Invented thousands of years ago, Surfing is one of the oldest water sports known to mankind, and is now among the most popular and practiced beach activities in the world.


There are many reasons why this sport is so attractive. Wherever you go, the setting wherein you can learn or practice surfing is always sensational. Reckon a summer sun, a wavy ocean and a white beach being your exercise room each and every time again.

Learning to surf, and surfing in general, doesn’t come with an age. As some sports require a certain body condition to be able to do them, learning how to surf doesn’t require any specific needs. Of course, a fit body helps you to get in shape and to persist within the learning process. Without doubt, a healthy and well-nourished lifestyle helps you in whatever you do or pursue.

Wherever you go for a surf session, you’ll always meet and exchange experiences with other surfers from all over the world. Surf spots can be found at every coast line, which is an undeniable benefit and advantage of the sport. You can differ in setting, degree of difficulty, or desired surrounding whenever you want.

Watching experienced surfers going through a huge barrel can make surfing look so easy. Never forget that these surfers also started their learning process once upon a time. All it takes to become a good and experienced surfer is: practice, practice and – guess what – more practice. It took hours and hours of falling down and getting up for any skilled surfer to ultimately achieve the water mastery they possess today.

So, it is time to get down to business. Soak up the next 10 beginner surfer tips, book a trip to your ideal beginner surf spot, and get on that board as soon as possible!

BEFORE THE SURF


1.  First of all: choose the spot wisely. Choosing a wrong spot can end up being seriously dangerous. You have to check whether the local conditions are suitable for you as a beginner.

2.  If you have found a good spot, you have to choose the right board. Never start with a short board. It has less volume, so it is less stable and more difficult to paddle on. Get a soft or long board. which helps you in your initial attempts at surfing. Make sure your leash is on your back leg with the tube pointing outwards and your board’s fins are pointed in the right direction. Check whether your board is waxed properly.

“As kids, we used to put soap on each other’s boards instead of wax. Hilarious, but most certainly not something you want when you just started to learn how to surf.”

3.  Warm-up: besides warming up the legs and hips, focus on warming up your shoulders, neck, and wrists. You can find some good information online on the best warm-up exercises to do, but one article here will give you six solid pre-surf pointers. Don’t forget to practice the pop-up on land!

4.  Put on a sunblock of 50+ on your face, arms and – especially the back of your legs. Basically every part that gets exposed to the sun needs to be covered. When you learn how to surf you can end up lying in the water for two hours or more. Protecting your core with a rash guard is also much advised. To avoid sun poisoning, you can wear a hat or a cap.

“Make sure you hydrate enough and SLIP, SLOP, SLAP. Australian slang for ‘put on loads and loads and loads of sunscreen’.” 

THE ACTUAL SURF


5.  Don’t go where all the people are. A lot of people means a lot of boards. When they’re mostly beginners the boards can end up flying anywhere. Read up about wave etiquette, and stay out of other surfer’s ride to stay safe and unharmed. Give other surfers the space they need. Keep in mind that another beginner cannot control a wave like an advanced surfer can.

Be careful of rips. Watch what the locals do to make sure you don’t get smashed by sets. Look out for sharks and other dangerous ocean life.”

6.  Find an orientation point on the beach so you can find out whether the currents are pulling you elsewhere. Also, it helps you to get up properly and stay up, because you will move your head less and have more stability within your body.

7.  Stay in the white water, as they come more frequently and that means you can practice the pop-up more. Ride out some waves on your stomach a few times. Feel the board. Feel the waves. When that works, you can do a real pop-up and try to finish a wave straight to the beach.

8.  In your first attempts at getting up on the board, you will fall, fall and… fall again and again. Whatever happens, it is important not to panic and stay positive, calm and always – ALWAYS – protect your head!

AFTER THE SURF


9. Flip your board over so the fins stand upwards and the wax of your board stays protected from the heat of the sun. Most wanted: find a piece of shade where you can lie your board in. Wrap the leash around the board, and take a breather.

10. Cool down: Stretch your arms, legs, shoulders, neck and wrists. Try to find a shower nearby to refresh yourself and to get rid of salt and sand. Finally, grab a cold beer and toast to your first actual surf session!

 “Get drunk. I’m kidding, but sure do get re-hydrated. Look out for changing conditions, as this might imply it is not worth going back into the water. Rips can change, waves can increase, sharks can appear.”

FINDING THE IDEAL LOCATION


Wondering what the best places are to learn how to surf? As mentioned in the introduction of this article, that is one of the fantastic advantages of this sport. You can learn it everywhere. Every coastline has waves for beginners, intermediate, and advanced surfers.

In general, sandbanks are usually the best place for rookie-surfers because they create a surf zone where you don’t have to paddle as much. Avoid reef breaks and rocks, as they can create a hazard which is not recommended for beginner surfers. Try to avoid areas that are crowded, because other surfers also create risks for beginners. Don’t surf in between flags that point out swimming areas.

Keep in mind that as long as it is summer, you should be able to find beginner surfing spots. Generally, in winter time, waves are bigger and wind is stronger which are both non favorable conditions for a beginner surfer.

All you need as a newbie is a mellow beach break. Make sure there are no rocks, no dangerous ocean animals, no reefs and no crazy currents. You can travel to find a surf spot from South Africa to Costa Rica to Spain. Literally every coastline has spots for beginners!

SOME HOT SPOTS FOR BEGINNERS: The following locations are great surf destinations for the novice surfer: Tamarindo, Costa Rica — Byron Bay, Australia — Moliets, France — Peniche, Portugal — Waikiki, Hawaï

SURF TIPS FROM A DREAMSEA COSTA RICA SURF INSTRCUTOR


Below you can check out some basic surfing tips in a video featuring one of our current Dreamsea Costa Rica surf instructors, Jakob Unterholzner, who is originally from Germany, and fell in love with the art of teaching surf while in Morocco. Jakob came to Dreamsea Costa Rica via France, where he was a surf instructor learning under former German surf champion, Gerrit Handl.

Jakob’s passion for surfing is endearingly obvious, and in this video, he covers some basic surfing tips including: common mistakes made by novice surfers, the proper technique to pop up on your board, and the particulars of rip currents.

BLOG CREDITS


THE WORDS: This article was written by the naturally gifted Saar Jacobs, who is from Antwerp, Belgium and is currently exploring Central America leaving her emotive footprint on the World. You can follow her magnificent journey via her INSTAGRAM or her PERSONAL BLOG.

THE VISUALS: The Photos and Video included in this blog were shot and edited by the talented Tucker Cocchiarella, who is from Vail, Colorado. Follow Tucker’s visual explorations on his INSTAGRAM and PERSONAL WEBSITE.

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