Get Started With Surfing

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Southern California is home to some of the best beaches in America, and the San Diego area is no exception. Along with sunny skies, beach bonfires, tanning, and volleyball, surfing is a loved tradition among those who live here. If you’ve ever stared in wonder at surfers effortlessly riding a wave and wished you could do the same, the only thing stopping you is the will to get out there and try it yourself! But for those who want a few extra pointers on how to get started with surfing, this article will help guide you in the right direction.

Before you even touch the water, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper gear. Starting with the surfboard itself, the bigger the board, the better. All the surfers you see at the beach are probably using a shorter board, but using a longer board will allow you to balance easier. Once you the gain experience out in the water on your board, you can eventually graduate to a shorter board. The next crucial piece of equipment you’ll need is a good wetsuit. Wearing a wetsuit will keep your body warm while surfing out in colder waters, in addition to protecting your body from getting rubbed raw on the surfboard when paddling out. You also won’t have to worry about getting sunburnt either, since your whole body will be covered. The final thing you need is a surfboard leash. One end of the leash will be fastened to the board, and the other end will be fastened to your ankle. This will keep the board tethered to you in case you wipe out on a wave.

Once you have your equipment, you’ll want to learn the basic moves of surfing. For your first time out into the water, you should stick to the smaller waves closer to shore. Make sure you hold your board in a position where a wave won’t lift it up and smack you in the face. Hold it at arm’s length while holding onto either side, and begin to paddle out into the water. Once you see a wave you are comfortable trying out, begin to push yourself towards the beach and paddle with both arms as the wave gets closer. As the wave is about to break on you, you’ll want to execute what’s called the “pop-up”. Similar to doing a pushup, you’ll want to swing your legs under your body while keeping your body straight, then planting your feet onto the surfboard. The first time you try this, it might not look too smooth or go too well. However, don’t be disheartened, and keep on trying. Every surfer you see out there on the beach has gone through the same thing, the key is practice makes perfect.

If you’re looking for the perfect spots in San Diego to further your new hobby in surfing, there are plenty to choose from. Oceanside is a great spot for novice surfers who are looking to perfect their skills. Surfers will find anything from big barreled waves to smaller, more playful waves. Another awesome beach to check out is Pacific Beach. Known for being a classic surfing city, the waves there are known to break soft, and allow you to practice surfing. Afterwards, you can go grab a bite to eat with your friends at one of the many restaurants parallel to the beach.

Surfing is tough at first, but it is something that rewards those who continue to practice and get out there in the water. Always remember to be safe while out there in the water, and always watch out for swimmers or fellow surfers. Respect the beach, and in time it will return that respect.

Looking for surf lessons? Learn Where to Go for San Diego Surf Lessons
Or check out our list for the Best Surf Spots in San Diego.

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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