Learn the basics of surfing in 7 quick steps

July 29, 2015

Surfing is an athletic endeavor that connects you with the sea's natural forces. It's fun, exhilarating, and easier than it looks. Here's how to get started in 7 easy steps.

Learn the basics of surfing in 7 quick steps

Start surfing in 7 steps

  1. Once in the water, lie with your belly on your board. In this prone position, make long, deep strokes to paddle out into the surf.
  2. When you're faced with a wave, slice your board into it and come out the other side.
  3. Once you're far enough from the beach and ready to start, turn yourself and your board towards the beach.
  4. Stand bent forwards, your head turned to view oncoming waves. Wait until you feel the water pulling you towards a suitable breaking wave.
  5. Push off from the bottom, diving ­forwards with arms outstretched, head down, and kicking strongly. You should feel yourself being lifted up.
  6. Once you feel yourself being carried by the wave, drop your head to bring your weight forwards. Your arms and hands should be pointing forward, as if you were diving.
  7. Keep your arms in front and hands interlinked, palms down and just skimming the surface. Keep your head down as you surf along the wave's face.

Recognize the right wave

  • Waves are generated out at sea and travel landwards in groups (sets). When a wave arrives at the coast, the front part of the wave becomes steeper in response to the shallower water. When the water is too shallow to support the wave, it collapses and its energy is expended.
  • The right wave for inexperienced surfers is a spilling wave; it's powerful but gently rolling, holds its peak longer than others, and breaks from the top with a foaming crest.
  • Plunging waves, on the other hand, are dangerous and should be left to experienced surfers. They have a curling crest and are almost cylindrical as they collapse. If caught in one, lie across the wave so that you roll sideways, not head over heels. If it's too late for this, curl up into a ball with your hands around the back of your head and try to somersault with the wave.

Surfing is a great way to spice up your summer excursions, and these pointers make learning a breeze. So which way's the beach?

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