Surfing is adventure, fun, and thrilling at the same time, and on top of that, it is a good activity for your health. However, with all these good things about it, it is also somewhat risky at the same time. So, if you are a beginner, you will need some learning and training before you enjoy this activity. This is our Hydro Cell beginner's guide for surfing that includes everything from packing for the trips to surfing in the sea.
A Beginner’s Guide & Tips for Surfing
When you see surfers, the act seems very simple but doing it yourself isn't the same experience. That happens with most beginners, and it is because they don’t go through the whole learning process. Here at Hydro Cell, we have broken down the whole surfing act into smaller chunks, each of which you can practice individually and eventually you will become a great surfer.
1. Start with the right equipment and the right spot
You will start with getting the right surfing equipment and choosing a spot for surfing. The main thing in surfing equipment is your surfboard. You must select one that has more volume since it makes balancing easier. Go with an experienced person and let them teach you about the right surfing spots that are good for learning and not too dangerous. Gentle waves having a well-defined flow is what you need.
2. Practice balancing on land
Surfing is like skateboarding since the core balance of your body matters a lot. Doing this on the ground may seem silly but you can learn a lot about balancing your board and the experience will be much similar on water. You can do this without a surfboard as it is all about practicing your balance.
3. Learn how to paddle
The next part of learning to surf is learning to paddle. It might be the most difficult process and you need to be very patient here. It is good to loosen up your arms and body a little for paddling better with your hands. Arching the lower back will help balance the weight on the surfboard when on water and it helps you paddle better.
Tip: The farther you lie on the board, the better you will paddle.
4. Eventually learn dealing with waves
Now you will learn to get through the waves. It is the part where the fun and thrill begin. It is also the part where you must be very careful about not making any beginner mistakes.
First, you must learn how to paddle through waves. When you want to go through a wave, the surfboard must be perpendicular to the wave. It will decrease your surface area and help break through the waves. It is very important whether the wave is small or large. Using your hands to get a little higher on board will help you balance.
When you want to catch a wave, your timing matters the most. Here the board must face the shore and you need to look over the inside shoulder towards the curl of a wave. Paddle into the wave and right when it is about to break, you need to pop up by lifting your face first. This step will need a lot of practicing and you may fall multiple times trying to pop up.
Lastly, you need to balance your core according to the movement of the water and it is a rather easy part of learning to surf.
5. Top mistakes you must avoid
As you start surfing as a beginner, you may make several mistakes. So, here is our list of top beginner mistakes that you must avoid for a safe surfing experience:
- Using the wrong surfboard
- Abusing your surfboard
- Being impatient and giving up too soon
- Not using sun protection on the beach
- Not paddling out correctly
Packing the right items matters a lot to make your Surfing experience better
A huge mistake beginners make when going surfing is not packing the right stuff. Even if you go to the beach and surf on the waves without any issues, you may still face several issues when you head back. So, ensure to create your checklist, and don’t forget to add the following items:
Different wetsuits and beach dress
When packing for your surfing trip you need to carry different dresses with you. Even if the beach does not have a showering facility available, you can dust yourself off and wear dry clothes to prevent rashes and skin irritation.
The ideal way to pack for a surfing trip is by having a wetsuit that you will wear while surfing, and a beach suit that you will wear after you come back to the beach from surfing. Lastly, there will be a suit that you will wear from home while on the way to the beach.
If you are not in extreme weather, you won't need specialized surfing boots and gloves. However, one thing you will still need no matter what the temperature is your pair of flip-flops. You cannot walk on the beach barefoot and going in shoes is not comfortable either since sand will get in the shoes. The best option is to carry a pair of flip-flops with you.
So, as you get out of the car, you replace your shoes with flip-flops to get a comfortable walking experience. These not only protect your feet from sharp objects but also stop the sand's heat from burning your feet.
With the number of UV rays reaching us, getting sunscreen is very important whenever you go to the beach. Sunscreen protects the skin from extreme sun rays, but you cannot use normal sunscreen. The waterproof one labeled as SPF 50+ will be your best choice since it won't come off with seawater and you will get protection from rays if you are there.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving your water bottle at home. At most beaches, you won't find many water sources and the sea water is not good for drinking. So, taking a Hydro Cell Wide Mouth bottle with you will cater to all your hydration needs. With this vacuum-insulated bottle, your drinks stay at the same temperature.
You can enhance your hydration experience at the beach with sports straw caps that ensure easy sipping. These won't need you to open the bottle, hence there will be no chance of sand contaminating your water.
Lastly, you must take your sunglasses and surfing goggles to protect your eyes from harsh sun rays and also from salty seawater.