Beginner surfer girl catching wave smiling


20 Tips For Beginner Surfers

Want to learn surfing or just learned how and want a confidence boost? 20 Tips to get out there and have fun in the ocean!

How To Learn Surfing 

You are going to be surfing at some stage when teaching yourself and being a quite athletic and driven person. But it is so much better to learn surfing through a surf school or surf camp because the ocean is stronger than you. It is super important to know how to read it to avoid accidents. 

There are currents that take you out into the deep blue, waves that are not surfable - even if you think they are - and there are certain rules when interacting with local surfers in the ocean. Secondly and most importantly surfing is about community. Learning to surf with an instructor and other beginner surfers is so much more fun than struggling by yourself trying to remember all the YouTube videos that made it seem so easy. 

Here are some tips to make you feel confident in the ocean once you are by yourself!

1) Find Surf Equipment That Suits You

Finding equipment is unlike finding other sports equipment, where you can walk into the shop and get whatever intrigues you and matches your style. Of course, you can go and buy some of your surf gear like wetsuits, booties, hoodies, gloves and wax.

But when it comes to your surfboard and related gear, it’s crucial to get something that suits you and your abilities. Therefore, everyone has a different need in board size and volume of the board. Related gear like fins, leash and the protective bag needs to match the board. It is super important to test different boards before you buy equipment. Only with the right gear, you will catch as many waves as possible resulting in progress. Usually, you learn on a 7’6 or 8’0-footboard.

The boards used for beginners in surf schools and camps are made of a foam-like material, so you don’t have to be afraid to injure yourself or others. Lapoint gives you the unique opportunity to try a lot of different boards while learning to surf with us. This is an amazing opportunity not many surfers get – especially when starting out. 

A lot of surfers find their preferred style of surfing after a while. Some like to be fast, some like to cruise, and others like the more elegant way of surfing called longboarding.  Nevertheless, it is great to start with a board with lots of volume suiting your weight, height and strength to make you float on the surface of the water.

This also makes paddling into waves easier and excuses little mistakes when standing up on your board.

7) How To Wax Your Board 

We’ve all been there. Buying our first wax while not quite sure how much to put on or where exactly. Here are two tips:

  • Foam board: you don’t necessarily need to put wax on but if you feel like it needs a bit, try and see where your feet are placed and put a bit on those parts

  • Shortboards: put a good amount of wax on. You can try and make a grid pattern on the surface to increase the grip.   

Note: You don’t need to wax your footpad if you have one. Some people do so but those are the ones that are performing aerials.

8) Always Surf With A Leash 

The leash is an essential item when surfing. You will probably see some ‘experienced’ surfers go without one but swimming after a board and risking it crashing uncontrolled into rocks or another surfer does kill the vibe. 

9) Practice Your Take Off/ Pop-Up On Land

The basic pop-up/ take-off movements aren’t something only beginner practice. Even pro surfers are still working on a perfect pop-up. Kind of like a sun salutation in yoga. Beginners do it, and the gurus too. You want to get to the stage where you don’t need to think of your movement. Your body then just flows so you can focus on the wave. 

10) Remember Your Sweet Spot 

This is important to avoid nosediving and to find balance when paddling. It takes some practice, especially when on a new board.

13) How To Paddle Out 

  • Beach breaks: try and spot the rip current that brings you out to the line-up, paddle strong and does turtle rolls through whitewash until you’re out. 

  • Point breaks: paddle out beside the breaking waves and whitewash. Many surfers like point breaks for the fact that you can predict where waves break and paddle out next to them. Always do so because you will be in the way of surfers on a wave when trying to get out through whitewash.

14) Practice the turtle roll  

You probably see boards flying up sometimes and for sure yours will too when wiping out. But when paddling out to the line-up you should always try and do a turtle roll instead of ditching your board and diving under the wave by yourself (chicken dive). You are able to learn this skill in intermediate surf lessons, which is one of the reasons why intermediate lessons are so important.

At Lapoint, we have a 3-level system for surf lessons to ensure everyone’s needs are met. Depending on your progress you will have intermediate lessons and paddle out to the line-up with an instructor practising the turtle-roll. 

15) Practice Wiping Out 

There is a right and wrong when falling off your board. It might look like people give up on everything when wiping out. But there are techniques to it. These make sure that you fall as shallow into the ocean as possible to minimise your risk of injury through the ocean floor.

These techniques also protect your head and are taught at Lapoint camps by our professional surf instructors.

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