less inside than the other surfers. In this way, you will be able to catch the waves that those who are further inside cannot or do not want to catch.
This is a great technique to increase the number of waves in a session, but it requires experience since you have to be able to hold the series that will break in front of or even on top of you and you must be prepared to get out of the line of other surfers who catch the wave.
This technique implies preferring quantity over quality. You won't catch the "wave of the day," but you will catch a lot more waves, which is ideal if you are practicing a new technique.
Chase the wave
Especially on sandy beaches, do not be in the same place all the time, unless it is perfect. Explore a bit. Try different peaks, look around and see where the waves are breaking more consistently.
Always stay tuned for new opportunities. A big wave can come at a completely unexpected time. You must react quickly, and for example if someone falls into a good wave when taking the take-off and you are in a position to catch it, be quick and take advantage!
Position yourself in the best spot
Sit about 4-5 meters away from where most of the waves break. Why? Because if you wait at the exact point where most waves break, the moment you turn around and paddle to catch a wave, you will be catching a foam that has already broken or caused the wave to break on top of you.
How far are the most experienced surfers? They probably know where to sit perfectly to catch their wave. This does not mean that you should go sit right next to them and rush their waves. It is just an indicator to know approximately how far you should row.
We often see beginner surfers sitting much further away than very experienced surfers. This is nonsense. Or there are just no waves crashing that far on that day. Or, if there are waves that break much further out than where experienced surfers sit, it means that these are a set of bigger and "rare" waves (which you probably don't want to catch as a beginner surfer!). Look at the horizon and look for lines. What you are looking for is a "phase A" wave that then transforms into a "phase B" wave about 3 to 5 meters behind you.
Pick a wave, turn around, and do a minimum of 8 strong strokes. You have to paddle hard enough to match the speed of the wave during the transition from "Phase A" to "Phase B". This seems silly but it is super important, since half the times that we lose a wave, going over it and seeing how it goes, it is because we have not matched its speed and it has not "hooked" us.
When to take off?
You should do your take-off at about 2/3 of the height of the wave. Once you feel your tail lift, and after you feel like you've created enough momentum by gliding with the wave, take two last strokes, put your hands on the board next to your chest, arch your back, and take off!
There comes a time when you have to get up. When you feel confident that you have caught the rhythm of the wave and have given those two extra strokes, do not hesitate and go up! A common mistake is to keep paddling down the face of the wave until it breaks completely. Arching your back will help you avoid nose dips and also reduce your speed so you don't drop the entire wave on you.
Attention: when paddling, never put the board sideways in relation to the wave. Always keep the iron with the tip towards the peak. A wave suddenly rises in front of you: you dive by releasing your board, but make sure that no one is behind you if you can't try to retain the board by taking the invention as close as possible.
If you get into a stream (take a reference point before going to the peak) and you can't get out of it, take advantage of the foam, taking advantage of the current.
Types of waves
You will surf different type of waves depending on the spot you've choose for the surf session, therefore it's good to know the difference between them, therefore you can go there prepared and with a game-plan in action.
They are characterised by the fact that they are waves with a sandy bottom. Generally, the waves of this type of break are formed by the accumulation of sand in a certain area. The sand accumulates due to currents or the waves themselves. In general, they are quite variable waves, that is, the bottoms are not always placed in the same place due to the continuous movement of the sand on the bottom. The fact that the waves break on a sandy bottom does not imply that they are the most recommended waves to learn to surf. Although they are beach waves, they can be very powerful. So if we are going to choose a Beach break to learn to surf, we must make sure that they are soft and maneuverable waves, there are very dangerous beach breaks that generate waves with a lot of energy.
A reef break is a type of wave that is generated on coral or rock bottom. It is a type of wave that usually breaks in the same place since the bottom is not variable. Circumstances may arise that prevent the wave from breaking at the site, such as the direction or size of the swell.
In general, they are not the most recommended waves to learn to surf, since hitting a rock or coral bottom can cause serious injuries. This does not mean that this type of break is always very dangerous, there are always exceptions. There are Reef Breaks that generate very soft and maneuverable waves, although this is not usual.
This type of break generates long and high-quality waves. They are waves that travel the coast for great distances. They are usually perfect waves to improve many of the main surfing maneuvers. This type of wave, being so long, can have different sections, from pipe sections to smooth sections for
maneuvers. They are usually waves with not too much difficulty, although we do not always have a Point Break close to home. Of course, be careful with the currents in this type of wave.
