Top Tips For Surfing!
We know that the thought of putting on that wetsuit and heading into the blue can be quite daunting for many, but once you’re in the cooling waves of the Atlantic there’s nothing better! Our friends next door at Quiksilver Surf School have given us a few tips when it comes to taking on the waves, so we’d thought we’d share their thoughts and give you a few top tips for surfing!
1. If you are a complete beginner book onto a surf lesson
Surfing is fun and exciting and should always be viewed as a fun sport to take part in and keep fit, healthy and outdoors, the main point to be made here is safety. The sea can be a dangerous place if you are not used to it, and surfing can be made to look easy by those that have a lot of experience. It’s not just your own safety but the safety of other water users around you. All standard surf lessons include a safety brief this will cover, surf conditions, rip currents, lifeguards, areas of the beach that areas safe to surf and how to look after yourself and avoid injury whilst enjoying your time surfing. You will also find that you progress quicker and catch more waves if you have a few tips from an instructor.
2. Use the right board
When you are learning to surf avoid at all possibilities surfing on a board that is too short! A board with a decent amount of length (7ft+) and width (20’+) will help you balance and give you more float in the water. This will make paddling and catching waves easier. A bigger board is also more forgiving and will allow for the mistakes all rookie surfers make with getting to their feet and still allow you to catch a wave. The key to improving your surfing is by catching more waves, you can do this 2 ways, go surfing more often or surf a bigger board that allows you to catch more waves each time you go surfing.
3. Paddle technique
It’s an unfortunate fact that even if you are a pro surfer, you will spend more time paddling out to the lineup and for waves than you will surfing them. Paddling is therefore one of the most important skills to master to help improve your surfing. Good paddle technique helps you position your board quicker and easier and will help you catch more waves. The more efficient your paddle technique the less fatigue you will feel during a session and the more waves you will catch. Paddle technique is all about body position and using the correct muscles to paddle with. Alot of people think ‘arms? when it comes to paddling and yes you will be moving your arms, but your power and strength for each paddle is coming from your core, lats and traps. Lift your chest and head up, arch the back, lift your feet together and slightly up and bend your arms at the elbow not at the wrist. Your hands reach far out in front of you and stay close to the rails of your board as you paddle, digging down deep into the water with each stroke. In surfing, it’s not about how fast you paddle but how much energy you get out of each stroke.
4. Look where you are going!
This is an important thing to remember in general day to day life too, but in surfing it is particularly important because where ever you look is generally where you are going to end up. If you look down you’re going to fall off, if you concentrate on looking at your board you will find it really hard to get to your feet and ride a wave for its full length.If you watch any pro surfer, they are always looking towards their next step far down the line of a wave. Looking where you are going will change your body position, change the weight of your body through your feet to your board and give you a better ‘surfing stance’ and control of your board. This in turn will mean catching more waves, surfing them for longer and improving quicker. It is also a good idea to have a look around you before you attempt to catch any wave, this will help build your awareness of the waves, which ones to go for and not, where everyone else is in the water and help you avoid dropins, collisions, wipeouts and nose dives!
5. Have fun!
This is the most important part, surfing is challenging, tiring, exciting and FUN! Surfing is one of those sports where you will probably never stop learning, so take your time to enjoy the journey. Enjoy your time in the water, share surfing with friends or use the sport to make friends. Smile and say hello to fellow surfers in the water no matter if you are a pro, a beginner or anything in between.