You’ve booked that holiday and are planning to relax and have fun in the sun. Part of that involves surfing, but you’ve never done it before so you’ve booked surfing lessons. You want to be like the surfers you’ve seen in many sun-kissed destinations on programs, films, or on the internet. That’s going to take time and practice, as many surfers will tell you. According to the Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINTZ) in a study about competitive surfing, surfers spend only 8 % of their actual time surfing. That’s a lot of time in the water, more so if you’re a beginner. So how best can you prepare for riding the waves? Read on to find out more.
1. Have a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)
It’s natural to feel uncertain about learning a new skill, but you need to remember that even the best surfer started off where you are now. With practice and dedication, they became better and so can you. Armed with this knowledge, as the experts at https://www.santabarbarasurfschool.com will only be too happy to tell you: be prepared to regularly fall off your board. It will happen to you every time you’re out surfing, so you might as well accept this and get used to it. But you will learn to surf, so banish any negative thoughts telling you otherwise. If you’re learning to surf, then surf you will do.
2. Focus on the Moment
If you’re thinking about anything else but surfing when you’re learning to surf, then you’re not fully committing to it. You need to forget about everything else and focus on the moment. Enjoy it when that wave knocks you off your board and remember what it was like getting back on your board to ride the next one. By focusing on the moment you will not only learn more, but you will become more comfortable surfing as you get used to it.
3. Maintain your Fitness
Think you’re fit enough to surf because you can lift a few weights and regularly run? Surfing requires a whole different type of fitness level. Short bursts of cardio and adrenaline exercises work best to help you become surf fit. In particular, you will need considerable upper body strength to do things, like popping up on your board and paddling. These are two surfing techniques you will learn early on in your surfing lessons. Also, you should always wear proper surf clothes whenever you are practicing. Good quality surfing instructors will help you develop these techniques but, after any activity, remember it’s important to stretch those muscles to avoid potential injury to them later.
4. Practice, and Practice Some More
Undoubtedly, to master surfing, the best thing you can do is repeatedly practice what you have learned. Learning to stand on your board (popping up) is something you can incorporate into your daily exercise routine. You don’t need to be on your board or in your water to do this. You just need space.
5. Understand the Water
Rip currents, or tides, can potentially be hazardous to a surfer or anyone in the water, therefore it’s important to know what they are to avoid them or know how to get out of one. Important things to remember are
- A rip current is a strong and fast water channel that cuts through waves, moving away from the shore
- It moves at roughly 8 feet per second, so it is a lot faster than any Olympic gold medal swimmer
- Almost 100 people in America are killed by rip currents a year
- Look out for a line of seaweed or debris, floating out into the sea and disturbed wave patterns as a riptide cut through waves
- The rip current will be stronger than you so it’s fruitless trying to swim against it, so if you get caught in one either swims parallel to the shore or follow the current out.
- It’s vital you’re aware of rip current safety as a priority as it could save your life.
6. Consider other Surfers
It’s important to understand surfer etiquette and the lingo. One important rule is understanding who has the right of way. Generally speaking, it’s one surfer per wave, with the person closest to it getting the right of way. This means other surfers have to wait for the next wave. Also, respect your environment as you are only a visitor, there are locals that live there all year around.
As any professional surfer will tell you, surfing takes time to perfect, but with proper preparation, you can have fun in a safe way. With practice, alongside respecting the waves and your fellow surfers, you’ll love surfing as many others do.