Learn to Surf 101

Surfing can be one of the most rewarding and exhilarating sports to learn. However it can also be the most challenging. Once you have your board and wetsuit, it's best to learn the pop up before you start paddling out to catch your first wave. Learning the pop-up now, before you head out to sea, can save you hours of disappointed failures. To learn the pop-up, first place your board on the sand and lie down on your stomach. It will be the same position you would be in when you are paddling out at sea. Be sure that you feet are touching the end of the board. Next take a good notice of how the nose of the board is angled. It needs to level, this helps to show you your weight distribution for the type of board you are on. If your nose is pointed up you need to move further up on the surfboard. If you nose is pointed down into the sand, you need move further back. Once the nose is level make a quick mental not about where you are on the surfboard. This is absolutely vital and will save you hours of trail and error out on the water. The majority of newbies find it very difficult to stand up on the water because they are already laying on their board in a unstable position. Once you have figured out the best position to be on the board, place your arms palms down near the sides of the board directly under your shoulders. It should fall as if you are about to do a actual push up.

Next, be sure your feet are pointed down and are touching the surfboard. With one motion, push yourself up all the while swinging you feet forward on in front of the other. Your front foot should land near the center of the board, or the foot you are most comfortable with being in front. Your back foot should fall in line naturally behind it, as if in a regular standing position. Crouching down will also help to keep your center of gravity low, and help keep you from tipping over. Practice, practice, and practice this move until it becomes natural, smooth, and easy. Doing this now, not on the water, will save you hours of disappointment. Once you have mastered this move it's time to take it to the water. Once you are in the water, again note the nose of the board. This can help make your pop-up much easier. The nose should be roughly an inch or two above water once you begin to paddle. Remember, as you paddle out to the waves, you want to paddle directly into oncoming waves to keep you from falling off. The faster you paddle the easier it is to get through oncoming waves.

As you look to catch your first wave, it is important to note that most waves come in sets. This can help give you time to turn your board around and face land and prepare yourself. When the wave begins to approach you, it's time to get into paddle position and begin paddling. Once the wave is directly underneath you, try to match your speed with the wave. Once you feel the wave to start to propel the surfboard it's time to pop-up. Hopefully, you will stand on your first attempt. If not, get back out there and try, try again.

A few things that may help you is to start with the small waves as difficult to get a feel for what it's like to balance on water. If you have mastered the pop-up on land the only thing you will have to learn is getting your balance on water. It should not take you too long. Once you master you first pop up on a wave you will have a good idea about what it takes and can move on to bigger and better waves. Enjoy Surfing and remember the more mistakes you make the faster you will succeed.