How To Surf Step By Step Today
If you are wanting to learn how to surf step by step, you must think it looks easy when watching it on TV. The thing is that they are usually professional surfers with many years of experience. But surfing is a lot harder than it looks and you need to learn some surf basics before you paddle out to the lineup by yourself. I would always recommend that for the first time you take a surf lesson from your local surf shop or even just ask a friend to give you a couple tips and advice. It really helps to get a lesson since you will visually see the techniques and movements.
Learning how to surf involves a lot of steps; well it might seem like a lot but when studying it a little, it really isn’t that bad. How to surf step by step is about assessing the surf conditions, rip currents, what type of break you are surfing, the way that you lay down on your board, the paddle, the pop-up, and your stance for when you stand up.
First things first, before you get out there and start shredding, you need to figure out a couple of things like:
- Which surfboard to surf on when learning for the first time.
2. The different types of waves to surf when first starting to learn how to surf step by step.
These two choices will greatly affect your experience. The best surf break to learn how to surf on is a beach break which is all sand bottom. You do not want to learn how to surf a reef break or a spot with a crowded lineup full of experienced surfers. Another great place to surf is far away from children and families that are just casually swimming.
Figure Out Your Surf Stance
Let’s start figuring out your surf stance if you are a goofy or regular!
A regular footer will have their left foot forward and their right foot back towards the tail of the board. A goofy footer will have their right foot forward and their left foot back. Simple right?! Well, now the question is, how to figure out if you are goofy or regular. It is very simple, and we have two ways to figure it out.
The first way is to picture yourself standing on a surfboard while facing the beach. Which foot do you feel the most comfortable being in front? Try both sides and figure out which is better for you. This will be your stance.
The second way to figure out if you are goofy or regular is to sand on the sand or your surfboard on the sand. I don’t recommend standing on your surfboard while it’s on the sand or hard surface because it might get scratches, cracks or even dings. Stand up straight with both feet together, then get somebody to slightly push you from behind and see what comes first. Is it your left or right foot that goes in front? That’s your stance.
Whichever foot is in the back will have the leash attached to it, this will keep your surfboard from going far away from you. You are connected to your board with that leash.
How To Lay Down On Your Board
Now that we figured out which stance is most comfortable for you, it’s time to learn how to lay down on your board. You never want to lay down and have your legs completely in the water with the nose sticking out or even the opposite where your nose is in the water and the tail in the air.
The best way to lay down on your surfboard is to have your knees by the tail and your head almost three-quarters of the way up. Now it will always be different when laying down on a shortboard or longboard. When on a surfboard, your knees are on the tail and stomp pad, when on a longboard your whole body is on the board, sometimes with your feet in the water only.
How To Pop-Up On Your Surfboard
Popping up is what we call standing up in your surfboard, it may be hard at first but soon will be second nature. Let’s start by practicing on the beach. Put your surfboard on the sand, wax up and make sure you bury your find in the sand so that they won’t break.
Start by laying down on your board just like we talked about above by putting both hands by your chest/shoulders (making “chicken wings”). Do a couple of paddles just to get the motion down. Repeat hand positioning by chest/shoulder. Now you will push yourself up with your legs extended. You will now be in a push-up position.
Bring your front foot forward beneath your belly/chest and then completely stand up by planting your back foot and facing sideways on the surfboard. Except for your head, it needs to look down the wave on your lefts or rights! Your head should always be facing the beach turned forward to see the wave, where you look is where you will go. Bring your arms of extended both side to keep your balance.
As you practice the pop up more and more, the motion should become one. It will not be broken in a bunch of steps, it will just be one with the shoulders, push-up, and stand up. But for now, practice by steps and you will get it down.
Another tip most surfers and instructors will tell you is to get in the habit of popping up with your knee on the board. It is a difficult habit to get rid off and that most beginner will do. It might seem easier to stand up with the help of your knee on the board, but it’s actually harder to go from a kneeling position to standing up.
Get Ready To Surf
One of the most important things you want to make sure you do before going out in the lineup is to wax your surfboard. This will make sure that your feet grip to your board and won’t make you fall. Another thing you want to make sure of is that your leash is properly attached to your surfboard and your back foot as well. Your leash is made for safety, so you don’t have to swim back every time you wipeout. It is made so that you are attached to it and is quite close to you.
Paddling Out To The Lineup
Great surf technique starts way before actually being in the water. Watch for the conditions, are there people surfing? Watch for where the waves are breaking and how far you should go depending on your level. If you are a beginner, you do not want to go all the way out, you want to first start where the whitewater is and then slowly go out as your confidence level goes up. You also want to watch for currents, rips, guarded areas, swimming areas, and weather conditions.
Now that you analyze everything you need to know about where to surf, grab your surfboard and head for the water. Please do not drag your surfboard, this will scratch, and break your board and fins. Walk out in the water as far as you can, usually stomach deep, after that it gets hard to keep your footing. But remember that with the current and rips, sometimes it is easier to paddle than to walk.
It is now time to lie down on your surfboard! Lay down on your board, with your legs extended and your head almost three-quarters of the way so that your board doesn’t sink the nose or the tail. Make sure the nose is floating and out of the water. It will be hard to balance yourself, so try to find that sweet spot where you feel comfortable and your board will not be moving so much. Notice how easy it is for the surfboard to rock back and forth, and how unsteady it is in the water?! You will slowly get used to it and it will become easier with practice.
Now to paddle you want to mimic a freestyle swimming stroke. Make sure that you dig way ahead and deep all the way to the back when you paddle. One arm at a time. Also, you want to make sure you keep your chest and head up high, this will make it easier for you to paddle.
Paddle all the way a little past the whitewater so the waves are not washing up on you. But if you feel more comfortable in the whitewater that’s completely fine as well.
Catch Your First Wave
On your first wave, you will want to catch the whitewater and ride it straight to the beach. When you see the whitewater wave coming towards you; point your board toward the sand, lie on your stomach and paddle hard! Stay on your stomach, don’t try to stand up yet. Notice how the board moves and rocks back and forth and side to side. Test the board’s stability and how easily it turns too.
Okay, so now that you get the feeling, let’s try to catch a real wave and stand up! Paddle back out to where you were placed before by the whitewater or a little past it. Sit down on your board and wait for a wave to come to you and break. Watch how it breaks almost at the same place every time? It is hard to explain in words, and easier to see when looking at it. So you will have to figure that out on your own, but it won’t be that hard because most likely there will be other surfers in the water as well. Here are a couple more tips to get you ready to catch your first wave and stand up.
You want to start paddling well before the wave gets to you, often before it breaks and creates the whitewater. As the wave gets bigger, the faster and stronger that wave will be. This means that when catching a wave, you have to paddle as fast or faster than the wave.
When you see a wave that you want to catch; lie down, point your board to the sand and start paddling hard. As soon as you feel yourself and the board gliding on the wave, it is time to get your hands by your shoulders, get yourself in a push-up position and stand up one foot at a time starting with your front foot first and then your back foot. Get your arms out and face the beach.
There you have it. Congratulation on catching your first wave!