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My Life /
September 19, 2023

6 Tips to Learn to Surf

The feeling of being out in the ocean and riding a wave is so rewarding and exhilarating!

If you haven’t experienced it, it is definitely something to add to your bucket list.

Many people really want to learn to surf, but they get intimidated and don’t know how to start. I thought I would share a few things to help this process be easier for you. Here are my 6 tips for learning to surf:

1. Adopt a long-term mindset

Surfing is one of the hardest sports in the world so get into the mindset that it’s going to take a long time to get good. Commit to the process! Be willing to take baby steps and don’t be too discouraged when you have setbacks. Even the pros have setbacks 🙂

2. Become a strong swimmer & paddler

I can’t emphasize this enough! I suggest starting by doing laps in a pool or the ocean. This will help you become a stronger paddler when you are surfing, but it will also give you so much confidence in the water. If you can swim well, you will be able to navigate currents or swim back to the beach if needed. You’ll also be able to navigate your board past oncoming waves and be more prepared for bigger sets.

Bethany swims in the ocean to train for surfing

3. Start with a lesson

Surfing has a lot of nuances that can be hard to learn without the guidance of a pro. They will show you the best way to pop up, how to maneuver your board, the etiquette of surfing and how to respectfully share the line up with other surfers. This will save you a lot of time, frustration and wipeouts. It is definitely worth it!

4. Start in little waves on a big surfboard

If you take a lesson, your instructor should lend you a large board and bring you to a beach with mellow waves. If you aren’t taking a lesson, this step is your responsibility. Bigger boards are more steady and are the best for beginners. 8-9 ft. is a good length. Bigger boards are also nice because you don’t need a huge wave to get momentum. Start on small waves where you have plenty of time to practice popping up before you reach the sand.

Bethany learns to surf

5. Get to know the ocean

Start learning about the ocean’s currents, studying the different types of waves and understanding how the water moves in a wave. Hopefully your surf instructor will teach you a lot of this. There is also tons of great info on YouTube or online! Another thing you can do is sit on shore and watch the waves and the surfers for a while before you get in. Look closely at where and how the waves are breaking, how often the sets are coming, how big the waves are, and so on.

Bethany watches the waves before hoping in the water

6. Go with a buddy

Friends make a world of difference! Find someone who will push you and encourage you as you learn. Growing up, I would go with a super great crew of girls or with my brothers. Now sometimes I go with a friend or my brothers, but often it’s Adam and the kids!

I’m cheering you all on today to give surfing a try and go charge out there!! Yew!

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