So You Want to Be a Surfer?
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Maybe a better question is who doesn’t want to be a surfer?
As I mentioned in a previous post, I was recently introduced to surfing. I’ve lived on the coast of California my entire life, 20 minutes from the beach, yet I had never gone surfing. What kind of Californian has never gone surfing?!
What held me back from learning to surf sooner was the fact that I knew nothing about it! I have lived my life up until this point believing that surfing is a sport for those either born into it, or those who have money to take expensive lessons.
My sister, who works at a fitness club in San Francisco, had mentioned a few times that she wanted to take a dry-land surf class with me through her work.
This only reassured my belief that surfing is not only a difficult sport that costs a lot to learn, but takes weeks of training on the sand before even getting in the water.
So after I got invited to go surfing last week, I was ready to spend the whole time learning on the sand, without even getting my feet wet (both literally and figuratively)! However, we spent maybe all of 10 minutes on the sand.
First we stretched, then I was shown a few basics to surfing, such as how to lay on the board, how to paddle, and how to pop up. Finally, I was told a few basic rules of surfing:
3 Basic Rules of Surfing:
- Never put your back to the ocean — be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- If you fall, protect and cover your face with your arms to avoid being smacked by your board.
- Be courteous of other surfers. If someone “calls” a wave, you need to stay out of their way.
Next, we moved on to the water. We spent another 10 minutes acclimating to the water, laying down, paddling, and finding a balance point to sit on the board. At first I thought I would never feel my hands again, but surprisingly enough, I was able to get used to the water fairly quickly! My friend and I spent a good hour hanging out in the water, waiting for the right waves to come, and riding the ones we could catch.
Neither of us were able to stand up that day, as we were only able to catch about 10 waves each. I came home that day after surfing determined to make this a regular hobby.
Interested in learning from the experts? Check out this article from a Northern California surf instructor.