5 Things to Know Before Your First Surfing Trip

Surfing enthusiasts rave about how much fun the sport is. And yes, surfing is a sport. Anyone who watched top surfers riding the big waves during major televised competitions knows a professional circuit exists. Of course, many people enjoy surfing solely as a hobby or even a lifestyle. At its core, surfing remains a fun way to spend time on the waves and under the sun. Some make surfing look effortless, but don’t be fooled. Surfing requires quite a bit of skill in order to effectively perform on a board.

Maybe you’ve been inspired to take a surfing trip for the first time. That’s wonderful. Be sure, however, you know five basic things about your initial surfing trip before hitting the waves.

1. Formal instruction becomes necessary.

If you want to start with this hobby, you should take formal lessons. Watching how people do things on the internet won’t be enough. Someone must formally train you in the necessary ways of getting on the board, maintaining your balance, and actually riding the waves. Formal instruction can be acquired in a group setting or one-on-one. Maybe you have a friend skilled enough to teach you. If so, that’s fantastic. If not, then you should work with a top local coach who can start you out on the right footing.

2. The first time out usually entails longboarding.

A small surfboard won’t likely be appropriate for someone who never surfed before. They are small and more than a bit difficult to maneuver. An oversized longboard makes more sense for a beginner for a host of reasons. A padded longboard is even better since the padding provides protection from impact. While a padded longboard might not look all that cool, the board does make the right choice for a first-time surfing excursion.

3. Your lesson starts on land.

Sure, you may be highly enthused about rushing out on the waves and riding them. All your enthusiasm is commendable, but it may be a bit misplaced as well. The first things you need to know involve paddling when catching a wave and then hopping up on the board. Learning how to do this on open water isn’t exactly easy. Instead, it becomes a far better plan to learn and perform these basics on the beach. Yes, the board would rest in the sand and your practice paddling and be hopping up on dry land. You may learn more than one way to hop up. Things change on the water, and choosing the best way to hop up requires actually adjusting to how you handle the waves. Again, learning the mechanics of paddling and hopping up on dry land provide an intro on the way to do these things.

4. You are going to fall off the board a lot.

Experience contributes to the ability to effectively ride a wave. Some folks may pick up on catching and riding waves quicker than others. Everyone falls off the board quite a bit when learning how to surf for the first time. Timing the waves and how to hop up on them takes a bit of trial and error. So does the art of catching and maintaining your balance. Until you gain a bit of skill with both, falling off a board becomes unavoidable. Don’t fret over this. In time and with practice, you won’t fall off as much.

5. The focus stays on riding a wave straight in.

All those top surfers can perform a wide range of different tricks when they catch those massive big waves. The twist, twirl, and spin on the water with amazing grace. Beginners won’t be doing this, though. Their focus should be on riding a wave straight towards the beach. For a beginner, this should be challenging enough. Riding the waves straight won’t be boring for newbies. With successive trips to the beach, the focus can shift. In the beginning, the process must be kept simple.

You won’t be overwhelmed during your first surfing trip as long as you keep things relatively simple. Sticking with the basics increases the odds the trip becomes fun and productive. The foundation for many more years of surfing could be set with this smart approach.

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