Learn to recognise the parts of a wave
The wave have different parts that you need to recognise to level up your surfing skills and progress on your journey to become a better surfer.
Crest of the wave
The crest it's very easy to recognise, it's the top of the waves and it's the most vertical section.
It is the evolution of the crest of the wave when it begins to fall forward. That is, the ridge falls forward and the part that shoots out is the lip.
It is the hollow space, the cylindrical part that remains when the lip of the wave touches the valley (the part that remains at sea level). Every surfer when learning to surf dreams of getting inside.
Arm or wall
It is the clean part of the wave, the wall. It may be that the clean part of the wave goes to the left (Left), to the right (Right), or to both sides. In short, the surfable length of the wave.
The Duck Diving
Duck diving is the technique that allows you to pass under the waves that are breaking instead of receiving the blows of each wave and being swept away by them. It applies to short, small, and light boards and does not apply to longboards.
The technique consists of trying to gain as much speed as possible in the paddle when approaching the wave, and when the foam of the wave comes, grab the edges of the board halfway between the nose and the midpoint of the board and push with all the weight of the body on the hands and arms until you feel that the nose begins to pass under it. Then, point your head down and let your body follow.
When the body is just below the surface, we will bend the front leg and use that knee to push the tail under the wave. That momentum should push below the rapidly passing wave, and you only need to be under the water for a short time. Then, as the wave passes, the board will bring us back to the surface.
It's the best part, of course, that makes us want to learn surfing. But you have to know how to do it well, without disturbing other surfers. To start, it's best to catch some waves that break in shallower white water rather than a paddle to the back on the top line. The adjustment and row position should be controlled at this stage and avoid getting too far forward or backward on the board. Before trying to stand up, we must control that sensation of sliding so that we know how the board behaves with respect to the force of the wave.
When you can catch waves in white water, the time has come to use those skills to paddle and step out into the lineup to catch the continuous waves. This is an extraordinary moment in learning to surf. However, once in the lineup, Beyond where the waves break, we have to know how to stay seated on the board and concentrate on looking out to sea until we can catch a wave.
Another thing we should practice is turning the tip of the board to the left or right so that we can quickly turn to catch an approaching wave. Then, finally, it is time to choose a wave, direct the board towards the beach, and start paddling. When we feel the wave, we must row as hard as we can and lean the body forward but raising the chest so that the weight is just above the centre of the board. The natural tendency is to lean back to prevent the nose from going underwater, but that will only slow down momentum that is not conducive to catching waves.
Take off. Stand up on the surfboard.
It is the critical manoeuvre of surfing. It may seem very easy, but getting on the surfboard once it is moving, sliding, increasing speed through the water that carries it, is not easy. It would be best if you simultaneously rose from a prone position while the weight and shock are thrown out of balance from left to right.
This is when you discover the amount of practice it takes to get to your feet. The starting point is to practice standing up in the sand on the beach. First of all, it is necessary to know which foot will be the one that will go in front of the left or the right if you are goofy or regular. You will know what your foot is simply by doing a simple test: you must stand with your feet together and your back straight, close your eyes and ask a friend to push gently from behind. The foot that steps forward to stabilise is the lead foot. That should be your position on the board.
The movement to get up is called "pop-up", and it is simply a quick jump of the feet that we have to practice a lot in the sand before trying it in the water, always in calm waters with soft waves until we have it mastered. The process is as follows: we paddle towards the wave and, when we feel the speed increase, we jump with our hands firmly holding each edge and push up quickly while extending our arms and pulling our knees towards our chest. Make sure to keep your weight centred with a slight lean to the front and put your feet firmly on the board, with one foot near the tail and one foot just above the midpoint of the board.
We do not have to get up completely; we must keep a low centre of gravity squatting, bending the knees, and centring the weight in the middle of the board. We have to keep our arms extended and our eyes looking forward to supporting our balance.
How to improve your surfing?
If you decided to venture into a routine with more quality of life and chose surfing to start playing sports, know that you made a great choice! The practice of surfing is not as difficult as it seems and offers much more than physical exercise. After all, it still allows you to have contact with nature and meet other people who also have a healthy lifestyle.
If you can't wait to get started and want to know how to learn to surf, read our post until the end!
