Surf Etiquette and Safety

web-photos-frijoles03Surf safety and surf etiquette are paramount to an enjoyable surf session for everyone involved.

Surfing is fun, it’s adrenaline-pumping and life-changing.

Surfing can also be dangerous to you, and those around you- like any sport, or activity, there are guidelines for best practices. Keep reading, to discover how you can minimize the chance of accidents, conflicts with other surfers and maintain good vibes and good karma!

  1. Select the most appropriate location for your skill level. If in doubt, ask your local surf shop.
  2. Surfer closest to where the wave broke has priority, or in some places, it’s the person first on their feet.
  3. Stay out of the way of other surfers- when paddling out, paddle towards the broken part of the wave so you avoid interfering with surfers on the green face.
  4. Don’t be a wave hog- take turns, encourage others.
  5. Be observant, pay attention at all times.
  6. Assist a fellow surfer in trouble or distress.
  7. Spend a little time speaking to locals before surfing- figure out the local vibe, how best to fit in.
  8. Your board is a missile and has the potential to harm another person. Never ditch your board when a surfer is behind you- hold onto it like a life depends on it. Remember a 9ft board with a 9ft leash has a reach of close to 20 feet…. and your fellow surfer on a similar board has the same… try and keep a good 40ft from other beginners.
  9. Relax, have fun, don’t be a jerk. Smile, share and lift the spirits of those around you.

4 Key Tips for Beginner Surfers

surf lessons playa grande costa rica

Surf Lessons with Frijoles Locos, Playa Grande,                                   Costa Rica

Shakas and surf. Surf Lessons.

Shakas and surf. Playa Grande near Tamarindo.

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. We look forward to taking you surfing.
Email us NOW to make your surf lesson reservation [email protected]