4 Key Tips for Beginner Surfers

4 Key Tips for Beginner Surfers
surf lessons playa grande costa rica

Surf Lessons with Frijoles Locos, Playa Grande,                                   Costa Rica

How Beginner Surfers can Stand Up on a Wave their First Time Surfing

No doubt about it, learning to surf is hard! Here are 4 tips for beginner surfers, to ensure you stand up on a wave the first time you surf.

1/ Determine if you are goofy or regular foot.

Goofy foot surfers have their right foot forward and regular foot surfers have their left foot forward. If you snowboard or skateboard, you should already know which of these you are. If not, have a friend push you from behind and whichever foot you step forward with first, becomes your front foot.

2/ Practice pop-ups on the beach.

Draw a cross in the sand and lay down on it so your chest rests on the center of the cross. With hands in a wide push-up position, at chest level, draw your tummy in, to create space for your front leg to come through and plant your front foot at the center of the cross. Your back foot remains behind. Both your feet should be perpendicular to the vertical center line, not parallel as if you were skiing. Repeat, as many times as needed, until you nail the pop-up.

3/ Keep your hands flat.

Think stable table. Hands flat on the surfboard will keep the surfboard steady. A common beginner surfer mistake is to grab the edges of the surfboard like reading a book- it will rock and roll and you will fall off.

4/ White-water first.

Stay in the area of the beach where the waves have already broken. This area is referred to as the white-water. Allow the white-water waves to push you toward the beach, and stand up as soon as you feel the power and speed of the wave.

Safety tips:

  • Jump off the surfboard before the shallows, to avoid breaking the surfboard fins (and to avoid knee injury!)
  • Always cover your head with your arms before coming up for air after you fall off the board. This will help you avoid hitting your head on your board or fins.
  • Never surf alone.
  • Surf only where you would be also confident swimming.
Final words of advice: Invest in a surf lesson from a professional surf instructor. A good surf instructor will help you choose the right location, learn safety tips, improve faster, identify your mistakes, and make the whole experience more fun and rewarding.