to surf - Lessons Online
IS NOT EASY
Firstly, lessons are really cool these days and they give you
a good taste and hopefully good advise. Your tutor might well
recommend this exact board :- a classic 7ft 6inch mini mal which
has become the best option for most people. Mini mal is short
for Mini Malibu. Malibu's were the first surfboards made from
these materials in the 1960s and perfected in the Los Angeles
area of California and the best and most notable beach being
Malibu. Mini mals do come in different sizes and are progressive
enough to perfect all surfing manoeuvres. When you are ready
to progress to a short board you just sharpen all those same
moves. Age,weight, general fitness and how often you will be
surfing need to be considered when deciding suitable size of
board, and sometimes a Longboard might be more appropriate to
learn on. Our Mini mals are of the classic shape, and you should
check out the photos of many boards being sold as mini mals
but are nothing like the true specification. We hope this general
info helps you to get into this exciting sport..Happy Surfing
Chose the Right Spot
Surf breaks vary enormously and if you try to learn at the wrong
one it can slow down the learning process no end, possibly get
you hurt and lable you as a nuisance to other surfers. The answer
is to forget reef breaks (surf breaking over, rock, coral etc)
and heavy, hollow beach breaks and pick a beach with an easy,
spilling, mushy break wave in the 2-4ft range. It may not be
glamorous but it will be the best place to start. Also try and
find a spot with no crowds- battling with hundreds of other
beginners and more experienced surfers is not the way to go.
If you have a little space it will be easier to learn.
You have your new surfboard under your arm and you've chosen
a mushy, uncrowded spot for a surf, its now time to paddle out!
Paddling is an essential surfing skill so lots of practice at
this will bring its rewards. Start in small waves and if possible
paddle out when there is a lull in the waves. Its best to walk
your board out until you are in waist deep water, then lay your
body on the deck of your surfboard. On a shortboard keep your
weight centered on the middle of the board and on a longboard
position yourself so the nose is around 1inch out of the water.
The trick is to find the optimum trim position for the board
which will provide least resistance when paddling. Once you
feel the board gliding through the water with ease you'll have
found the ideal trim, so remember your position and stick with
to paddle using a crawl stroke with your arms, using cupped
hands to increase the pull. If you hit bumpy water or "chop",
lift your chest slightly and lessen your weight on the board
so the nose and rails don't go under. Once you have learnt to
balance your right and left sides, head, and legs, paddle your
board out to the lineup you're on the way!
Duck-diving is a technique to allow you to pass under breaking
waves when paddling out, rather than getting hammered by each
breaking wave. Duck-diving applys to shortboards which are smaller
and lighter, for longboards there are a number of techniques
used to achieve the same result. To duck-dive a shortboard,
try to have as much paddling speed as possible when approaching
the wave. At about two feet before making contact with the white
water, grab both rails (edges of the surfboard) halfway between
the nose and midpoint of your board. Push all your upper body
weight onto your hands and arms until you feel the nose begin
to go under. Point your head down and let your body follow.
Once your body is just below the surface, bend your front leg
and use that knee to push the tail under the wave. Your momentum
should thrust you under the quickly passing wave and only require
you to be under water for a short time. As the wave passes let
the flotation of your board lift you to the surface. Now you
have the skill to paddle to the lineup or to the next wave and
duck under it.
paddling out on a longboard there are a few ways of tackling
the breaking waves: The slice and duck, Eskimo roll, push-ups
and the shoot and scoot. On smaller waves the push-up technique
is probably best. Just push up your chest and the wave will
pass under your body and over the board. The shoot and scoot
method is where you sit at the back of your board and sink the
tail, grabbing the rails around the centre of the board so it
raises above the oncoming wave. Don't grab the surfboard at
the nose or allow the nose to raise too much as you'll flip
the board. The Eskimo roll is the old school method of getting
simply a matter of grabbing the board and rolling it over so
that the wave passes over the top of you. This is maybe not
the most effective method as there is a chance you can get drilled
by the wave and pushed further back to shore. The final method
is the slice and duck which is executed by pushing down on one
side of the surfboard so that it slices/sinks into the water,
at the same time push down on the deck so that the boards nose
ducks under the water in the same way as a duck dive.
begin with, rather than paddling straight out the back into
the line up, its best to catch a few broken whitewater waves
in shallower water. You should have your ideal trim/paddling
position at this stage, so point your board directly towards
the beach and as the whitewater approaches paddle towards shore.
