to Tips for Surfing Beginners! Surfboards
are made to float on the water. They have a natural center of
gravity. If you were to lay any surfboard in a swimming pool,
it would come to rest the same way every time.
What you want
to do when you lay on a surf board is to have the board remain
in the same relation to the water as it was without your weight
on it, just a bit lower in the water.
A good tip is to find this balance point is to lay on your board
then make a mark right at your chin. This spot is best made with
a bit of wax or a magic marker. It is a reference point that enables
you to put your chin on the same spot every time, so the board
will react to your weight the same way every time.
If the board's nose digs into the water it is called pearling
and you must move the location of "your chin" back.
To adjust, just slide back an inch from the mark and make a mental
note. (Ed note: for more on surfing terms also see Surfing Lingo.)
Too much weight in the back and the board will cork. This is a
common mistake amongst beginners. You cannot catch a wave if you
are corking your board. Move up an inch at a time till the board
lies in the water naturally. This will provide you with the maximum
hull speed and minimum drag from the water displacement that you
are causing with your weight.
With The Crawl Stroke
Do not paddle with both arms simultaneously because this will
cause the board to speed up and slow down in the water and you
will not be able to maintain constant hull speed through the water.
Always paddle with the crawl stroke...one arm and then the other
alternatively. This will provide you with a constant speed so
you can catch that wave.
On The Board
Ok, so now we know how to lie on the board and paddle the board.
Now it's time to learn how to sit on the board. The first time
try this you may be quite wobbly. The key to doing this well is
being calm, or trying to be still. The less movement that you
make, the easier you will find it is to do this. All the other
skills of surfing will improve as you learn to be "calm"
On The Board Now it's time to learn how to stand up. This is something
you have been doing all your life. Lie on your chest, your head
up, looking ahead. Put your hands on the board beside your shoulders,
palms down like you were going to do a push up. Push your upper
body up and at the same time sweep your feet under you. Make sure
your feet are laying on the stringer, the line down the middle
of the board. This move keeps your weight centered along the stringer.
come up, remember to keep low. If you stand erect you will fall.
Assume a position of a sumo wrestler. Press your feet shoulder
width apart and "grip the board in your feet", opposite
of the way you would press your thighs together on a horse. Have
your hands a bit higher than your waist and just in view of your
vision. Always look up! If you look at your feet, you will fall
down. I promise!
This For Hours.
Have someone watch you and have them critique your performance.
Practice jumping up without making a sound on the floor. Calm
and controlled is the smoothest way to approach this...so practice
doing it quietly. If you have a surfboard, lay it on a large bed
or in the sand and do this exercise. This is a way for you to
judge your ability to be controlled.
your board between yourself and the coming waves!
collision with others, keep a safe distance, say fifteen feet
or the length of you, your leash and board combined.
should always wear a leash or leg rope tied to their surfboard.
surfboard should also have a safety nose guard to prevent dangerous
impacts with the surfboard nose.
should always surf with a buddy for safety, plus it is cool
to share your surf experiences with someone else.
your board through the water fin first. The fin or fins were
made to keep the board pointing nose first. Pushing the board
fins first can be quite dangerous because the board wants to
go the other direction.
surfers should consider wearing a vest, rash guard or tee shirt
to avoid the rubbed rash they will get on their stomach and
fall off your board, cover the back of your head with your hands,
with your wrists over your ears and your elbows together. Stay
under water for a moment longer than necessary.
companies that make helmets and this is another alternative.
come up, try to be facing the oncoming waves and look for your
board's location immediately. Loose boards, propelled by the
strength of the ocean, are very dangerous objects for swimmers.
The first standing surfer that is closest to the breaking wave
has the right of way on that wave. Anyone paddling for that wave
must quit. There are natural repercussions to not following this
rule that can be very dangerous.
surf spots have locals who surf that spot every day and some believe
that they "own the beach". We all know that this is
not the case. Having said that, the stranger, no matter their
ability, should endeavor to show some respect for these social
riding the wave has the right of way and the paddlers who are
paddling out must yield. This means that the paddlers must paddle
out of the way whenever possible, even if it is into the breaking
wave or behind the rider. If you are paddling for a wave and someone
is paddling out toward you, make eye contact with that person
and indicate your intentional direction in reference to them.
A nod in the direction you are going can work.
Every situation is different so practice being nice in the water.
It will make you feel good, I promise. Hooting for a good wave
or encouraging someone is good too. Remember, you will get what
Riehl has been surfing and working with Brave New World
surf shops for 18 years!
The Tube Quest Continues
at ... www.bravesurf.com