SURFING GUIDES FOR BEGINNERS
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.
Quick answers to some of the most common questions about learning to surf and improving your skills.
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 hard is it to learn to surf?
Compared to a lot of other things, surfing is hard to learn. It’s going to take some time to get the hang of the basics and refine your skills. It’s really a lifelong learning process, so no better time to start than 20 years ago!
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.