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Hey, you got a whole lot to learn. So why don’t you just shut up and watch.

Chandler, North Shore (1987)

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You’re never really done learning how to surf. That’s to say, there’s always something to discover and experience regardless of your experience level. Approach surfing with an open mind and you’re sure to be rewarded.

Popular Surfing Guides for Beginners


All About Learning to Surf

You’ve got to start somewhere – how about with the basics? If you’re brand new to surfing, this is the page for you. Find out what board you should ride, what equipment you’ll need, and tips to remember while you’re learning.


The Environmental Impacts of Surfing

You’d think an activity that puts you so close to nature would be good for it, right? That’s not always the case. Learn about some of the negative environmental impacts of surfing and things you can do to minimize them.


Surfing Rules & Etiquette

Learn about the basic rules of surfing to help you stay safe, be respectful, and have a fun time.


Improve Your Paddling

One of the number one hurdles many beginner surfers face is paddling and paddling out into the line up. Find some tips to paddle faster here.


How to Duck Dive & Turtle Rolls

When you’re paddling out, you’ll need to figure out how to get past the breaking waves. Depending on your board, you’ll need to either duck dive or turtle roll. Learn how here.


How to Pop-up (Jump Up) & Drop In

Mastering your pop-up and drop in is key to surfing different types of waves on different types of boards. Find some tips.


Learning New Surfing Maneuvers

As you progress through the fundamentals of surfing, you’re going to want to add some maneuvers to your skill set. Find some tips on how to practice different types of turns and tricks here.


Avoiding Injuries When Surfing

If you’re not careful, surfing can be dangerous. Learn about some of the common hazards of surfing and how to stay safe.


FAQs: How to Surf

Am I goofy or regular?

Goofy = left foot back. Regular = right foot back. If you snowboard or skateboard, stand the same way on your surfboard. To do a quick test, have someone gently push you from behind – the foot that ends up in front is likely your front foot.

How do I pop-up?

The pop-up consists of placing your hands on the board around chest level, pressing yourself up, and swinging your feet into position. If you can’t pop-up, get to work on some push-up training. Learn more about the pop-up here.

How do you catch a wave?

To catch a wave, try to get as close to the peak or crest as possible. Paddle before it starts to break and pop-up as you feel the wave’s energy and gravity take over. Find out how to catch more waves.

How do you duck dive?

The duck dive is performed by grabbing the rails and pressing the board down, using a leg or knee to bring the tail down, and diving under an oncoming wave. Learn more about the different ways to get past a wave.

How do you turn a surfboard?

You turn a surfboard by shifting your weight and turning your body. Lead with your eyes, then head, then arms and the rest of your body and board will follow. Shift your stance backwards for tighter turns.

Is surfing similar to snowboarding or skateboarding?

Surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding certainly share some similarities. While each is unique, they can be great cross-training activities. Find out how surfing, snowboarding, and skating compare.

Is yoga good for surfing?

Yoga can be extremely beneficial for your surfing. You’ll get stronger, more flexible, and improve your breathing. Learn more about yoga and stretching for surfing.

Who has the right of way on a wave?

In surfing, the right of way is given to the surfer closest to the peak and deepest. Communicate, stay aware, and you’re sure to have a good time.

Where do I put my car keys when I surf?

You can stash your car keys in a wetsuit pocket, a leash pocket, or a hide-a-key left at your car.

Should I take a surf lesson?

Surf lessons can benefit both beginners and experienced surfers. It can help to get feedback and some tips to correct yourself in real time. Find surf lessons near you.

How long does it take to learn to surf?

How long it takes to learn to surf is going to vary greatly from person to person. Some people are standing within a few tries, others might take weeks or months. It helps if you’re young, if you have some swimming experience, and have good balance.

How do you sit on your surfboard?

Sitting on your board requires you to grab the rails, shift your weight, and balance over the board. You can adjust your legs, weight, and angle in the water as necessary. It’s a matter of balance that comes with practice.

More Resources to Help You Learn How to Surf

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