Surf: how to start in 5 step

surf guide for beginner

If you've come to this post, you're probably a beginner surfer looking for advice and suggestions to learn how to surf fast and bend the waves in no time at all. Unfortunately I have to disappoint you.
Yes I know we have all seen Keanu Reeves learning to surf like a pro in Point Break in 5 minutes of lessons on the beach, and I also know that on the net there are no videos with titles like " learning to surf like a pro in 5 minutes ", but unfortunately the reality is a bit different, especially if you are no longer 10 years old.

There are no shortcuts. Surfing is a strenuous sport, especially at the beginning. It takes time, perseverance, training, but all your efforts will be rewarded by the first wave that you will be able to take and it is unlikely, after having experienced that sensation, that you will be able to do without it.

So here are the 5 fundamental steps to learn to surf , with some useful and concrete advice for each stage of learning. The only step that can possibly be skipped is the first one, the surf course, but if you are allergic to courses entrusted to at least some expert friends, or risk leaving the surf before you even managed to get on the lineup!


Starting with a good surf course is the first step, but it is also the only one that  is not essential.  However I highly recommend it because a good instructor is able to teach the basics and provide the basics to progress in surfing faster. But be careful with which surf course you choose. Very often, especially abroad, we see surf instructors with dozens and dozens of students left to fend for themselves in the presence of currents and foams, sent into the water in unlikely conditions. I personally believe that these schools are more money-oriented than surfers ... try to observe your future surf instructor at work, before starting the course and prefer not too crowded surf courses. (In the photo our friend and instructor Gianni diSurf Coaching Service Lanzarote )


Get the right surfboard to start with: a nice Mini Malibu about 8 feet long is ideal for learning to surf. To learn more about which surfboard is right for a beginner, I recommend reading this guide on choosing a surfboard to start with  or on softboard surfboards for beginners


The take off, getting up on the table, is the key movement of surfing. The ability to surf the wave depends on its correct execution. If the take off is well executed, with the right timing, you will be standing with the whole wall of the wave unrolling in front of you. With your new Minimalibu you can finally go to the beach and train in the take off on the foams just a few meters from the beach. The more you will do the better. The goal is to make it become an automatism, an instinctive movement to do without thinking and in the most natural and fast way possible. When the take off is well acquired you can start thinking about moving around the lineup and ... start surfing! 
Have you no idea how to take the take off? Try giving aand go in the water to try.


Train in the paddling . Acquiring the right rowing technique on the surfboard requires some training. At first it is not easy to understand what position to take on the surfboard. To understand if you are well positioned on your surfboard you can observe the tip remembering that it must be near the water but not below. Try moving a little further and a little further back and see how a few centimeters make the difference. The more time I spend in the water, the more the technique is refined and strokes become effective, which is fundamental when it comes to taking waves that are not yet broken. Train to identify the output channels, exploit the currents and practice to reach and identify the lineup .
This also includes learning the techniques to overcome the waves. With your Mini Malibu you can't hope to be able to make the duck dive (go under the wave with the board), but you can try the turtle  (it's about turning the board and using it as a shield to protect you from the wave, while the your body acts as an anchor so you don't move too much) or you can let the foam pass between you and the table.
The first few times you reach the line-up, don't rush to catch the waves but gradually get closer to the peak, observes how other surfers move (trying not to get in their way), train to row and maintain position. A very useful exercise to do is to identify two reference points on the beach and maintain the position with respect to those. Another fundamental exercise is to sit on your surfboard  while remaining in balance and spin the surfboard quickly while sitting on it. 


At this point you are finally ready to start surfing. Reach the peak and start taking the real waves and no longer the foams, the so-called green waves. Needless to say, you have to choose conditions within your reach. Waves that are too steep, too fast, too big are not for you. To stay on the peak it is essential to know the rules regarding priorities and to be able to not hinder other surfers. Don't be discouraged if you can't catch waves like you could do with foams. It takes a little practice to acquire the right sensitivity in choosing the right wave to row and the right time to stand up.
The next step at this point is to give the table a direction, already while you stand up. The goal is to cut the wave, do not go straight down, and begin to become familiar with the wave wall by going up and down. This is the prerequisite for the next step regarding top turn and bottom turn ... but for now let's stop here !.


The best advice for learning to surf faster, although it may seem trivial, is to train as much as possible . If you have no way to train in the water every day for 365 days a year, do it at home. Do you think it's impossible to train yourself to surf out of the water? Mistaken. At home you can try take off every day. The ' dry training can not replace training in the water, but it helps. Yoga, Pilates, Skate, proprioceptive tablets ... they are all excellent allies of any surfer from the beginner to the pro rider.

Along with this, another fundamental tip in surfing to avoid making mistakes: don't be in a hurry or burn the stages.  Spend time on the foams, time to row, time on the peak. Being in the sea watching how other surfers move is also important, as it is essential to spend time observing the sea before entering the water .
Don't be in a hurry to change your surfboard. Only when you are able to cut the wave and take advantage of the wall by making curves, then you can start thinking about changing your Mini Malibu for something a little shorter and more manageable, maybe a fish ... but leave the retro fish!

Last tip: Keep your legs closed! All beginner surfers initially tend to keep their legs open while rowing. Besides being really ugly to see, it's a particularly serious mistake because with your legs open you can't have a good balance. Unfortunately very often at the beginning the beginner does not even realize that he is opening his legs ... think about pointing his knees on the table while rowing and possibly crossing his feet so as not to enlarge his legs unintentionally.

Pubblicato il 04 settembre 2018 | Blog > Technique: SURF

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