When you are starting with a surfing journey, you may feel overwhelmed by things that you need to pay attention to be actually surfing the wave. For a lot of people that have never surfed before, surfing seems like a simple thing, you ride the wave, with wind in your hair, but the reality is to get to this point, you first need to to understand how to get on the wave.
In this post, we will summarize fundamentals aspects of surfing in 4 categories, so you understand what you need to focus on in your individual sessions.
Orientation in the ocean
Orientation in the ocean
Surrounded by the ocean and waves coming from all the sides, it can be difficult for a person learning how to surf to orient in this environment. What we need to start doing is paying attention to how to turn the board while paddling, learning where the wave is breaking and how to avoid being in the impact zone and most importantly how to pass the wave to arrive at the line up. When a surfer is confident with those abilities, the next step is learning how to position as close to the peak of the wave, for catching the wave. Beginner surfers can also feel unsafe and start panicking in the ocean, so it’s always important to stay calm.
When your paddling technique is not correct, it can cause a lot of struggles in your surfing. Try to view paddling most of the time like running a marathon, you will be paddling a lot, so you want to save energy, on the other hand, when trying to paddle for a wave, the analogy can change to sprinting. Make sure your legs are ALWAYS pressed together, out of your hands make a spoon, and try to put your hand deep, almost as if you are trying to scratch the bottom of the ocean. Try to keep your body in one line, centered in the center of the board with your head still, not moving, this will allow your paddling to be more efficient.
Doing a pop up correctly is a most common struggle for beginner / intermediate surfers. Key to successful pop up is keeping your look up, because where you look there you go, by keeping your chest up during gliding into a wave, will prevent you from nose diving on steeper waves. Make sure that your feet land in the center of the board, back foot parallel to the center and front foot into a 45 degree angle from the center of the board. Try to stay as relaxed as possible, even when the take off seems scary, most of the time failing the pop up is person starts tensing and forgetting about correct technique
When we finally get to the point of standing on a wave, we need to know to stand correctly. Each hand is over each rail of the board, in a relaxed way lifted up and ready to help us balance ourselves on the surfboard. Your chest is rotated forward, with your back straight and knees bent to feel more stable. When you are in a comfortable position, you can try shifting your weight through your hips forward and backward and observe how the board is responding for each movement. Try to view all of things in a playful way, and pay attention to how the board responds.