10 Surfing Tips for Beginners


1
Obey Surfing Etiquette
Crowded surf can lead to dangerous collisions, so be careful out there.
Crowded surf can lead to dangerous collisions, so be careful out there.
Photos.com/Thinkstock

Even though surfing is an individual sport, surfers are a community of people who share the waves. Learning and following the unwritten code of conduct is especially important and profitable for beginners. It not only helps prevent accidents, but also shows your respect for your fellow surfers.

Some rules of the code are simply about being polite. For example, wait your turn in the lineup. Beginners, who usually ride longboards, may be tempted to break this rule and use their larger board's paddling and speed advantage to outrace surfers on shortboards to the take-off zone. Don't do that.

Also, waves are one-to-a-customer. It's considered poor form to drop in, or catch a wave, when another surfer is already riding it. Sometimes beginners drop in, not realizing the wave's already in use; pay attention to what's going on around you.

Other rules are peculiar to surfing culture. For example, respect an established surfer's spot and seniority. Follow the vibe of the lineup. Early-morning surfers trying to get in a session before heading to work may be less tolerant of beginners. Be especially deferential to this crowd. The after-work crowd may be more relaxed and boisterous. Join the fun, but pay extra attention to the traffic. A surfing community is like a neighborhood. Balancing friendliness with responsibility is the best way to get in, and stay in, their good graces.

Author's Note: 10 Surfing Tips for Beginners

Being raised in the landlocked heartland of the United States, I was surprised at how seriously surfers take their sport. It's not only a hobby, but also gives a sense of identity for the devotees. And their athletic ability and sheer nerve are amazing.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Baseball Almanac. "Yogi Berra Quotes." (July 4, 2012) http://www.baseball-almanac.com/quotes/quoberra.shtml
  • Brave New World. "Basic Surf Tips for Beginners." (July 8, 2012) http://www.bravesurf.com/Surfology/BasicSurfingTips.aspx
  • City and County of Honolulu. "Box Jellyfish." (July 16, 2012) http://www1.honolulu.gov/esd/oceansafety/boxjellyfishlink.htm
  • Cozzens, Keith. "Surf's Up on the Snake." Jackson Hole News & Guide. July 5, 2006. (July 5, 2012) http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=650
  • Dupont. "Dupontâ„¢ Neoprene Polychloroprene." (July 7, 2012) http://www.dupontelastomers.com/Products/Neoprene/neoprene.asp
  • FamilyDoctor.org. "Rotator Cuff Exercises." Dec. 2010. (July 7, 2012) http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/exercise-fitness/injury-rehab/rotator-cuff-exercises.html
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection. "Beach Warning Flag Program." April 10, 2012. (July 8, 2012) http://www.dep.state.fl.us/cmp/programs/flags.htm
  • Grand Valley State University. "Waves." (July 7, 2012) http://faculty.gvsu.edu/videticp/waves.htm
  • International Surfing Association. "Obligations of a Recognized Surfschool." (June 28, 2012) http://www.isasurf.org/files/ISAOBLIGATIONSOFaregisteredsurfschool010308.doc
  • iSport.com. "Different Wave Types for Surfing." (July 3, 2012) http://surfing.isport.com/surfing-guides/different-wave-types-for-surfing
  • iSport.com. "How to Choose the Best Tides for Surfing." (July 8, 2012) http://surfing.isport.com/surfing-guides/how-to-choose-the-best-tides-for-surfing
  • Murphy, Jen. "Surfer Mark Healey Works Out to Avoid Gnarly Wipeouts and Worse." Wall Street Journal. Dec. 9, 2008. (July 7, 2012) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122874695311788015.html
  • National Geographic. "Stingray." (July 6, 2012) http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/stingray/
  • National Weather Service. "Rip Current Science." April 20, 2011. (July 6, 2012) http://ripcurrents.noaa.gov/science.shtml
  • On the Edge Surfing. "Surfboard Buying Guide and Size Charts." (July 6, 2012) http://www.otesurf.com/surfboard_buying_guide.php
  • Parmenter, Dave. "Longboards." Surfline.com. (July 3, 2012) http://www.surfline.com/surfing-a-to-z/longboards-history_850/
  • Parmenter, Dave. "Guns." Surfline.com. (July 3, 2012) http://www.surfline.com/surfing-a-to-z/guns-history_823/
  • Parmenter, Dave. "Fish." Surfline.com. (July 3, 2012) http://www.surfline.com/surfing-a-to-z/fish-history_803/
  • REI. "Understanding Sun Protection Clothing." (July 8, 2012) http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/sun+protection.html
  • Regenold, Stephen. "Hanging 10 (Degrees) on Icy Lake Superior." The New York Times. Jan. 15, 2009. (July 5, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/travel/escapes/16superior.html
  • Schmidt, Richard. "Learn to Surf: Step Three -- Paddling." (July 8, 2012) http://www.surfline.com/surfology/surfology_sschool_feat03.cfm
  • Surf Camp. "Rip Currents Safety - Ocean Safety." (July 6, 2012) http://www.wbsurfcamp.com/safety/ss_rip_currents.asp
  • Surf-forecast.com. "Ngombe Water Temperature and Wetsuit Guide (Gabon -- Estuaire)." (July 2, 2012) http://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/Ngombe/seatemp
  • Surfing-Waves.com "Custom Surfboards." (July 1, 2012) http://www.surfing-waves.com/beginner_surfboard1.htm
  • Surfing-Waves.com. "Your First Surfboard." (July 8, 2012) http://www.surfing-waves.com/beginner_surfboard.htm
  • Surfline. "Surfology: Bill of Rights and Lefts." (July 2, 2012) http://www.surfline.com/surfology/surfology_borl_index.cfm
  • Surfline. "The Surfline iPhone App." (July 6, 2012) http://www.surfline.com/iphone/
  • SurfScience. "Fin Specs and Performance." (July 8, 2012) http://surfscience.com/topics/surfboard-fins/selection/fin-specs-and-performance/
  • SurfScience. "Improve Your Surfing Through Muscle Memory." (July 8, 2012) http://www.surfscience.com/topics/surfing-tips/intermediate-tips/improving-your-surfing-through-muscle-memory/
  • SurfScience. "What to Wear While Surfing." (July 6, 2012) http://www.surfscience.com/topics/gear-and-equipment/surf-wear/what-to-wear-while-surfing
  • TheSurfingSite. "Understand Ocean and Surf Conditions." (July 8, 2012) http://thesurfingsite.com/Surf-Conditions.html
  • The Surfing Handbook. "Finding a Beginner Surf Spot." (July 3, 2012) http://www.surfinghandbook.com/knowledge/beginners-surfing-tips/finding-a-beginner-surf-spot/
  • The Surfing Handbook. "Getting the Right Surfboard." (July 1, 2012) http://www.surfinghandbook.com/knowledge/beginners-surfing-tips/beginners-surfboard/
  • The Surfing Handbook. "Surf Tip: Improve Your Balance and Surf Stronger." Aug. 2, 2010. (July 7, 2012) http://www.surfinghandbook.com/2010/08/5-ways-to-improve-your-balance-and-surf-stronger

UP NEXT

Code Brown: Pools Are Nasty, Study Says

Code Brown: Pools Are Nasty, Study Says

It's almost pool season. But do you know exactly what you're swimming in? HowStuffWorks wades through a disgusting study just released by the CDC.


More to Explore