Main Photo Courtesy of cheapsurfgear.com
If you are living anywhere near the sea, chances are you considered going surfing. The waters are not ideal everywhere, as several factors need to align for good conditions, and it may just be the case that you have only seen good surfing waves on TV and never in real life. So the waves remained undisturbed. But the coastline is huge, and there is always a place where you can surf your heart out, only if you know how to do it.
Well, here we are going to go over the do’s and don’ts of surfing, and you’ll see that it can be easier than you think.
Where to go?
If you live anywhere near or on the West coast, you are most likely very close to a beach that offers fairly good surfing conditions.
Because of the various weather elements needed to secure a pleasant experience (sufficiently sunny, a not too strong offshore wind, etc.), you might be looking for another beach every other day. However, that shouldn’t be a problem if you know what you are looking for.
One great way to get to know the sport and to learn how to read the weather is through proper guidance by more experienced surfers. If you are located in California, the guys and gals from Santa Barbara surf school can offer you all the basic and advanced courses one can think of, after which you can safely go on your way. And you have to note that even professionals have to change their beach almost every other day as the waves change.
- Learn how to read a weather report
- Ask for professional guidance first.
- Try and find an uncrowded beach with the right conditions, if possible.
The equipment you need
Have we gone over the basics of what are good prerequisites to have a day of surfing?
Yes, except for the big factor of the equipment you need to bring with you! Surfing boards, bathing suits, suntan lotion, towels… the list is not long, but it’s still essential.
Surfing boards are a must that goes without saying. Their specific oblong shape, steering fin, and smoothed out edges are all design features to help catch and maintain a wave for as long as possible.
They can be exciting DIY projects, but if you are just beginning, it is probably for the best that you rent one and learn how they are supposed to be used before making one for yourself.
Most surfing schools, and almost any touristy beach, will have various designs for rent.
Bathing suits are also necessary, as there is no way you won’t end up wet all over. One-piece bathing suits are the best option as they give your body support and won’t fall off in any condition (you do not want to end up chasing a piece of your underwear somewhere in the open sea!).
A swimming cap is also recommended, especially if you have longer hair, as it helps you see better by keeping hairs from sticking to your face.
Always warm up beforehand!
Even though you may be young and energetic, and it seems like you are already warm from standing in the sun, you still have to do proper exercises first not to strain a muscle when standing on the board or falling off it. Compound exercises that target larger groups of muscles, such as squats or pull-ups, along with a bit of dynamic stretching, is what you should do. No need to force it; 5 minutes is probably enough if you are already in good physical condition.
Make sure that you are also properly hydrated.
Surfing and swimming can be physically demanding if you are looking for longer and higher waves, and it is easy to fall into the trap of getting a mouthful of saltwater that only dries your organism more. So whenever taking a break, see that you have at least a few sips of fresh water to replenish everything you lost through sweat.
Riding waves is maybe the best way to spend any vacation; it is both challenging and fun and can be very safe if you know what you are doing. Although, in the end, even if it’s a solo activity of you and your surfboard on a wave, it is arguably better if you go to the beach with some friends. Not just for security’s sake but to adhere to the proverb – the more, the merrier.