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A Complete Guide on Learning How to Surf

Abhay Burande
Learning how to surf requires some basic practice before wanting to become more adventurous. Some precautions are necessary to prevent undesired happenings. Here are some useful tips...
The two basic steps in surfing are 'paddling' and 'standing up'. Surfboards are designed in such a way that they float on water.
The technique of surfing is such that the surfboard must remain over the water in the same way as it would be without the surfer's weight. The only difference should be that the surfboard dips a bit lower in the water.

The Steps Involved


Paddling must be done at approximately the same speed as that of the incoming wave. A surfboard can be paddled wherever there is water.

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While paddling, lift the head and bend the arms at the elbows at around 90 degrees. Cup the hands and flick the wrist. Move the arms past the hip. This point is the power of the paddle. The wave can be caught successfully by a couple of paddles.
Initially, paddling has to be practiced in a swimming pool or a river. First, it is necessary to balance on the surfboard and complete one paddle, before beginning the next one. As the speed of the paddle increases, it would facilitate in catching the beach waves quickly. After 20 paddles, a rest of one minute is essential.
This pattern must be repeated till there is weariness. Continuous practice in a swimming pool or a river must be coupled by observation of good surfers. Novices must strive to imitate veterans who are good. Then, when the real thing is attempted, they would be better equipped for wave catching.

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Standing Up

To learn standing up, the surfer has to practice 100-meter running starts. Initially, he must lie on the floor.
Then, press the floor using the hands and climb up. Further, a race start must be done. This routine has to be repeated around ten times.


The stance is the most crucial part of surfing. The surfer must remember to crouch low as frequently as possible.

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He has to point towards the intended direction. While standing up, the hip must be rotated. If the surfer intends to turn, it is essential to crouch and rotate the hip in the desired direction. If the surfer wishes to cut across the wave face, he should steer the surfboard with his hands, and then point towards the required direction.
If he stays low, all the mentioned processes take place in a smooth as well as stable manner, coupled with speed.

How to Surf Safely

  • You should never jump in front or at the back of the surfboard.
  • While falling in the water, the head must not enter the water first. You should fall on your feet or with your hands at the front.
  • In case you fall accidentally, the eyes must be protected with the hands.
  • You have to use the peripheral vision so that any collision does not take place with other surfers.
  • Be alert regarding approaching waves.
  • In case a rogue wave approaches, you should push the surfboard away to the side, and dive under the wave. This avoids any dangerous impact.
  • You must break any fall by employing your hands to protect the neck and spine.
  • You need to climb on the board from the side using the hands, and also get off similarly. This movement should resemble getting on and off a horse.
  • The board must never be placed between the incoming waves and yourself.
  • Beginners can have a leg rope or a leash attached to the surfboard. A safety nose guard is also advisable.

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While learning to surf, one needs to bear in mind that anyone who is closest to a wave has the right to move on that wave. If somebody else paddles for that wave, it could be dangerous.