If you have ever liked the water, or were ever fascinated with the ocean, then surfing might be the sport for you.
On T.V. surfing looks easy because of all the professionals you watch. Surfing, whether it looks easy or hard, is a sport anyone can do. To start surfing, you first have to pick out the right board. Also, if you are surfing in the Pacific, it might be cold so you might need a wet suit. Next, you have to work on paddling out, and finally catching a wave and standing up.
Selecting the right board is essential for what type of ride you want, and how difficult or easy you want it to be. First of all, surfboards aren’t cheap, so renting one might be an option you’ll have to take. Most surf shops have rentals, and they usually charge the use of the board, and then a daily charge to go with that. The benefit of renting a board first is that you will get a feel for different boards before you actually invest several hundred dollars into buying one. Either way, f you are renting or buying, you have to think about the type of ride you want. If you are a beginner, and you want an easy, fun ride, you should get a long board. Long boards range anywhere from about 8’ 6” to 12’. The longer the board is, the easier it will be to catch a wave, and stand up. If you are more advanced or want an exhilarating, hard ride, a shorter board would fit you. Short boards can range anywhere from 5’6” to about 7’. Whichever size you get, make sure the board has a leash that goes from your board to your ankle so you won’t lose it if you wipe out. Remember, the longer the board, the easier the ride, but the shorter the board, the more tricks you can do.
Wetsuits keep you warm in water, so you are more comfortable when swimming, surfing, or whatever you are doing in the ocean. Wetsuits can cost a lot of money, if you get a well-known brand like Quiksilver or Rip Curl. These wetsuits might have a better “name,” but if you are a beginner, it shouldn’t make a difference. Getting a wetsuit that fits is most important. If you have broad shoulders, you might have to get a bigger size than usual because wetsuits are tight. If you are paddling out, your arms might be restrained from a small wetsuit. So make sure to try a wetsuit on before you buy it, even if it is your size. Also, if you have soft skin, or are not use to wearing a wetsuit, then you should get a rash guard to go with it. Rash guards are a lot cheaper than wetsuits, and they keep you from getting a rash on your stomach or neck from rubbing up on the board all day paddling out. I doesn’t matter what brand of rash guard you get, as long as it fits you it will be good. Picking out the right equipment is essential for an easy, smooth ride.
Whether paddling out is easy or hard depends on the type of board you have, how good a swimmer you are, and if you are scared to get a little wet or not. Different types of boards make paddling out either easy or hard in different ways. If you have a longer board, you will be able to paddle out faster than on a shorter board because it keeps you higher in the water making it easier for the board to plane across it. Also on a longer board, when you hit a wave the impact wont be as rough. If you are a good swimmer, paddling out will be easier than if you’re not good at swimming. Swimmers use the same muscles as surfers do when they paddle out. They both use their lat, or upper back and arm, muscles to pull themselves out. If you are surfing, you are going to get wet. Sometimes when you are trying to get out past the wave break (the break is when the waves curl over and turn white) a giant wave will start to come crashing down on you. At this point you have two choices, you can either try to paddle on your board over the wave, or grab your board with one arm and duck under the wave. Sometimes you have to duck under waves, so just be ready for that. If you still need help on getting out, just watch some surfers at different beaches to see what they do.
Once you have paddled out past the breaking point, getting up isn’t as easy as it seems. To catch a wave, the end of the surfboard has to be facing the wave, and you have to be looking at shore. Once the wave is approaching you, start paddling hard like you are trying to get away from the wave. As soon as the wave touches your feet increase your paddling effort. You will start to gain momentum as the wave pushes your board. If you are too far forward on the board, the front of your board will nose dive into the water and you could easily get the wind knocked out of you. If you don’t feel comfortable the first time you catch a wave, then don’t stand up. Just ride the board in on your stomach and paddle back out. If you do feel ready to stand up the first time you catch a wave, then as soon as you scoot back, get on your feet without going to your knees first. If you are not balanced enough to get on your feet, then get on your knees at first. The first couple of times you try stand up you probably won’t stay standing for a while, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to do it easy.
Once you stand up on a surf board, you will want to come back and do it again. When you are up on a surf board, surfing, you are carefree. The ride is so exhilarating and fun you will love it and recommend it to others. Surfing can be a fun sport for any person, whether young or old. Anyone can find enjoyment in surfing if athletic or not athletic. I would recommend surfing to anyone who likes water.