The Surftwins top tips for beginner surfers
Surfing is more popular than ever, it allows you to completely clear your head and is the perfect mix of exercise and relaxation. You may be thinking of the stereotypical longhaired types, but now many people try it out on holidays; families are taking to the boards as well as solo travellers. If you are learning or would like to start, please find below the Surftwins top tips for beginner surfers to help you go from novice, to smurfs (a term surfers use for each other - not the blue cartoon type!)
1- Get an instructor to show you the basics: Professional surfers make it look easy but there’s a lot to think about; including safety tips as well as all the steps. An instructor will be able to help make it more manageable, so you can concentrate on developing your skills. Instructors are a wealth of knowledge and are often willing to share their knowledge with you to help you progress. Their aim is the same as yours, to help you become a better surfer, as ultimately it is one big surfer family.
2- Safety: As unexciting as this sounds, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Your instructor should explain to you the safe zone for surfing - about the current, the direction of the waves. They should also explain how to stay safe in the water and with the board… So you can focus on catching waves safely!
3- Point your board straight forwards: Just a small piece of advice people often don’t think of. When walking into the sea with your board, always have the nose facing the direction you are going. Don’t walk with it sideways, because if a wave comes, the board will get swept up and can hit you in the face and no-one wants to be the victim of their own board!
4- Keep to the same spot: The sea can be dangerous, it is easy to get swept into the current. The good news is that it is also easy to avoid. Find a spot on the beach to line yourself up with and check that you are in line regularly. This could be your belongings, a particular rock etc. (but make sure it’s something which won’t move, like a person). When you catch a wave, move back to your spot afterwards, so you can get more waves - with a smile on your face!
5- Surfing is about balance: It may take time to get this right, but when you do you will feel it. It will get easier with time. Keep to the middle of the board. Try to focus on the direction you are going (easier said than done maybe), but it will help you to balance. If you are too far back on the board, you will be slow and the board will tip up, allowing the wave to pass underneath you. Too far forward, and your nose will dive down and you will fall. Too far either side and you will feel the board wobble. You will realise you are in the middle because you will gain speed, have more control and feel more stable.
6- Bend your knees: When you get to standing, make sure you bend your knees slightly, this gives you more control and balance. It’s the same on land, have you ever had someone try to push you over? You are more stable with bent knees rather than standing up straight.
7- Timing matters: You may start with lots of energy but if you paddle too early, you will loose it quickly. At the same time don’t let the waves pass by you before you start to paddle. The perfect time to start paddling is when the wave is getting close, about 1m-1.5m from you.
8- Stay calm: Staying calm helps you to think more clearly and get the steps right. Please read our blog “How to stay calm and positive while surfing” for more on this point.
9- Finally: Practice makes perfect: No one gets it right every time, but don’t give up, just enjoy it! You learn from your mistakes and practice practice practice. Ever heard of muscle memory? Your body is clever, it will begin to remember the steps without you having to think of them. If you notice that you managed to get the right position, that is a success. Let yourself feel good about it. This will feed your motivation, as with everything, it needs practice to progress.
We hope our Surftwins top tips are useful to help you to develop your surfing skills, you may be surprised how quickly you pick it up. If you have any comments or questions, please share them below or send us a private message, we are always happy to hear from you. Enjoy and celebrate every small success that you make while surfing, which makes you more happy 🙂