Surfing has evolved to be a physical and mental health exercise besides being a thrilling recreation. People all across the globe are now more aware and inclined to this watersport. If you too have your mind on it, read this guide to know everything you must be aware of before starting to surf.
Table of Contents
1. Choosing The Right Surfboard is Essential
It may sound like stating the obvious, but it is what it is. Choosing an inappropriate surfboard can make your first surfing experience terrible. Remember choosing the right surfboard is more about analyzing the volume and rocker than just picking the top-most expensive model.
The volume of the surfboard refers to the height, width, and length of the board. As a beginner, you should ideally choose a surfboard with a big volume. A broader base allows for easy balancing, which is very important in surfing.
As for the rocker, it is the combination of the curves that make up the surfboard’s shape. It determines how the board reacts in the water, how fast it glides, how easy it turns, etc. Low rockers are good for beginners as a flatter base makes paddling and balancing.
In addition to the rocker and volume, you should always buy the surfboard, which is a soft top. This provides a cushion and saves you from injury in case of a fall.
2. You Don’t Need To Be a Pro-Swimmer.
Yes, you heard it right. Although surfing is a water sport, it does not require you to be an expert in swimming. Breaststroke, backstroke, and Butterfly style should not scare you away from surfing.
However, for safety reasons, you should definitely know the basics of swimming before you start surfing. You should be able to swim three to four lengths of a typical pool at least. Having said that, let me clear that you won’t be requiring your swimming skills every time you surf. It is only an additional safety precaution so that in case something inopportune happens, your life won’t be at risk.
Other safety measures include consulting a lifeguard about the condition of the waves in addition to observing them yourselves. If you are a first-timer, avoid surfing on crowded beaches because the chances of you bumping into another surfer is more.
3. Expect Pain and Soreness the Next Day
Surfing is a strenuous sport that employs many different muscles of your body. It is very natural to feel exhausted and sore after a good session of surfing. The pain and soreness can be even worse if you are a beginner who is not used to surfing.
Constant paddling causes the arm and hips to get sore. This is more evident in people who are new to surfing. Their body is not used to paddling on a surfboard in an upright position with the hip bones pressing against the board. We have a detailed account of what to expect the next day after surfing on https://ombe.co/8-things-to-know-when-you-start-surfing/.
Don’t feel disheartened. The body’s coping mechanism gets better as you surf. After a few rounds, you would not feel so drained.
4. Wet Suit is Not Mandatory But Recommended
A wet suit is a thermal garment that keeps you safe from the chilled water of the sea. While surfing, the waves come crashing very strongly and can hurt your skin. Therefore it is recommended that you buy a good quality wetsuit for surfing.
This is especially important if the water you are surfing on is cold. Besides protecting you from cold water and skin rashes, it also guards your body against ultraviolet exposure and the sting of marine faunas. Wet suits are made up of foamed neoprene and are very light in weight.
You can easily carry it without feeling any extra burden on your body. It is typically 3 millimeters thick, and for colder regions, it may be as thick as 5 mm. It is waterproof, so you remain dry all through. If you have set your heart upon surfing, consider investing in a good quality wet suit.
5. No, You Won’t Run Into a Shark.
Contrary to popular fear, the chances of you bumping into a shark while surfing are very low. I don’t mean that it is impossible to encounter sharks in your surfing experience. So long as you are in the vast waterbody, anything can happen. However, personal accounts of professional surfers vouch for the fact that you are safe from sharks while surfing.
You can see plenty of other marine animals such as salmon, whales, sunfishes, etc. so, if the fear of sharks is holding you back from surfing, this is your sign to get started. For additional safety, always have your wetsuit on and look out for lifeguards wherever you are surfing.
6. Protective Gears are Important
Just like any other sport, surfing too has its share of dangers. Rather it is more complex owing to its nature. Therefore it is very important to get all the necessary safety gear to ensure a smooth surfing experience.
The most important gears that you should have are leashes and helmets. A leash is a urethane cord that is attached to the deck of a surfboard near its tail. It fastens you tightly to the surfboard, preventing you from being swept away by strong waves.
When choosing the leash, it is important to get the right length. The ideal length is mostly the size of your surfboard or more. Helmets are worn to prevent injury caused due to board striking. Beginners generally wear it. However, surfers of all levels should wear one.
Besides the aforesaid things, it is important to note that your first experience will not be so smooth. It is a long time before things get all fun. However, do not feel disheartened. The journey to get to perfection is in itself very thrilling and will be a memorable one. Put into practice the six important things you need to know before surfing and you will have a great time.
Featured Image by Mig OConnell from Pixabay