Learning to Surf

posted on 16 Mar 2011 07:57 by gatewaymanman
First principle to remember is that you need lots of patience to become at least an intermediate surfer. Nobody can become a top surfer in a couple of weeks, no matter how many shortcuts you take. As a newcomer, you will need to learn basics like indentifying the types of waves suitable for surfing, paddling, catching a wave and learning a correct stance on board. But don’t forget – every surfer, even the professionals, started as humble beginners and had to learn the very basics before riding those 9-foot monsters off Mentawai Islands or Bali coast. The best start is to find a good surfing school with some experienced guides to give you some solid basics that you can build on once you return from your first surfing holiday.

Once the theoretical part of your first lesson is finished, (and you will cover interesting and useful topics like surfing equipment, basic techniques, types of waves and surfing etiquette), you will learn paddling, catching your first wave and maneuvering it! But beware – you need to know how to swim so you don’t put yourself in a danger once a bigger wave comes. There are also other dangers out there – be aware of the marine creatures like jellyfish or stingrays, rip currents, potential drowning and collisions with other surfers – may you surf in a busy location. But don’t let me put you off from learning this fantastic sport that has its own culture, music and fashion. Initially, you will be learning safely, close to the beach, under the supervision of your mentor.

Respect the others and don’t be ashamed of yourself making mistakes or falling off your surfboard. The key to success is listening to your guide and more experienced friends and to be ready to practice everything they show you. Before you start learning, make the decision not to get frustrated and upset with your first failures. With learning how to surf, it is all about getting it right step by step and practicing. Also, surfing has certain etiquette and you shouldn’t drop in someone else’s way if they are already riding the wave or paddle straight through the heart of the lineup where people are surfing.

Have fun! Surfing is all about freedom of mind and a positive spirit. Setting small goals and reaching them along the way certainly is the part of the fun. I can guarantee you from my own experience: those “first times” will get you so stoked for more! From the first time you stand up, to the first time you steer your surfboard a bit and the first time you ride a nice wave - it’s truly an experience. Celebrate the small steps.

Find a great location to learn! If you would like to remember your first steps on a surfboard for your lifetime, travel to a great location and have an overall experience of tasty food, nice accommodation and meeting other keen travelers Learning to Surf. Bali absolutely rocks, with plenty of surf camps and schools. Europe, Brazil, Hawaii and Mexico also offer some sweet options.

Wherever you take your first surfing steps – do not be afraid. It is never too late to start and surfing might as well become part of your lifestyle. In the busy day-to-day life, a little escape into waves will only do you good!

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