Girls Who Love to Surf!

How To Surf

Let's take a look at some of the basic things you are going to need to know.

What type of surfboard will you need?

A beginner, or novice surfer should be lookig for a longboard. These surfboards are around 9 - 10ft in length. If you are younger and still have some growing to do then you can go for an 8-9ft board. They are also wider and thicker to provide more stability when you are learning to get your balance in the water.

Where do you get into the water?

When you are first starting out you are probably going to want to go to the beach where there is easy access. You will want to choose a spot that is away from the crowds and other surfers. What you will look for is "whitewater". This is the wave after it has broken and is heading into the shore and it looks white and frothy. Why the whitewater? That's the kind of water you are going to want to practice paddling in with your board - learning to maneuver it and to control it. Then you will want to practice standing and maintaining your balance while in this type of water. Why away from the other surfers and swimmers? This has more to do with safety than anything else. When you are first learning and trying to control a 9ft board in the water, it can be difficult - trying to control it so you don't get in other surfers way, or accidentally collide with someone can be tough at first. Wait until you have full command before attempting to join a group of people. Also you are going to want to take your board out in to the water straight on through the waves, not at an angle. If you try and take it out at an angle you are not going to have much luck - you will end up in the drink.

How do you stand up?

There are two methods of standing up, one is called the "monkey method" and one is using the knees. In the monkey method you will be lying flat on your board - centered on the board - with your feet at the tail end and your hands on either side, or on the "rails". Bring your hands level and just underneath your shoulders and lift your top half off the board as if you are doing a push up. Bring one foot up and place it on the board centered beneath you and with a gentle rotation through the waist and hips, ease yourself into a standing position, with your back foot approximately 15" away from your front. Both feet should be sideways on the board, pointing forward only slightly, in the direction you are going.

In the knee method you will kneel on your board and bring one foot forward, raising yourself in much the same way as in the monkey method. What is most important to maintain your balance is to make sure your feet cover the center of the board. When you are first practicing this you will need to make sure your board is flat in the water.

How do you catch a wave?

You take your board straight out into the whitewater until you are about chest deep. Pointing the board towards the shore you lie flat on it and watch and wait for a good stretch of whitewater to come towards you. As it approaches you can paddle a couple of strokes to get yourself moving. When you feel the whitewater catch the tail of the surfboard and you feel the board move with it, try and stand up, making sure your board stays flat in the water with neither the nose or the tail elevated above the other. Then ride it in!

These are just the beginning things you will learn and it will take a lot of practice to get really good at it. But once you have the bug you will want to

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