Surfing is a sport that takes a while to perfect and like most adventure sports, shouldn’t be attempted by novices all by themselves. Though we suggest getting some professional training – it doesn’t hurt to know the basics does it? So, let’s see how you can prepare yourself for the sport even before you have enrolled in a class:
Dress the part
This might sound silly, but your outfit is one of the first basics of surfing that you should know about. The temperature of the water can range from very hot to very cold depending on where you are, so remember that you need to dress accordingly. Your wet suit should either protect you from the cold or shield you from the sun’s rays without suffocating you, so make sure you pick one accordingly. Most surfers choose a material called neoprene – so perhaps ask for that when you are shopping for a suit. And, since you’re a beginner, you might want to invest in a helmet too!
Know your board
Another basic for surfers is to know your board before you invest in one. Buying a good surfboard can make the difference between being dangerous and safe in the water. A good surfboard, (apart from helping you stay afloat of course!), will come to a rest in the water the same way each time no matter how you drop it in. This will help you stay safe when you get on it.
Also learn how to get on the board properly. To make it easy for yourself, make a chin spot when you lie on the board so you’ll remember that that’s your sweet spot to lie on. A good tip for a comfortable and safe position on your board, is to balance your weight. If it dips forward or back – make sure you adjust yourself until you are balanced.
Although you won’t be surfing immediately, paddling is the next natural step after you’ve become comfy with your board. Paddle (with one arm at a time) as you lie on the board and remember to start slowly so you stay at a constant speed. There’s no use paddling so quickly that you are worn out when it’s time to catch a wave.
Sit it out
Once you’re happy with your paddling, you then have to learn how to sit. Surfers sit down on their board so that they can look out for where they want to paddle to next. Be calm – because sitting up while moving in the middle of an ocean is quite frightening. The thing is, the tenser you are, the more your body will move and make the board wobble. Ask your trainer for tips here, because you really will need plenty of practice to get this right.
Once you have managed to on the board without wobbling, you will next need to get up on your feet. Now, if you’re trying this last step on your own – be very, very careful or you’ll topple over. An ankle strap will help keep the board from floating away with the waves of course. And, don’t be afraid to fall – just be safe.
What you have to do now is lie on your chest, push your upper body up with your arms and place your feet on the line in the middle of the board (this will keep your weight centred). Don’t stand up too quickly, gently crouch while holding the board and then slowly, slowly stand. Never look down or you’ll fall. We suggest trying it on land first.
If you’re a beginner, always wear an ankle rope and safety guards before you hit the waves. Also don’t surf alone – it’s just not safe and always push your board forward from the nose. When you fall – cover your head first (this is where the helmet comes in handy)!
Alright – now you’re ready for your first lesson. Tell us how it goes! Image Courtesy: Glow Images
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