We all want to learn how to surf; it is not easy, but all learning requires practice. Surfing is a unique experience that makes you love it all your life. Surfing is more than a sport; it is a way of life. Surfing is the sensation of foam on the face. Besides, surfing is the enthusiasm for the speed with which we slide through the waves.
As always, we recommend that to learn, the first thing you will need is to have contact with professional instructors. And veteran surfers are essential at the time, starting an excellent start to learning surfing.
How to surf: types of surf
About the size of the waves, we can talk about surfing large waves from 2 meters high. If we talk about the size of the surfboard, we can differentiate between:
The narrower and thinner the boards, the better maneuverability they bring but the less speed.
Longboard or Board
Longboard or plank is the classic style of surfing. Longboards are boards of 2.75 meters and are broader and thicker than shortboards. The maneuvers are softer than a traditional board. Moreover, it is best to use if you want to know how to surf, but they are faster boards. But to learn how to surf, you must also know some subtypes.
Funboard stable or Mini Malibú
It has an intermediate size, allowing you to perform risky maneuvers. A fish Thruster of 1.90 meters is valid for big and small waves.
Ideal foam board for young children learning.
This table is smaller and more manageable table than a Mini Malibu. Its measurements range between 2.18 and 2.10 meters.
It is a Thruster, but longer and sharper, ideal if you want to know how to surf in big, hollow waves.
Thruster or Surfboard
A board with three keels will give you better lateral resistance, more radical maneuvers, and more traction.
A particular model is for children from 6 to 12 years old that want to know how to surf. It has a round tip to avoid injuries and blows. Different modalities have emerged from these fundamental differences, each with its attractiveness.
Boogie Board or corchopán
With a very light and short foam board, you surf with fins and lie down. It is a standard model because of its low cost, its almost nil danger, and why it is entertaining because it allows us to do many maneuvers.
A kneeboard is a shortboard in which you surf on your knees and fins.
It went standing up and was helped by a shovel. It’s more for walking than for gliding through the waves.
A modality in which a jet ski drives one, normally to surf big waves. For safety, the jet ski is faster than the board with some straps, so if you want to know how to surf, we do not recommend this as the first table.
In this modality, you use the force of the wind to slide through the sea with the help of a sail.
It is a small board driven by a kite.
Basic principles to learn how to surf
Choosing the right spot to learn how to surf is one of the essential aspects since not all beaches or waves are the same. Therefore, to learn to surf, it is vital to hit the beach where we are going to start.
The way the waves break varies enormously, and if we try to learn surfing in a poorly chosen spot, this could slow down the learning process. We can even endanger our integrity by unintentionally becoming a hindrance to the rest of the surfers who are in the Water.
You might help if you avoided breaks, coral barriers, and huge waves that break into the firm and hollow beaches. It is advisable to start learning to surf on a beach where the waves break smoothly and do not exceed one meter in height. Remember that you are beginning to learn how to surf and that it is only the first step.
The time will come for you to perform feats on high waves. If you choose a small space on a quiet beach, it will be much easier to learn to surf.
How to surf and paddle the waves
Once you have your board and have chosen the right spot, without crowds, the next step is to learn how to paddle. It is a significant point of departure, an essential element when it comes to surfing, and that we have to master little by little, training our body for it.
The paddle should start in small waves and, if possible, paddle when the sea is calm, and there are no waves. It is best to walk with the board until the Water reaches the waist and then lean over the surfboard, posing the body on the deck.
In a shortboard, you should keep the weight centered in the middle of the table. The trick is to find the optimal adjustment position so that the board offers less resistance when rowing. Once you get the commission to slide through the Water with ease, you will have found the ideal balance, so you will have to adapt to that position.
Start with freestyle, cupping hands to paddle and lifting the chest to reduce weight at the front of the board. Once you learn to balance both arms, head, and legs, you can now row towards the line in search of the first waves.
How to surf: what is the Diving Duck?
The technique allows you to pass under the waves that are breaking instead of receiving the blows of each wave and being dragged by them. It applies to short, small, and light boards and does not apply to longboards.
The technique consists in trying to gain all possible speed in the rowing when approaching the wave and when the foam of the wave approaches.
So, you need to grab the edges of the board halfway between the nose and the middle point of the board. And, to know how to surf, you need to push with all the weight of the body on the hands and arms until you feel that the nose begins to pass underneath.
