6 Tips to Help you Surf like Pro when You’re a NEWBIE!
Learning to surf in Australia is on the bucket list for nearly every backpacker who turns up in the Arrivals lounge with a backpack full of dreams. But often, many find learning to surf becomes a nightmare…
Surfing is not (as I discovered for myself having begun learning as an adult) as easy as it seems – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to learn! But fear not, through extensive fails, dumps and angry hollers from locals in the line-up, the Visiting NSW team has come up with a few tips to get you in the water without feeling like a complete kook (with a bad-ass glossary to get you stoked about your surfing lingo).
Surfing like a pro doesn’t mean going through 6ft barrels and ripping up the lip to smash out a 360 air – it’s a mindset, a healthy respect for the ocean, fellow surfers and the sport. So, to make the most of your water time, you should follow their example…
1) Pro Surfers Always Learn from the Best
2) Pro Surfers Always have the Right Equipment
Once you’ve gained some experience and confidence with a surf school, you may feel ready to tackle the waves yourself. Don’t fall for the same mistake many newbies make. It’s temping to splash out (excuse the pun) and get a sleek, cool short board. But here’s the deal – trying to learn to surf on a short board will not make you feel like Kelly Slater – It’ll make you feel like an idiot.
Improve quicker, have more fun and catch more waves by getting yourself a beginner’s board you can progress on. You’ll want the most volume as possible to help stay afloat – so think long and wide. Something like a Bic Mini Mal is perfect – not only will you have a lot of fun, but they are also pretty indestructible too! Progress to smaller boards as you improve, and you will, with plenty of practice!
5) Pro Surfers Learn about each Break they Surf
There is nothing more thrilling than standing up on your first wave, and then your first green wave, and then your first turn – the list is endless. But you’re gonna have to get water savvy to do these things safely. So learn as much as you can about each break you attempt to surf – and don’t be afraid to ask the locals! They love giving away their advice and showing off their local knowledge! Learn what tides times are the best to surf, or if there are any tricky rips or sandbanks, and maybe unexposed rocked under the surface. Following a website like Coastal Watch is a great way to learn more about your surf break of choice and finding out when the conditions are right for you. And BeachSafe.com is a pretty handy site highlights safety aspects of each break.
6) Pro Surfers have Fun!
There is a much-used saying in the surfing world, “The best surfer in the water is the one having the most fun.” Learning to surf is a life-long pursuit. You’ll always be striving to improve – just like everyone else in the water. There are days when you might feel frustrated, days when you’ll feel defeated. The learning curve is steep but the rewards are endless. So don’t forget to have fun!
Ultimately we’re all searching for that feeling – the freedom, the ecstasy, the ride of our lives. The moment when nothing else in the world matters but the power of the ocean beneath our feet – and only a surfer knows that feeling… we’d love to hear about yours!