Some say surfing is an “extreme sport” and that label alone is enough to give anyone who wants to give it a try enough reason to doubt whether they can do it or not.
But then, you have to remember, not all kinds of surfing is “extreme”. How about just trying it out long enough to know how liberating it feels gliding through the water. Never mind if they’re not 6 feet waves just yet. Those 3 footer ones will give you a sweet ride too.
So, for those who want to give surfing a try, here’s a few pointers to keep in mind:
1. Safety First.
On your first try, it would be best to have someone out there with you. A licensed instructor would be even better. And he/she has to have the same mindset about it. It’s no use giving surfing a try if after your first lesson you end up badly bruised and traumatized by the experience.
2. Bruises Are To Be Expected.
Let’s face it. Surfing is not your run-of-the-mill sport. You’ll get tossed around. You’ll wipe out several times. A lot of times. You’ll fall face first into the water and even if it’s just water, it will hurt. You’ll slip on your board if you don’t pay attention. Or if you’re like me, you wouldn’t know yet how to turn and hit the rocks (twice in my case) and get all these cuts and bruises on your knees and legs. You’ll get rashes on your legs and tummy, maybe even your arms.
Expect to get bruised up a bit. It’s part of the learning process. And if by the end of your lesson, you’re already standing up and giving folks the hang ten sign, then those cuts and bruises are your true badges of honor.
3. The Goal Is To Be Able To Stand Up… Not Look Cool.
Here’s the thing. You’ll see professional (or at least people who’ve been surfing for some time) looking all cool on their surfboard, doing all those tricks, and smiling while they’re at it.
But let’s be realistic, you’re goal, at least on your first try, is to be able to stand up. All the way to the shore if that’s possible. Being able to stand up may come easily to others though and you’ll just have to see for yourself when you’re out there if you need more time finding your sea legs or not.
It came easily for me. I stood up on my first try and that much I’m proud to say. But then again, I’ve been pole dancing for more than a year now and that means I’ve been able to develop my core, arms, and leg muscles, not to mention sense of balance. So it’s not just about being brawny or having bulging arms muscles – I’m a tiny barely 5″1 woman who doesn’t weigh more than 95 pounds. You need to have developed the right set of muscles to be able to catch and ride that wave.
If after a couple of wipe outs you find yourself standing up long enough not to fall, or at least fall gracefully (like you meant to), make sure you do the hang ten sign and give a big smile to whoever may be watching – because someone always will be. You’re having fun. Now that’s cool.
4. Respect The Wave.
Remember, it’s not just water. It’s mother nature. It’s the rhythm of the moon. It’s a force to contend with so learn to respect the wave. Don’t take it for granted just because you think you’re a pretty OK swimmer. Listen to it, feel it. Feel the swell under your board and let it take you where it wants to.
OK. I’m waxing romantic here but only because there’s nothing quite like the feeling of standing up and feeling the water’s power under your surfboard.
It’s such a natural high. And you’ve got to respect the wave to be able to feel that.
5. Have Fun With It.
In the off chance, you find, that your balance sucks. Or your muscles are not yet well suited for surfing. Or you get bruised up really bad… there’s really only one thing to do. Just have fun with it.
Hey. At least you tried. Who knows, maybe you’ll do better at wind-surfing instead. Now that’s another sport I’ve tried and enjoyed enough to want to try again.
As for you, fellow beginner, I say, kudos to you for trying.