Just point your head down and let the body follow you. When the body is just below the surface, we will twist your leg to the front and use your knee to push the extremity under the wave.
That impulse must press below the wave that passes quickly, and it is only necessary to be underwater for a short time. As the stream passes, the board will return us to the surface.
How to surf and take a sound wave
It’s the best part, of course, what makes us want to learn surfing. But you have to know how to surf well, without disturbing other surfers. Firstly, it is better to catch some waves that break in shallower white waters instead of paddling towards the back of the top line.
In this stage, you need to control the adjustment and rowing position, and you cannot place the front or the back on the table. Before attempting to stand up, we must hold that sliding sensation so that we know how the board behaves concerning the strength of the wave.
When you can capture waves in whitewater, the time has come to use those skills to grow and exit the line to catch the continuous waves. This moment is extraordinary in surfing learning.
Once in the lineup, beyond where the waves break, we have to know how to stay seated on the board and concentrate on looking towards the sea until we can catch a wave.
Another thing that we must practice is to turn the tip of the board to the left or right so that we can quickly switch to catch a wave that approaches. It’s time to choose a lock, direct the board to the beach, and start rowing.
When feeling the wave, we must row as hard as we can and tilt the body forward but raise the chest so that the weight is just above the center of the board.
The natural propensity is to slim back to avoid the noise from passing underwater, but that will only slow down the impulse that is not conducive to catching waves. The time has come to slide down into the lock and glide on it.
How to surf and stand up while on the wave
It is the critical maneuver of surfing. It may seem very easy, but to stand on the surfboard once it is in motion, sliding, and increasing speed by the Water that drags it, is not easy.
You have to rise simultaneously from an upside-down position while the weight and discharge are unbalanced from left to right. This moment is when you discover the amount of practice necessary to get up. The starting point is to practice standing in the sand on the beach.
Firstly, you need to know how to surf and which foot will be the one that will go ahead if the left one or the one right if you are goofy or regular. You will know what your foot merely is by doing a simple test: you must stand with your feet together and your back straight, close your eyes, and ask a friend to push gently from behind.
The foot that goes forward to stabilize is the lead foot. That should be your position on the table. The movement to stand up is called “pop-up,” and it is merely a quick jump of the feet that we have to practice a lot in the sand before testing it in the Water, always in calm waters with soft waves until we have mastered it.
The process is as follows; we paddle towards the wave, and when we feel the speed increasing, we jump with our hands holding each song firmly and push up quickly as we extend our arms and pull the knees towards the chest.
Make sure to keep the weight centered with a bit of tilt towards the front and put your feet firmly on the board, with one foot near the tail and one foot just above the midpoint of the board.
Please do not get up completely; we must maintain a low center of gravity in squatting, bending the knees, and centering the weight at the midpoint of the board. We have to keep our arms outstretched, and our eyes are looking forward to maintaining balance.
How to surf: Materials needed to surf
Here we show you what the essential materials you need to learn surfing are:
Choosing a suitable board is necessary to get off to a good start in surfing and learn how to surf. It is advisable if you are a beginner to take a thick longboard with a round tip that floats well and does not run too much; it will be easier for you to stand up.
As you gain more experience, you can think of a better tip. You can also think of a polyvalent that is worth as much for small as medium waves.
The neoprene suit protects you from low temperatures in the sea and bumps and scratches. To choose your costume, you must take into account the temperature of the Water on the beach that you are going to surf. In winter, they better be long and thick, in short, and thinner in summer.
Paraffin helps you to take care of your board and not slip on it when you are in the Water. There are several types of paraffin, and it is also chosen depending on the temperature of the Water where you go surfing. The Grip complements it, a kind of rubber that sticks to the board.
There are many more accessories that you will discover little by little, but you already have the essential clues on how to surf.
How to Surf: Parts of a Surfboard
The surfboard is the essential element of this sport, and if you want to learn to surf and be a great surfer, you must know your board perfectly.
We want to show you what the different parts of a surfboard are, what we call them, and the function they fulfill in the Water.
A board seems very simple, but it is full of essential details that will determine how to surf a wave. Therefore, the parts of the table are these:
It is the name that we use in the general form of the table.
It is the curved front part of the board, which has this shape to improve its maneuverability in the Water. The curvature of the nose is the rocker, which the more pronounced will make the board more maneuverable but slower, while if it is flat, the board will be faster but less maneuverable.
Leash or invention
It is an elastic rope that holds you together with the board. It is hooked on a plug that goes on the back of the board.
