Hello, everyone! Anouk Govil here. I am relatively new to surfing, but I have to say that surfing has given me some of the best adventures I’ve been on in my entire life! I grew up in a strict household, where rules must be followed at all times. This childhood experience has, in a way, made me afraid to try new things. It took a lot of goading and prodding from my friend before I finally caved in and tried surfing. It was the best decision I’ve ever made! Now I try to catch a wave or two whenever I can. School keeps me busy most of the time but I still manage to squeeze in surfing every now and then.
If you’re a newbie surfer, my advice is, don’t give up! My first few attempts were a disaster, to say the least. But don’t get discouraged; once you manage to learn how to stay on your board and ride that wave, it’s going to be one of the most exhilarating experiences you’ll ever have!
Here are my top 3 tips for beginner surfers:
1. Practice on the beach. I know that you’re dying to hit the waves as soon as you get hold of a board, but this is a big no-no for beginners. For one thing, you haven’t been on a board yet and you need to familiarize your body with a board first so you can get the feel of what it’s like to paddle out on your board, getting on your feet to stay upright, and balance your body so you’ll be less likely to wipe out. Lay your board down on the beach and lie on it to feel how it fits you. And then practice your pop-up and balancing techniques. You need to do this until you get the hang of it before hitting the waves.
2. Bend your knees to absorb the wave’s energy. When I first started surfing, I was inclined to hunch my back to try to balance and stay on the board. Guess what happens every time I did that? I fell off my board! Your reflexes might tell you to hunch your back and you’ve got to fight these reflexes off! Instead, bend your knees to absorb the wave, support the board, and maintain your balance. You’ll find it easier compared to being hunched over—doing that can make your back hurt!
3. Choose a less crowded beach. The last thing you need while learning to surf is to ride along with a lot of other surfers, especially those who are more experienced or advanced. To get the feel of the water, catch the wave, and practice your balance, you need to have enough space between you and the next surfer so you won’t be distracted. Keep your distance so you don’t bump into another surfer and cause an accident. You will also feel less self-conscious if you know that there aren’t a lot of eyes judging your every move.
I hope you’ll find these tips helpful. This is Anouk Govil; and I hope to see you back again soon!