• Location Location: Start in a surfing area that’s within your abilities. Ask around.
• Always start off with a BIG board, and a SMALL wave, and NOT the other way around 🙂
IN THE WATER:
• Unless the waves are tiny, you should be learning in the broken ‘whitewater’ waves, on the shoreward side of the ‘pros’.
• When you’re lying down paddling your surfboard, keep your toes on the tail (or thereabouts). That should keep the board in the right trim. (Especially true for the Costco ‘WaveStorm’ boards)
• When you’re walking or paddling out, keep the board pointed straight into the waves.
• 3 keys to CATCHING waves: Toes on tail, board straight towards shore, paddle hard!
• When you stand up, keep BOTH FEET ON THE CENTER line of the board. Weight back for control, forward for speed.
Those are my best surfing tips; The quick pointers that I give whenever I pass new surfers that are struggling. They should save you some frustration. And for the dedicated, let’s add this one:
• Learn to paddle STRONG. Surfing is 90% paddling. If you just want to try surfing for a day, it’s not a big issue: Your instructor will help you into waves. But if you’re serious about surfing, get serious about paddling. Upper body strength: This is why old surfers are built like roosters 🙂
FOUR KEYS TO GREAT SURFING:
• TOES AND TRIM
• STANDING CENTER-WIDE-LOW
• PADDLE STRONG.
If you’ve tried surfing and you’re wondering ‘why does my surfboard dig-under’, keep ‘nose-diving’ or ‘pearling’, check out our ‘How to do a perfect takeoff’ article.