Learning to surf is a tricky thing but with these top tips you should be up and riding in no time.
By Corinne Evans
Want to improve your surfing? Learning to surf or advancing your technique can be tricky. But we’ve all been at the bottom of the learning curve and whatever our level we’re constantly trying to perfect manoeuvres, improve our style and surf like the pros. Plenty of water time, practise, passion and persistence will help you along your way, as will a bit of coaching. Aside from that, abide by our six top tips and you’ll be ripping in no time:
1. Paddle your heart out
Paddling is one of the most important components of surfing to really nail. Long, strong and deep strokes from the nose of the board to the tail will propel you through the water and allow you to catch all the waves you want. The more you paddle, the stronger your arms will become, the more waves you’ll catch and the longer you’ll last in water. So get out there!
2. Pop up power
Master your pop up. The faster and more accurate your pop up, the longer your ride will be. When you get really good you’ll be able to take off on bigger, steeper waves and even try a couple of cheeky late take offs if you’re feeling brave.
Stance is vital. If your body positioning isn’t perfect it will affect your balance and the way your board moves in the water. You want your feet about shoulder width apart and central to the stringer. Don’t stand too close to the tail or the nose of the board – find your sweet spot. Keep your back straight and stay low, bending your knees.
4. Twist and turn
Use your arms, shoulders and vision to drive your board into turns. Remember to look, point and always keep your knees bent through turns. It’s important to control your upper body to change the direction of the board for manoeuvres such as bottom turns and snappy cutbacks.
5. Wipeout wonders
When you wipeout, remember to cover your head. It’s great practise as you never know when reef, rock, surfboards or fins might jump out and surprise you.
6. Ride the right board
Always hire or buy the right board for you’re your size, style and surfing ability. If it’s too short you will find it hard to paddle and impossible to stand up on. If it’s too long you’ll find it more cumbersome and hard to handle in the water. Volume is your friend, don’t go too short too soon. Take a look at our board selection for surf girls here.
7. If you still don’t feel you’re improving then sign up to a surf school and get an advanced lesson.
If you’re in the UK try one of these. Or consider a week at a surf camp. You’ll be with like minded people of similar ability and it’s guaranteed to speed up your surfing development. Try these global camps and these UK surf schools.