If you’ve taken up the great Aussie pastime of surfing, then you’re on a path to great things, increased happiness, and probably the most satisfying way to exercise and get the fresh sea air that there is.
Having said that, it’s not the easiest sport in the world, and when you’re just starting out, it’s important that you do things right so that you can ensure you have the best possible time when you’re out on the water.
Below are some of the most important things that beginners should remember as they prepare to start or continue their new surfing journey.
Spend Time Finding the Right Board
If you’re in NSW and you go to shop for softboards in Sydney, then it’s critical that you get the right one for your level. Beginners may be tempted to blow a load of cash on the top-rated shortboards that they’ve seen professionals using, but this would be a mistake.
Beginners benefit more from boards with greater volume that floats better on the water and are broader and easier to catch waves. A good beginner board should be about 60 liters in volume.
Work with an Instructor
When you’re starting out, it’s important that you don’t pick up any bad habits. That’s why learning from a proper instructor is the best thing when you’re starting out. Once you’ve mastered the basics and know how to keep yourself safe in the water, you might turn to friends or others who can teach you their fancy moves.
Just remember that you have to know how to walk before you can run, and so it is with surfing. Those who ignore the basics and fundamental knowledge of looking out for themselves as surfers are dooming themselves to terrible danger.
Always Warm Up Before Sessions
Getting a sudden bout of cramps when you’re out on the water is not something you want at any time. To prevent this from happening, the easiest thing to do is simply do some simple warm-up steps before you get in the water. The best thing to do is some simple stretches in your arms and legs, and that should do the trick.
After you warm-up and as you get in the water, a valuable activity can actually just be practicing sitting upright on your board while you’re in the water. It’s not as easy as it looks, but it is an important skill.
Equally, practicing your “prone” position (lying on your belly while paddling the board) is another important position to practice. These are “bread and butter” skills for any surfer.
Don’t Forget Your Surf Leash
The surf leash may feel irritating at first, but it’s a life-saving piece of equipment and as a beginner, you should definitely use yours at all times. It will ensure your board is always within reach even if you wipe it out into the water, and that board as your flotation device needs to be nearby all the time.
Start on Smaller Waves
Use smaller, gentler waves to practice your basic techniques and skills before you progress to those bigger, badder waves. Don’t attempt the larger waves until your instructor is satisfied you are competent enough to do so, regardless of what you personally think about your own surfing ability.
In addition, don’t try to do too much all at once. Surfing is more energetic and tiring than you think, and it’s easy for beginners to get worn out and end up struggling in the water. Start with shorter sessions, build up your strength and your skill level. Slow and steady wins the longer surfing race.