THE SURFERS RITE OF PASSAGE: How to Surf
THE SURFERS RITE OF PASSAGE: How to Surf
From a distance, surfing can seem like a natural sport to practice and enjoy until you hit the water, with your poorly chosen board and on a challenging surfing spot with dunes and all. Surfing can be fun alright, but, its mastery does not come easy. There are a few things you need to learn and practice on before you can even start enjoying the sport on a small scale. Here we focus on the must-dos, the surfer’s rite of passage on how to surf.
- Choosing the right surfboard is vital. The kind of surfboard you select will among other things determine how comfortable and enjoyable your surfing will be. There are some types of surfboards for use. The right surfboard will be determined by a surfer’s level of competence (beginner, intermediate, advanced or pro), physical factors (body weight and height), and waves to hit(surfing location/spot). For instance, an ideal surfboard for a beginner will be long and thick to ensure good floatation and stability. This kind of surfboard will allow you use less effort in catching waves. Other types you can use depending on your needs include short surfboards, big wave boards, long surfboards, fish surfboards, stand up paddle, and fun board surfing boards.
- Choosing the right surfing spot is crucial. Just as the board, the area you select for your surfing will also determine the success or otherwise of your surfing. Different places offer different surfing conditions like tide directions, water conditions, and winds. These conditions are essential as they will determine whether a spot is ideal for beginner surfers or world-class professional surfers.
The above two are important considerations to take as they will significantly impact on the surfing experience you will get. For a beginner, you may want to look for a spot with plenty of room for your practice. Having said so, here are tips on how to prep for, hit the water and enjoy your surf.
- Get surf fit. Your body needs to be well prepped and fit for surfing before you start the real surfing. You may be fit alright, but being surf fit is different. You need to have muscles that will propel you and help you paddle your board faster and for longer if you are to remain safe.You also need to know how to swim because the risk of your surfboard or leash getting destroyed is high.
- Determine whether you are regular or goofy. The aspect is essential as it will determine how your surfboard will be designed to accommodate your feet. Regulars are those who place their left feet in front while a goofy will have the right leg in front.
- Give your board a proper waxing. It will help you in getting a solid footing and good enough traction once you hit the water. While at it, ensure the leash is securely fastened to the board to prevent the commission from slipping away or even running into other surfers.
- Paddle Out to the surf. Good surfing begins even before you hit the waters. First, survey the surfing conditions. Learn the direction of the waves, the points where the wave crests and breaks. Learn also about the whitewater and how they roll through and finally, determine the distance you will be paddling. Get your board and walk into the water as far as you can, climb onto the board then lie on your stomach. Ensure you have good balance on the board such that the nose of the board is above the water. Then, stretch your legs behind you and start paddling while keeping your feet above the water. Ensure your board balances correctly on the water and check how it rocks. Paddle out until you are past the whitewater and sit just on the outer edge of the wave. At this point, you are ready to catch your first waves.
- Catch your first waves. From the edge of the whitewater wave, catch the whitewater when it hits and ride it through to the beach. You must be prepared to catch the wave before it hits. When you see the whitewater coming your way, prepare yourself by pointing your board towards the beach, lie on the board and paddle. Once the wave hits you, ride on it while on your stomach to the beach. While still at it, slightly try to rock the board to test its stability and buoyancy.
- Practice. Once you are on the beach, you now want to practice what you learned. Get back into the water and get to where the waves crest and break, sit and wait for the wave. Watch as the waves get closer and start paddling, catch it before it breaks. Make sure you are paddling as fast as possible before the wave breaks because once it breaks it starts to move more quickly. Practice this routine until you can do it correctly. Then when you are satisfied with yourself, advance your skill and test yourself on a wave that is about to crest. Here, you will need to paddle for a little while before you start gliding on the wave. The board will then begin to gliding on its own and once this is happening, put on hands on the board and push yourself up to a standing position. It is not a must you be standing straight, but stay in a balancing position.At this point, you need to pat yourself on the back for you have caught your first wave