10 Tips For Your First Surf Lesson

It’s easy to look at the surfers in the water riding the waves and think, “Hey, I could do that!” But there are a few things you need to know before you get started.

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1. Don’t Learn by Yourself
No matter how easy you think surfing looks, you should never approach surfing by yourself! Why? Because there can be so many flops and falls and you want to do this in the safest environment possible.

2. Pick a Good Teacher
Before you take surf lessons, research the teacher/surf school in advance. Make sure they are experienced, know the water well and can teach you the best way possible. Good coaches won’t just teach you how to surf, they’ll teach you about the water, inspire you to get better, and help you fall in love surfing.

3. Use a Big Soft-Top Surfboard
This is more important than you think! We know you want to jump on smaller, shorter boards as quick as possible, but a large soft-top board will help you develop better fundamental mechanics and you’ll catch a lot more waves in the early stages. The more waves you catch in the early stages, the more your confidence will improve and the better surfer you will become. Soft-tops are also a lot safer too - for yourself and other surfers in the water.

4. Spend Some Time on Dry Land First
You’ve got your board, you’ve slipped, slopped, slapped on the sunscreen. Now it’s time for a surf, right? Not just yet! Don’t rush into the water straight away. Spend some time on the beach to stretch, double check your leash, and watch the waves. This is a good time to do a spot check - check the conditions, the types of waves, where the other surfers are and the possible dangers. This is something all surfers do before entering the water.

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5. Surf White Wash
Your first couple of lessons will usually be on a beach break, as opposed to a reef break. The beach break allows you to surf white wash, which will teach you balance, perfecting the popping up, and the thrill of catching waves. 

6. Be Aware of Other Surfers
When starting out, it is a good idea to keep your distance from experienced surfers. As a beginner you’re prone to making lots of mistakes - which is normal - and you’ll want to avoid getting in people’s way. The safety of others is just as important as your own safety every time you get in the water. There are also a number of ‘surf etiquette’ rules that you won’t be aware of just yet.

7. Get Comfortable Sitting on the Board
Despite how it looks, sitting on a surfboard isn’t the easiest, nor the most comfortable thing in the world! Get comfortable sitting on the board so the board is parallel to the beach. This allowed you to look out at the ocean as well as the beach. Remember never to have your back to the waves.

8. Paddle, Paddle, Paddle
Paddling makes up the majority of surfing, especially as you start to paddle out to the lineup and when you paddle to catch a wave. The key is to find a rhythm, and to practice, practice, practice! It’s normal for it to be hard, but the more you practice the better you will get.

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9. Get Used to Wiping Out
If there’s one certainty when learning to surf it’s that you will be involved in a lot of wipeouts. Meaning you will fall. More than once. The waves will knock you down, you’ll get confused, and frustrated, and you’ll even get some bruises. All you need to remember is that it’s all part of the game. When you wipeout, stay calm and get back on the board when you’re ready.

10. Have Fun
As Phil Edwards said, “The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”