Learn to Surf: A Totally Tubular Surfing Guide for Beginners

Have you dreamed of soaring through the waves with the wind in your hair? You've seen the professionals on TV do it, and now you're ready to learn to surf! Even if you didn't grow up near water or currently live near water, you can still learn how to handle the surfboard.


The next time you're on vacation you'll be sure to impress everyone, and if you live near water, then surfing will soon become a favorite hobby of yours! Before you hop on your board and ride the waves, there are a few surfing tips you'll want to know about first. Learning to surf takes time, practice, patience, and dedication.



In the guide below, you'll find several helpful surfing tips to lead you down the path of surfing success! Continue reading to find out more.


Learn on a Longboard


When you're first starting out, consider learning on a longboard. Choose one that's at least 8 feet long. It's also beneficial to find a board with a soft top.


Try to stay clear of boards under 7 feet. Why is this so? A longer board will help you catch the waves more easily.


Because your paddling skills will still need work, a longer board will help make up for this. A longer board will also help keep you balanced and distribute your weight better. Professional surfers use boards around 6 feet in length that are thin as well.


Trying to learn on one of these boards will cause great frustration. Instead, start out with a longboard and remember to purchase a leash as well. You'll want a leash that swivels to prevent any tangling.


The leash should be the same length as your board and will keep you from losing your board in the ocean.


Choose the Right Weather


A great surfing tip to follow whether you're a beginner or a pro is to check the weather before heading out. The weather will tell you what type of waves to expect. Once you know where you'll be surfing, check out the surf report for that day.


As a beginner surfer, you should head out on days when the waves will be about 2-3 feet tall. When you imagined yourself surfing, you most likely didn't envision yourself riding 2-3 foot waves. However, this is how you'll learn how to surf.


Once you get the hang of smaller waves, you'll soon learn how to tackle the bigger ones.


Purchase a Wetsuit


A wetsuit might not always be necessary, depending on where you're surfing. It's beneficial to always have one nearby just in case, though. A wetsuit will keep you warm when the water temperatures are too cold for you to handle.


A nice wetsuit will prevent cold waters from ruining your surf day. There are several different types of wetsuits as well, so you have a few options depending on the location and weather. Wetsuits made from neoprene will keep you warm and prevent water from touching your skin covered by the wetsuit.


This fabric is also durable and stretches well, allowing for optimal comfort. You can learn more about neoprene fabric before making a final wetsuit selection, but it's best to keep comfort in mind to ensure your entire focus is on learning to surf.


Prepare to Fall


If you have it in your mind that you're going to stand up on your board and ride the wave with no problem on your very first try, then we applaud your confidence! This might very well be the case. However, it's also a good idea to prepare to fall.


Don't beat yourself up if you can't seem to get it right on your first, second, third try, or more. Surfing is a difficult sport to learn, so if you learn on your first try, you'll have everyone impressed. If you don't this is expected and realistic.


Learning to surf is a challenge, but it makes success taste that much sweeter. Once you start riding the waves like a pro, you have something wonderful to be proud of.


Sign Up for a Surf Lesson


There are videos, tips, and other helpful surfing advice to keep in mind when heading out on your first surfing trip, but there's no reason why you shouldn't sign up for a lesson or two either. Having someone there beside you who knows what they're doing is beneficial in many ways.


There are some unnatural movements that are associated with surfing. An expert can help you navigate through these and help you feel more comfortable out on the water as well. Even if you take one class and be done with it, it's worth it.


Your surfing lesson is the perfect time to ask any questions you might have, so take advantage of it!


Start Slow With a Pop-Up


During your first lessons, your teacher will most likely teach you the pop-up first. This is the technique surfers use when making the transition from the paddling position laying down to the standing position on the board. You should master the pop-up before trying to surf.


Once you can quickly jump up and keep yourself balanced on the board, then you're ready to move on. Some tips to keep in mind are not to kneel on your knees and to spend about 30 minutes practicing the pop-up before each surf session. Spend 30 minutes making a swift transition from laying down to standing up.


Know When to Surf the Wave


As a beginner, be sure to catch the waves after they've already broken. This will make learning simpler. Once you see a broken wave, turn to face the beach, and start paddling on your board.


Hold on tight as the wave crashes behind you and get ready to conduct the pop-up technique you practiced. When you feel stable on your board while riding the wave, this is when you'll pop up. You'll most likely fall the first couple of times.


Keep trying. Eventually, you'll get it!


You Can Learn to Surf With the Right Advice


With the right advice on your side, you can learn to surf! Remember, learning how to surf takes time and practice. You might not get it right away, but be easy on yourself.


Put in the work and challenge yourself until you've mastered the art of surfing.


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