The wave should pick you up and push you forward which is an
unmistakable feeling, however if your board pearls or nosedives
you have set off positioned too far forward on the board, likewise
if the wave passes under you are positioned too far back on
fun to catch and ride a few to the beach whilst still laying
down to get the feeling of the wave, after that its time to
stand up which we will go onto in the next section. Once you
have the hang of catching white water its time to use those
paddling skills and get out into the lineup to catch the unbroken
waves which is what surfing is all about. Once in the lineup,
past where the waves are breaking, sit up and straddle your
board (you might want to practice the art of sitting on your
board as it takes a little time to find your balance). Always
face out to sea until you are ready to catch a wave. Practice
swinging the nose of the board left or right so that you can
easily turn around to catch an oncoming wave. Pick a wave that
has not broken and be sure to sit far enough out among the sloping
swells, not where the waves are standing up straight.
a wave approaches, turn the nose of your board toward the beach,
lay down and begin paddling. As you feel the wave lift you and
your board, paddle as hard as you can and lean your weight forward.
The natural tendency is to lean back to keep the nose from going
under water, but that will only slow your momentum which in
not conducive to wave-catching.
forward but raise your chest so that your weight is just above
the center of the board. You should now be sliding down into
the the trough of the wave. The first phase of surfing will
entail that you wait until you are in the flat water in front
of the wave before you stand up. However, the ideal is to begin
standing just as you feel the pull of the wave. Now you are
ready to work on standing.
Standing up on a surfboard can look very easy but once you place
that surfboard on a moving, pitching, surge of swirling water
where you must simultaneously leap from a prone position while
weighting and unweighting left, right, front, and back just
to keep from diving face forward, you'll soon realise a lot
of practice will be needed! The place to start to stand is on
the beach. Firstly you will need to know which foot will feel
most natural to you in the forward position. The left foot forward
is called natural stance and the right foot forward is a goofy
foot stance. The way to find out which way you swing (!) is
to stand up straight, close your eyes and ask a friend to gently
nudge you forward, the foot that goes out first to steady yourself
is your leading foot!
motion from prone to standing is called the pop-up, which is
basically a quick push up to your feet. Lie the board on the
sand (watch the fins) and do a push-up, once your arms are at
full extension, pull both knees toward your stomach and hop
to your feet. If you practice this regularly it will help when
in the water.
next step is to get out there and do it. It will be best to
start in the whitewater:
1---Paddle for a wave and just as you feel the momentum of the
surfboard flow faster than your paddling speed, you are ready
to hop up.
2---With your hands firmly grasping each rail push up quickly.
3---Simultaneously, extend your arms completely and pull your
knees quickly up to your chest. Be sure to keep your weight
centered with just a little slant forward.
4---Place your feet firmly on your board, one foot near the
tail and one foot just above the midpoint of the board.
5---Don't stand up completely erect. Keep a low center of gravity
by crouching down and focusing your weight on the midpoint of
the board. Keep your arms out, your eyes looking forward and
Angle on a Wave
Once you've mastered paddling and standing, it's time to climb
to the next level of waveriding. The real aim of any surfer
is to angle along on the open face of the wave parallel with
the beach, getting the longest possible ride with the greatest
amount of speed. You should decide which direction (right or
left) you will ride as you begin paddling for an oncoming wave.
Understanding and predicting wave behaviour will come with time,
but how you approach your drop-in will depend on the type of
wave your are riding. If you are surfing a mushy, sloping wave,
then you may want to start angling to the right of left even
while you paddle which is a more effective use of the wave's
energy and helps you to stay ahead of the whitewater.
on a more critical/hollow wave, a surfer must follow his/her
dropline to the flat trough of the wave in order to avoid digging
a rail or nose and thus falling during the drop. The technique
of turning the surfboard is relatively simple. While keeping
a low center of gravity with legs bent at the knees, lightly
lean your weight in the direction you choose and towards the
wave face. This will push the rail into the water and create
a keel effect, cutting into the water and directing the board
in the direction you choose. On a longboard the principle is
the same but you will need to use the rear section of your board
to turn, if you lean whilst too far forward the rail will dig
and its end of ride.
these tips and you should soon be up and riding your first wave
and life will never be the same again! Enjoy.