If you’re looking for real fun in the water, surfing can satisfy your thirst for extreme adventures. Aside from the health benefits that it can offer, you also get closer to nature when you’re surfing.
However, just like other extreme sports, no one starts an excellent surfer. Before you can ride the big wave, you’ll go through the difficulties of being a beginner in surfing.
We’ve done our research and have come up with a list of comprehensive surfing tips for beginners that they should keep in mind.
#1. Find a good surfing instructor
Before anything else, you must find an excellent surfing instructor. This is to avoid injuries when you are surfing. Surfing instructors will not only teach you the basics of surfing, but they will also inspire you to become the best surfer and fall in love with the ocean.
An excellent surfing instructor will teach you how to read the water, the tides, weather forecasts, as well as give you tips on how to perfect your positioning when you are on the board. Aside from that, you get the best surfing techniques from professional surfing instructors. Most of them have joined competitions before, and with all the years they spent having fun in the water, they have most likely developed a surfing technique that will make your experience more pleasant and enjoyable.
#2. Opt for a bigger board
One of the best surfing tips for beginners that you should keep in mind is selecting the right board. When you are a beginner at surfing, it is vital to use a bigger one. A bigger board is easier to manoeuvre, and it also gives you a larger surface to make you feel comfortable when riding the waves. Make sure to check the materials of the board, too. If you invest on a high-quality board, rest assured that it will last for years.
An ideal surfboard should be at least one palm higher than your height. It should weigh around 2.2 pounds that will allow you to transport it from one place to another easily.
Aside from that, there are factors that you need to consider when choosing the right surfboard, including the type of waves on the beach where you’re planning to practice. You should also take your fitness level and surfing skill level into consideration.
#3. Don’t forget the surf leash
Surf leash is for your safety, so make sure that you don’t forget to put on one. There are times that it can get in the way of your surfing, but you will get used to having a surf leash. Even the professional surfers also use a leash, especially in a competition. A surf leash can save your life in case anything happens.
A surf leash functions by preventing your runway surfboard from hitting other surfers when you slip into the water. In case you fall, you don’t have to swim far to catch your surfboard because the leash will keep your board close to you.
#4. Do some exercises before hitting the waves
Before you plunge into the water, you must do some exercises. When you stretch your muscles before surfing, it will decrease the risks of suffering from muscle cramps when you’re in the water. It also improves your endurance, allowing you to enjoy more time in the water. Your surf instructor may introduce some basic exercise routines before surfing to make sure that your body is conditioned.
The following are the most common exercises to do to improve your surfing skills: front squats, ring chin-ups, Turkish get-up, pushup, dynamic lunge, and mobility drills. These are home-based exercises that will condition your body before you plunge into the water. It improves your strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance that can help you improve your surfing skills.
#5. Start small and slow down your pace
When you start surfing, you may feel giddy and excited to hit the biggest of the waves. We understand your thrill, but it is still important to slow down to lessen the risks of injury. When you slow down your pace, you will start to get used to riding the waves. Start tackling smaller waves before you brave yourself to hit the big ones. Unless your surfing instructor gives you the signal that you can handle big waves, stay away, and get comfortable with small waves first.
#6. Perfect your pop-up
Pop-up is a quick, fluid push-up. Practicing your pop up will allow you to move swiftly on the board. It is best to practice the pop-up position when you’re still on the sand, so you’ll be able to transition with no difficulty when you’re in the water. Start by putting your hands in a chicken position and then quickly transition to cobra push-up position.
#7. Dry your ears and stretch
To avoid surfer’s ears, it is essential that you dry your ears properly. This is crucial, especially if you spent a couple of hours out in the sea and playing with the waves. Make sure that you drain your ears and remove any traces of salty water. Make it a habit to dry your ears properly right after you step into the shore from the sea.
After drying, you should proceed to stretch. Your shoulders and spine might be tensed after that surfing session you just had. Release the tension in your body by stretching and also to avoid the adverse effects of lactic acid production. Stretching also helps to improve your flexibility, which is a vital surfing skill that you should develop in the long run.
#8. Eat a protein-filled diet
Your muscles are sore and mush after spending hours in the water. Therefore, you must eat a protein-filled lunch after surfing. Its main goal is to restore your muscles and bring back the right nutrients that your body needs. Throw in some carbohydrates to bring back your energy and protein to help you aid in muscle recovery.
However, it doesn’t mean that you should opt for carbohydrate drinks and foods to energize yourself. Natural carbohydrates that you can find in fresh fruits should be added to your lunch. Or, if you want, make yourself a fruit and vegetable smoothie instead of gulping down a tall glass of beer as a reward for yourself.
Aside from that, don’t forget to hydrate yourself. Bring with you bottled water so you can drink straight after surfing. The amount of energy that you spend on surfing is very similar to running. So, if you spend three hours on the sea, it is equivalent to three hours of jogging. Your body will need to revitalize. Before and after surfing, make sure that you drink plenty of water.
#9. Rest properly
The best time to surf is at dawn. It is the only time when you catch the smoothest waves in the sea, and the beach is most likely deserted by other surfers. Therefore, you should rest properly after surfing to make sure that you can restore your body of the energy that it will need when surfing the next day. Seven to eight hours of sleep is highly recommended, especially for adult surfers.
You should also make it a habit to go to bed early if you’ve had an intense surfing session with your instructor. It is to prepare your body for the next day and speed up the recovery, should you suffer from any muscle pain and soreness.
Heeding these surfing tips for beginners increases your chance to learn the sport faster. In the same way, you can also have more fun times in the water since you have more energy and enthusiasm to be better at surfing the waves.