Surfing is an exciting sport, but there are a number of things you should consider before you head out into the waves for the first time. As you prepare for your first surfing lesson, understand that it is going to take you time to learn the sport. Know what the temperature of the water is and plan ahead. While you may be excited about your first lesson, it’s important not to expect too much from yourself during your first day in the waves.
The Temperature of the Water
You should know the temperature of the water you are going to be swimming in and plan accordingly. You may want to invest in a wet suit if the water you are going to be surfing in is colder than you are used to. Surfing takes focus, and if you are too cold, you won’t be able to focus on learning how to surf. Your muscles may also tighten up if the water is too cold for you, making it even more difficult for you to get into the surfing position. If you are learning how to surf where the weather and ocean water is warm, you probably won’t need a wet suit your first time out.
How Well You Can Swim
Getting far enough out in the ocean so that you can reach the waves takes a certain amount of swimming skill. While you don’t have to be able to swim an entire mile, you have to be able to get to the shore if you lose your surfboard. As a beginner, you aren’t going to be out in the ocean alone, but you still need to be able to stay afloat until help can get to you. You will be attached to your surfboard by a cord that goes around your ankle, but these can come loose. If you are nervous about your swimming ability, make sure that you tell your instructor about your concerns.
You’ll Practice on Land First
At your first surfing lesson, you’ll be spending more time on land than you might expect. Surfing is a difficult sport to learn, and you will spend quite a bit of time on land learning the positions you need to get up onto your board. Pay careful attention during this time because you will need to know this information once you hit a wave out in the ocean. While you will eventually get into the water and start paddling out to the surf, you will spend a great deal of time on land practicing your skills first.
Waxing Your Board Helps You
You may wonder why you need to put wax on your surfboard. In general, surfboards are smooth and slippery. When you rub wax all over your board, your board will become sticky. This helps you stand on your surfboard when you are out struggling in the surf. If your board becomes slippery, it’s time to wax your board again and head back out into the waves.
You Are Going to Wipe Out
No matter how good of an athlete you are, you are going to wipe out when you are surfing. This is a difficult sport, and even the best surfers wipe out eventually. The ocean is unpredictable and when you are out on your board for the first time, expect that you are going to fall off. Wiping out is part of the sport, just make sure that you take a break if you think you might be injured. You will eventually get better at staying on your board for longer periods of time, but try not to be a perfectionist when it comes to learning how to surf.
Learning how to surf takes time, patience and practice. Pay attention to your surroundings and head back in if the waves are too difficult for you to stand up in. If you have questions, ask your instructor and don’t be afraid of wiping out. While this is a fun sport, it is one of the harder sports to learn as a beginner. Take your time and enjoy the experience.