They are the pieces that give stability to the board, the rudders that allow you to make turns. They can be fixed or removable.
It is the back of the board, which is narrower than the nose or front. If it is wide is for smooth waves, and if it is thin, for more giant waves. If it is rounded, the board slides better, and if more straight is better to make more extreme maneuvers.
Edge or Rail
Its shape also determines the properties of the table and helps you how to surf. For example, if you round the edges, the table will be more stable, and if they are curved, it will be more maneuverable.
Bottom or Bottom
It is at the bottom of the table. The usual thing is that it is concave to facilitate the slide, which is a factor that will determine many times if a board is perfect for surfing.
How to surf and care for your surfboard
Your surfboard is your best companion, and as such, you should take care of it so that it is in perfect condition when you go to the sea to catch the waves. Despite what may seem, surfboards are fragile and therefore require that we treat them delicately.
In this way, we can enjoy it for a long time. For that, we want to give you a series of tips so that your board is always in optimal conditions for surfing:
- When you do not use the board, try to have it inside a sheath, which is an element that protects you from the friction and small blows that will inevitably take to move it.
- When you get out of the Water, you should remove the salt from the seawater with a soak of freshwater.
- You have to carry the table properly. If you are driving, take it firmly tied in the correct position and preferably on the roof of the vehicle.
- Do not carry it inside without ensuring, since a sudden braking or an unexpected circumstance on the road can cause you an upset.
- Do not leave your board out in the open or inside your car in full sun for a long time. If you have to do it, always use a cover or cover it with towels.
- The boards are susceptible to sunlight: which can affect their resistance. Lose its color and even melt certain parts of the board with a very long heat.
- It would be best if you store your table horizontally. Preferably on a suitable shelf and in a cool, dry place in your house or garage. If you do not want to buy a commercial frame, on the internet, you will find tutorials to make your shelf leave your table safely.
- Never leave it upright against a wall, as the boards are unstable, and any blow can be fatal.
- Clean the board with a commercial cleaner and a suitable brush. In this way, you will find your table in perfect condition when you decide to use it again.
- Check your table to locate small fissures or streaks of some importance. If you see any damage, take it to be repaired by a professional. Even if the stroke is minimal, your board may suffer long-term consequences. As the inside of the board is delicate and may be affected by humidity, prevention is better than cure.
- You do not want to save a few euros by repairing it yourself if you do not know how to do it well.
How to surf alone: Surf maneuvers
We always talk about how to surf maneuvers such as wipe-outs or bottom turns. And I’m sure some do not master this terminology. To solve this, we wanted to collect and explain a little about the most common term. When we talk about surfing maneuvers so you can learn surfing only:
In itself, it is not a maneuver but a fall. It is when you lose control of the table and you cannot avoid falling. Eye with the bottom that if it’s rocky, you can do a lot of damage.
This is the primary movement and consists in stopping rowing and standing on the board when you feel that the wave is already pushing you how to surf.
It is the first turn that takes place after the takeoff. And serves to surf the wall of the wave and make the most of it without the impulse taking us to the shore.
There are two ways to do it: forehand bottom turn and backhand bottom turn. The difference is that the backhand is back to the wave.
A cutback is a surfing maneuver that consists in making a 180º turn after having escaped from the surf. To come back to it.
It is floating above the lip of the wave or on the foam of a wave that has just broken.
It is to travel inside a wave when it breaks into a tube. It is possibly the best-known of how to surf maneuver and also the most photographed due to its spectacular nature.
Another spectacular maneuver consists of taking advantage of the speed. To slide through the wall of the wave and jump over it as if it were a skate ramp. It helps you learn how to surf.
Off the lip
In this maneuver, we face the wall of the wave that is about to break. We bounce against it and take part of the board out of the wave.
Also called Hang Ten. It is a maneuver inherited from the longboard. And you can do it by placing yourself on the front of the board with your toes out of the board.
It is a complicated maneuver: getting the board one turn laterally under your feet while jumping.
It was like the cutback but executed more abruptly and with a smaller radius in turn.
It is to slide the tail of the surfboard over the top of the wave.
As we established at the very first moment, it is always advisable to start the experience of how to surf with surf lessons in a surf camp.
It is the way to start on the right foot and jump steps towards the domain of the waves, helped by the expert hands of professional monitors. Who will advise you at every step you take, and that will solve all your doubts.