You may think surfing looks easy but it’s anything but. This sport involves a lot of upper body strength especially when it comes to paddling and popping up on your board.
To avoid hurting yourself or others and to improve your skills, it’s best to start with a surf lesson. Read on to learn why.
1. You’ll Learn the Basics
Surf lessons will teach you the fundamentals of the sport — how to stand up on your board, maneuver it in the water and navigate the ever-changing ocean conditions. You will also learn about surfing etiquette, the surf forecast, and how to read a wave.
Taking a lesson is a great way to avoid the frustration of falling off your board and getting pounded by closeout waves – a common part of the learning process. You will also have a chance to develop your balance, which is vital in surfing. In addition, a good balance position will prevent surfing injuries, such as surfer’s paralysis (myelopathy), which occurs when beginning surfers arch their backs too much and reduces blood flow to the spine.
As you progress, the instructors will take you to surf spots that are appropriate for your skill level. This will make it much less likely that you’ll get in the way of experienced surfers or ruin other people’s rides. As a beginner, you’ll also want to be mindful of kook-friendly etiquette, avoiding the “hot spots” where hardcore locals gather to catch their favorite waves.
In the lineup, you will have to know whose turn it is to catch a wave, based on their location and how long they’ve been sitting in the water. It’s considered bad etiquette to take off in front of someone who has been waiting longer than you.
2. You’ll Get Feedback
If you’ve been surfing for a while and are still struggling to catch your first wave, it’s important to find an instructor who can help you improve. A good surf coach will be able to spot your errors and give you the feedback you need to make the necessary adjustments. This will allow you to become a more skilled surfer, and improve your chances of enjoying a long surf session!
Your surf lesson will also help you understand surfing etiquette. This is the unspoken code that surfers follow to show respect for one another in the water. For example, if a person is already on a wave, it’s best not to drop in on them because this can ruin their ride. Similarly, if you see someone else paddling for the same wave, it’s a good idea to paddle behind them instead of in front of them so that you don’t get smashed by the wave.
Surfing is a difficult sport, but it’s also a lot of fun. Taking surf lessons is the best way for beginners to learn how to enjoy surfing and improve their skills. By taking a few surf lessons per year, you can build a solid foundation of surf knowledge and make significant progress in your surfing abilities! The more time you spend in the water, the faster you’ll be able to progress from beginner level to intermediate level.
3. You’ll Have Fun
Surfing may look easy when you see professional surfers ride waves, but it’s actually a lot of work. It requires a strong core and a good level of physical fitness. It also involves a lot of mental energy to figure out how to pop up on your board and maneuver your board in the surf. You’ll fall off a lot and get pounded by closeout waves, but if you can persevere and stick with it, you’ll find that surfing is addicting and will keep you coming back for more!
When you’re a beginner, it’s important to understand surf etiquette so that you don’t ruin someone else’s ride or cause any injuries. For example, it’s polite to let the person who has been sitting deepest in the water catch the first wave of the session. This is usually easiest to do at a pointbreak or reef break where there’s a consistent lineup of surfers waiting for the perfect wave.
If you want to learn to surf but don’t have the time for a private lesson, consider taking a group surf lesson instead! This type of lesson will give you the same experience as a private lesson but with a much smaller student to instructor ratio. Group lessons are ideal for families, friends, and groups of beginners who want to enjoy a fun ocean adventure together!
4. You’ll Learn Water Safety
Surfing isn’t easy, in fact, it’s a pretty intense workout! You’ll work up a sweat while paddling, standing, and falling. But, don’t worry – we always make sure that you are comfortable and safe in the water.
During your lessons, you’ll learn how to tread water, spot rip currents (which are a surfer’s best friend because they carry you out to the take-off point like an aquatic escalator), and understand surf etiquette. You’ll also learn how to stay safe when a wave is breaking, especially if there are other surfers in the water. For example, you should only go after a wave if there’s no one on it or if you can get to the peak before it crashes.
Surfing in the ocean is always unpredictable. Conditions change from day to day and while they might seem calm and safe on a particular day, they can quickly become dangerous. Your instructors will let you know if there is a risky situation in which case you should swim back to shore immediately! You’ll also learn how to recognise a riptide by looking at the color of the water or if it’s choppy, foamy, or filled with pieces of debris. The key is to be able to recognise the difference between a riptide and a normal current, so that you can escape.