Some people have a natural talent for board sports. And some people have spent a little too much time exploring the Netflix catalogue lately. Whatever your category, upgrading is always a good option: despite appearances (hop, we row and hop, we jump on the board), surfing is an intense sport.
This is an essential tip! To get involved in an aquatic sport, it is very important that you know how to swim, after all, so you can manage in case of any tightness or unforeseen. So don't give up on that detail and develop your skill even further.
Surfing is an incredible sport, and you will be charmed right away! Contact with nature and concentration on movements can even come to combat some ills, such as depression.
Learning to breathe while playing sports is a great secret to success - which, by the way, is no different in the case of surfing. You can start by learning to breathe at the right times and hold your breath at other times so as not to swallow water. Thus, you avoid drowning or discomfort due to lack of oxygen.
To learn how to surf for real, it is very important not to be in a hurry. On the contrary, it is important to have persistence. So, train whenever you can, several times a week. When you least expect it, you'll be having fun surfing.
Flexibility - Yoga for surfing
To surf, it is imperative to gain the flexibility to have more agility and that our whole body does not hurt when we are in positions that we are not used to (either lying down, carrying the lumbar, or standing).
The ideal is to:
➢ Periodic stretching to gain flexibility at home.
➢ Stretches before surfing.
➢ Stretching after surfing.
What is the best way to improve flexibility at home?
We like very much to put it all together is Yoga since it performs a complete exercise on our body. So we leave you an example that we wanted a lot so that you can start at home.
Put on the sneakers, take your old bike out of the garage, or dust off your gym membership in case of bad weather. It is essential to work on your endurance: even if surfing is instead an explosive sport, you must be able to get into motion quickly with periods of low intensity. Your little heart will thank you if you have prepared it a little earlier. The great thing about cardio is that it can be worked out in so many ways - you can even start with walking if necessary.
It doesn't look like that, but we will have to get it before sliding on the wave. Unless you already have experience in other water sports, your shoulders and arms are likely underused in your regular physical activities. The ideal is to do regular sessions in the pool: in addition to training cardio level, you will gently work your upper body. Believe us: you will remember it the day you have to "pass the bar" for the first time!
Okay, that's the minor fun part. But, again, we are not asking you to have concrete abs or go to Cross-Fit every morning, but a little bit of muscle building can't hurt.
I can already hear you protesting: you don't want to practice taking take-offs by yourself in your room. First: ridicule does not kill. Second: trust us, learning to surf is also a matter of automatism, and you'll be glad you didn't have to think, "uh… where do you put your back foot?" ". You don't even have to have a board to train; it is above all about getting your body used to the movement, ensuring balance, and gaining confidence. Again, YouTube is full of tutorials; leave your ego aside and imagine yourself on a beach… It's already getting better.
What are the various level of surfing?
We know that each surfer is unique and evolves in the sport differently. Surfing teaches us to be humble, respect others, nature, and be patient, and although it often seems difficult, it certifies our ability to overcome limits.
Many people do not know exactly what their level of surfing is. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to recognise and explain not only surfing levels but also to give tips on how it is possible to evolve. We have divided surfers up to 10 levels.
Level 1: For the surfer who just started, here is a simple tip, the longer in the water, the faster to advance to the next level.
Level 2: After spending a lot of time in the water, the surfer is already running sideways on the wave and rehearsing the first edges on small walls.
Level 3: Here is the rowing phase, getting on the wave, facing the lip, and putting it down the first few times.
Level 4: After the first phases of recognition and adaptation, at level 4, already in the intermediate phase, the surfer drops alone more safely.
Level 5: Drop with agility and run the wave wall indicating that the surfer is evolving and has reached level 5.
Level 6: At this level, the intermediate surfer who already rises on the lip and descends easily to the wave's base.
Level 7: At level 7, still without much control, is the surfer who risks some basic maneuver.
Level 8: Having already mastered the basic manoeuvres, the surfer enters level 8, where he risks some more advanced manoeuvres.
Level 9: Advanced surfers who master the manoeuvres and already risk mixing basics with daring ones like aerial ones turning, 360, reverse or reverse.
Level 10: Competitor, freesurfer, athlete, or non-athlete, who performs basic, advanced, daring manoeuvres, dominates the board, moves and surfs differently with different wave sizes, in places with varying degrees of difficulty can be considered a PRO.
What are the mistakes of the beginner surfers?
