There are few sports in the world that equal the thrill and adventure of surfing! To be able to ride those waves in the vast seas, many participate in surf camps to learn surfing. Well, as with any challenging sport, learning surfing can be a bit difficult during the initial days. Beginner surfers also make several mistakes that can turn things unpleasant. If you are a beginner at surfing, here are some mistakes you should avoid.
1. Looking Down at your Surfboard
The most common mistake made by beginner surfers while learning surfing is looking at their surfboard. Balance is everything in surfing. Looking down simply throws off the balance. Make sure your focus is always on the horizon while paddling and riding over the wave. This also ensures that the surfers know what’s going on in their front always.
2. Not Laying Properly on Surfboard
To prevent pearling your surfboard and paddle properly, it’s important for surfers to position themselves at the right spot. If you lay too far back on your surfboard, a drag will be caused and you will be paddling too slowly. On the other hand, if you lay too far forward over your surfboard, you will nose-dive when you are standing up.
All surfboards are different from one another. So, the best way of finding the “sweet spot” (as called by surfers) is adjusting your body such that your surfboard lays level over the water. You may require some practice for this; however, doing so will allow you to paddle more effectively as well as prevent you from getting lots of salt water in each of your nostrils whenever you nose dive.
3. Not Paddling Enough
A mistake quite commonly made by beginner surfers is not paddling enough. Most of the beginner surfers paddle only until they feel a wave lifting the surfboard’s tail, and then stand up. This results in rolling of the wave under the surfer’s surfboard, and passing by the surfer.
Surfing beginners should keep in mind that when a wave lifts the surfboard’s tail up, this indicates that they need to paddle fast and strong. These paddle strikes can be referred to as burst paddles. They make sure that the surfboard starts sliding down the wave’s face. Once you get this sensation, it’s time for standing up.
4. Not Bending Knees
The key to maintaining balance on the surfboard is staying low and avoiding any excess body movements which could throw off your balance. Surfers find it thrilling to catch their first wave, and so many beginners stand very tall only for toppling over. When surfers get to their feet, their surfboard is moving already. Bending the knees would help surfers to ride with waves rather than their surfboard slipping out from under them.
5. Waving the Arms Around
The center of gravity should be low while surfing to maintain the balance. Many surfing beginners wave the arms around while trying to maintain the balance. However, waving the arms around only leads to the loss of balance even quicker.
Surfers should avoid raising their arms above their shoulders, as this keeps their center of gravity stable and low. In case you feel that you are losing your balance, bend the knees rather than waving your arms.
6. Choosing a Short Surfboard
Another mistake a surfing beginner can make is choosing a short surfboard. Short surfboards are quite lightweight and may get toppled easily if you don’t know the right technique. Choose a large surfboard that offers you enough area for tackling the waves rather than going for a short and thin board.
7. Not Refining your Swimming Skills
It’s not a good idea to start learning surfing without refining your swimming skills. It’s not enough to just know a few strokes. You need to practice swimming and become better at it. You need to be ready for facing the waves as well as be capable enough to deal with getting thrown off to the gurgling water.
8. Waxing the Surfboard Wrongly
A big mistake made by many beginners is how they wax their surfboards. With no one for guiding, they often wax the surfboards on both sides. Keep in mind that you should wax only the top of a surfboard and not the surface underneath it. Wax should be applied on the board’s two-thirds along with rails to get the right degree of traction.
The quality and type of wax should also be considered. Wax comes in various types, with some suitable for certain temperatures of water. In case you would surf in warm water, you need thicker wax to prevent it from melting off quickly.
These are just some of the many mistakes beginner surfers make while learning the sport. So, make sure you avoid these mistakes when learning surfing. Avoiding such mistakes will make your learning process smoother and more pleasant.