It is important for all beginner surfers to have some basic knowledge of the skills and awareness needed to participate in surfing.
Awareness is the key to safe surfing. Accidents happen because people tend to rush into the water without acknowledging the common sense rules of surfing. Spend time to:
a: select a board which suits your ability, ie. a learners board should be big, thick and stable.
b: look at the weather and choose the appropriate wetsuit.
c: choose a beach which you know has small waves.
d: sit down, look at the conditions and choose a spot that will suit your abilities.
Remember never surf alone and always adhere to all instructions and regulations by lifeguards.
Your Equipment- the board you are looking for -
a: Floatation- The most important requirement for a beginner. The board should have plenty of thickness, ie.when you look at the board from side on.
b: Length- Another important feature which adds to the floatation and makes the board easier to paddle and more stable. Stand the board up on the tail, on the ground and reach towards the nose of the surfboard. Ideally, you should just be able to touch the nose of the board. If you can touch the nose of the board easily, chances are your board is too short.
c: Condition- It doesn't matter how many dings the board has as long as they are all repaired and there aren't any loose bits of fibreglass. Don't worry about appearances, appearances mean nothing. No-one learns to drive in a formula- one car.
d: Paddling- is the most important part of learning to surf. If you can't paddle, you won't catch any waves. Paddling is easy but still needs to be practised. Paddling instructions:
1: make sure your leg rope isn't in the way.
2: the nose of the board should be out of the water.
3: hands should be slightly cupped.
4: arch your back slightly so that your head is off the deck.
5: stroke one arm at a time in a semi- circular motion under the board.
6: have feet locked together
When paddling out, the surfer will encounter on coming waves. The eskimo roll is perfect for the learner to tackle these sometimes scary situations.
1: slide both hands to about 15 to 20 cm. from the nose of the board and grip the rails firmly.
2: roll the board over, placing yourself under the board keeping a tight grip on the rails.
3: while underneath the water, hang on tight and let the waves pass overhead.
4: roll back over to be the right way up- lets hope you get this part right.
Back to Cybersydney Sport
All text © NSW Department of Sport and Recreation 1997
Graphics © CyberSydney Pty.Ltd 1997