When you are a beginner surfer, you very quickly tend to want to skip the stages. However, surfing is a complex sport and, although more and more accessible, the technique is difficult to acquire. But it's easy to imagine yourself surfing perfect, tubular waves with a pro shortboard. But surfing that you see on social media and surfing as a beginner are vastly different. To progress well in surfing and not to develop faults, it is important not to make these 5 beginner surfer mistakes.
Underestimate the conditions
This is one of the most dangerous mistakes for a beginner surfer. Underestimating the conditions can be hazardous for the beginner as well as for other surfers in the water. Therefore, it is essential to observe the spot and the waves before entering the water. Are there people in the water? If so, are there beginner surfers? Is there current or any other potential danger? Asking yourself the right questions before getting in the water is essential not to put yourself in danger and get tired of the surf.
If the waves are too big, there is undoubtedly a fallback spot near you that will be more accessible. A fallback spot is a spot that is less exposed to swell than the main spots. In the case of solid swells, they offer smaller waves and generally cleaner than on other spots. However, you have to be wary because these spots are usually very crowded.
In short, the novice surfer should not be presumptuous and should always show a certain humility in front of the ocean. Indeed, it is a dangerous element that no one controls. If the waves are too big, it is better to postpone your session or find a quieter place to avoid danger.
Choose a board that is too small
Once again, just because all professional surfers ride shortboards don't mean that this type of board is suitable for everyone. While shortboards are ultra-light, responsive, and maneuverably boards, they are reserved for intermediate to advanced level surfers. Indeed, their low volume makes them difficult to take off and row. However, a beginner surfer needs significant buoyancy and stability to understand the glide and the waves. The choice of the board is therefore essential to start appropriately and must be done gradually.
Not knowing the priority rules
Nothing could be worse than having a wave steered by another surfer. In surfing, priority rules are necessary to guarantee a good atmosphere in the water and maximum safety. The rules of priority are simple: the first standing on the wave has priority. If two surfers row simultaneously for a wave, the surfer closest to the peak (furthest inside the wave) has the right to surf it.
As a beginner, you should keep these rules in mind. Indeed, some experienced surfers are sometimes not very tolerant of beginners when they bother them. Not to mention the risk of injury and collision between 2 surfers, which can be dramatic. It is therefore vital to take a good look at each side before setting off on a wave.
Let go of your board to pass the waves
Another element that novice surfers tend to do can be hazardous: drop your board to dive under the waves. In addition to the fact that there is a risk of damaging his equipment, the beginner risks hitting another surfer or a swimmer around him. We then reach point number 1: if the conditions are too rough, changing the spot or not getting in the water is better.
In all cases, the surfer must remain in control of his equipment. While letting go of your board to dive under the waves and reach the line-up faster is tempting, it's better to get shaken than risk injuring someone. However, there are times when you won't necessarily have a choice. In this case, try all the same to check that no one is behind you. Also, try to hold your board by the leash as much as possible.
Do not inquire about the spot before entering the water
Just because there are waves somewhere doesn't mean you have to get in the water. It is mandatory to find out about the spot before going surfing. Indeed, each surf spot has its peculiarities. Thus, some spots will work more at high tide, others at low tide, or even with a minimum tide coefficient. The direction of the wind is also taken into account. For perfect conditions, you need light offshore wind (from land). The beginner surfer must therefore inquire to be able to surf in the best conditions.
Once you have practised the take-off from the beach, registering the correct posture, it is essential to study the waves, the place, the beach, the spot where you will surf, including accompanying a teacher because there are rules. For example, in surfing, we often get injured because of the board (leash or daggerboards).
When entering the water and in general, never hold your board by the leash, in particular by tangling it around your fingers or hand; you risk hurting yourself very badly if ever a wave arrives and pulls violently on it. Instead, always hold your board by the back or by the leash base (the part that is not plastic).
In the event of a fall, you try to fall flat on your stomach. If you see someone rushing at you, you don't scream; you don't wait for him or her to land on you. Instead, you go underwater and protect your head.
Before going surfing, study the waves; where are the surfers? Where they are is often where there are waves. To get into the water, go around the spot to not interfere with them if they catch a wave. You will come and stand at the peak. If the waves are too big, then stay at the edge to catch some foams. Remember that it is always the surfer who has priority over the one who goes up to the sea. It is always necessary to avoid disturbing the surfer on the wave, and it is either a beginner who learns or a surfer who arrives quickly. You have to get around and respect this priority.
Is surfing dangerous?
