Six Common Beginner Surfing Mistakes

Six Common Beginner Surfing Mistakes

Surfin’ Ain’t As Easy As It Looks

Nothing can frustrate you or crush your ego as quickly as your first surfing session.  But, catch that first wave and you’re hooked for life.

Watching experienced surfers riding on huge waves at a high intensity makes it easy to assume that surfing is an easy sport. The truth, however, is that the sport requires a lot of agility, strength and practice before you can master carving and ripping on big waves. Unfortunately, many beginner surfers tend to forget this fact, dive right in the moment they get a chance to surf and are quickly frustrated. Since the ocean is hard to master and the waves can be quite unpredictable, it is always good to get your surfing skills in order before diving into the sport. Here are the Six Common Beginner Surfing Mistakes and how to avoid them.

Choosing the Wrong Beginner SurfBoard

Many beginner surfers, aka kooks, make the mistake of choosing a small surfboard thinking that it will be easy to control. That’s what you see the Pros riding, right? On the contrary, these boards are fast and turn easily which make them unstable and very hard to control. The wide and long boards which float easily are less difficult to control since they carve instead of rip and catch waves more easily.  Plus these longboards are easier to paddle. Be sure you choose your first surfing board to be long enough to float your weight and wide enough to be stable.  Lots of Beginner Surfboards are available at THIS LINK  For tips on a surfboard size right for you: CLICK HERE!

Positioning yourself incorrectly on the Surf Board

When paddling through a wave, you need to be weighted toward the nose, hence giving your board more gravity to catch the wave. You can achieve this by leaning a little bit on the bow (nose) of the board. However, do not lean far too forward else the board dips under water. This is called Pearling and can hurt you can damage the board as it impacts the beach bottom. To ensure you are in the right position, think of the imaginary center of your board and make sure you are standing on this line. Standing at this position ensures that you are able to catch the waves easily and prevents the board from tilting sideways.

Wrong Choice of Surf Conditions

As a beginner it is important that you check out the size of the waves and rip currents. Going surfing when the waves are too strong can result into being mashed up. You can also avoid unnecessary accidents by checking the conditions of the beach where you are going to surf. Watch out for rocks and reefs in the area before you decide to surf in any area.   Get information on rip currents in thee area and learn how to “read” the surf to spot them yourself.  Youthful beginners, aka grommets or groms should be especially careful.

Not Wearing a Foot Leash

Most beaches, by law, require you wear a leash for two reasons.  First, If you fall and the board keeps going, you have not floatation device in the rough surf and rip tides.  Second, a surfboard out of control, being pushed by tons of water can kill a child wading, a swimmer or another surfer. Wear a Leash!

Placing too much Weight on the back of your SurfBoard

As a beginner surfer, it is very tempting to place your weight on your back foot when riding. This results in the board tipping off backwards since it will be like putting on brakes. The results of this error is shorter rides which will cause your board to sink, and you falling off the surfboard. You can avoid this mistake by keeping your feet forward the board such that the front foot is at the centre while the back foot is in front of the board fins. Every time you want to lean, place your weight on the front foot and you are going to maintain your balance and speed and hence surf longer.

Wrong Paddling Speed and Wrong Timing

Many surfing beginners are tempted to start paddling too soon and stopping too early. At other times failing to paddle fast enough. This results in missing out some significant waves that you may have caught easily. You can avoid this mistake by ensuring your power stroke is strong enough to match the speed of each wave. Keep a keen eye on the wave to ensure you paddle at the right time since paddling too fast will make you miss it while paddling when it’s too late will result in being hit by the wave.  Don’t get frustrated that you get tiered easily at first.  It takes time to build the muscles and stamina to keep up with the experienced surfers.

Keeping these Six Common Beginner Surfing Mistakes in mind when surfing will help you avoid some common beginner surfers’ woes. Take your time to learn and with just a few surf sessions you will hone your skills and no longer be a beginner surfer.