Surfing is one of the most beautiful activities there is. There is no doubt about that. But it can carry some dangers, especially when we are outside the comfort zone. Whether you are a beginner or even an advanced surfer, you have certainly gone through, or you will go through any of these situations, which can even put your life in jeopardy.
Surfing can be one of the sports with more adrenaline and a sense of freedom, but it also has its dangers such as:
They can happen inadvertently, especially when there is a lot of crowd and some beginners in the water. But they can also be the result of the evil of others. Following the rules of surfing is important to avoid these problems.
In some countries, this may not be a big problem, but surfers often have animal company in the water in other parts of the world. Sharks are the most feared by surfers, but there are also crocodiles, whales, seals, and even dolphins, who are sometimes enthusiastic.
The reef funds provide and offer some of the most perfect and paradisiacal waves in the world. But you have to be careful, because going to meet them can leave a mark. The marks left by the reefs represent one of the greatest dangers for surfers, and it is always good to avoid falling.
Although surfing is an increasingly global sport, the truth is that localism still exists in many parts of the globe. There are even waves where only locals can surf. Respect, in this case, is fundamental. Otherwise, the result can often be sad scenes of gratuitous violence.
Unexperienced surfers will often be able to face this threat, so it is necessary to be very careful. However, professionals also often face this danger, especially when we talk about bigger waves, which carry more risk. Who doesn't remember the epic rescue of Maya Gabeira in Nazaré?
Falling into a wave, however small, is never a pleasant experience. Even in a small sea, you can feel the "washing machine" effect. Then imagine what the experience of being surrounded by a very big wave should be like. They leave from there in half. As in the case of reefs, it is always best to try not to fall and not let the wave get the better of you
How to be safe surfing?
It's all about reducing risks! As far as you're doing your part, you're already doing enough to reduce the risk of hazard. Read the following list and try to remember all the tips meanwhile you're surfing:
- Never turn your back on the sea.
- Pay attention to constant changes in sea conditions.
- Observe all the safety warnings.
- Respect the power of the sea and know your limits.
- Do not cut in front of another surfer.
- Paddle towards the wave, not the surfer.
- Do not go into the sea alone.
- Protect you head
- Respect the basic rule of surf: Only one surfer per wave.
Is it difficult to surf?
Nobody learns to surf in four days, but you will be able to know if you like this sport or not during this time. Surfing is an enjoyable and technical sport. You will have a good time from day one. Once you pass the initiation levels, you will be able to go up to the intermediate and advanced levels.
Can I start surfing at any age?
Many people wonder if this sport can be started at any age, or if you have to start from a young age. For Surfing, as for any other sport, there are no ages; It is recommended that you start from a young age because of the ease of learning it, but anyone who proposes it can get to learn it. To learn Surf, you don't have to be young or old; you have to like it and feel it.
Can I surf without a leash?
It is indeed possible to surf without a leash. But you have to meet certain conditions. First, you need to be sure that you can manage without your board in the event of a fall. Try to catch up with your board during the wipe-out at all costs to avoid having to pick it up on edge. Next, never surf without a leash if there are people around. This could hurt someone and get the wrath of other surfers in the water. Either way, if you are a beginner and haven't mastered all aspects of surfing yet, then don't. Surfing without a leash is enjoyable, but it is still a practice to be avoided in many cases.
I am a beginner, what is the best time to surfing?
Any time will be positive! Naturally, there is a difference in the size of the waves throughout the year; therefore, if you have good physical conditioning, even if you are a beginner, you will also ride the waves in the winter, which tend to be larger.
How to know the characteristics of a surf spot?
There are many platforms dedicated to wave forecasts and their references. On these, the beginner can find all the necessary information:
➢ Wind direction & force
➢ Type of spot (beach-break, reef-break, point-break, etc.)
➢ Swell size and period
➢ Wave size
➢ Spot population
Depending on the platform, the information may differ, but the best known are Magicseaweed and Windguru, among others.
Can I go into the water with contact lenses?
It is usually safe to surf with contact lenses. However, there is always the risk of losing them. If you typically wear rigid lenses, we recommend that you use disposable lenses.
How to choose a leash?
The size of the leash should also be suitable for your level. If you are a beginner, we advise you to take a longer leash, reducing the risk of impact with the board. Conversely, an experienced surfer will choose a shorter leash, allowing him to get more speed on the waves because the leash will offer less resistance and drag less behind him.