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Planning To Become A Skilled Surfer? Here Are The Steps You Need To Take First

Planning To Become A Skilled Surfer? Here Are The Steps You Need To Take First

Published by Allen Brown

Do you want to become one with the ocean? Do you like the thought of riding an ocean wave? Surfing is a water sport that involves a person known as the surfer using a board to ride on a moving wave of water that carries that surfer towards the shore. 

Over the years surfing has become both a popular sport and a beloved hobby. Few things beat the feeling of riding a wave. But learning to surf, especially at a skilled level, requires a lot of work. If you want to become a skilled surfer, here are some steps you need to take first.


Get The Right Gear

You can’t perform any act properly without the proper tools. The same is true of surfing. Before anything else, here is the essential equipment you’ll need:


Getting a surfboard is an obvious purchase. But what is the right surfboard? When you’re starting out surfing, the bigger your surfboard the better. Find a board between 7’0 to 9’0. 

A large surfboard will make catching waves easier. You’ll also be able to maneuver better.

Surfboard Leash

A leash will prevent your board from shooting to the shore after you’ve ridden out a wave. Get a leash that’s the same size as your surfboard, because you don’t want to feel restricted or get tangled up while you’re surfing.


It gets super cold in the water and this is why you need a wetsuit. A wetsuit is designed to keep you warm in the water. Choose a wetsuit depending on the time of the year and your climate. 

Surf watch 

Catching the waves is all about timing. You’ll need to head out at the right time and to the right place. It’s best to use a surf watch for this purpose instead of your phone.

Pick A Good Teacher 

You can’t teach yourself to surf. Never attempt to start surfing by yourself. It’s not as easy as it looks at all and it’s quite dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Rather, get an experienced surfer friend to teach you or better yet, find a good surfing school. There are things to look out for. For example, Santa Barbara has a vibrant surfing scene, and if you’re looking for a surf lessons school in Santa Barbara it’s advisable to do some research in advance. Find out about how long and extensive their teaching experience is. Read their customer reviews to get an idea about how they treat their students. 

Keep in mind that the best teachers not only teach you but also inspire you and nurture your love of surfing.

Spend Some Time On Dry Land 

We learn by studying people better than us. Spend time on the beach watching other surfers. Pay attention to what they do. Take note of important things like how they stand on their boards with their knees bent, how they paddle, how they patiently wait for the right wave, how they treat other surfers. 

Also, use this time to get used to handling your surfboard. Sitting on a surfboard is not the easiest thing to do, it’s an uncomfortable thing to do. Sit on it as practice. You don’t want to get squirmy on the water when you’re waiting for a wave. 


After you’ve found a good teacher and you’ve got a few lessons in enough to be familiar with the basics, practice. Practice makes perfect. Find a beach known for low, steady waves and put your lessons into practice. Remember to pace yourself. It’s tempting to want to try to ride more than you can handle because of all the excitement. But listen to what your teacher says. You’re ready for bigger waves only when they say you are.

To this end, avoid experienced surfers. Experienced surfers will be chasing the big waves so if you get in their way you’ll endanger yourself and them too. Plus everyone around. This is because when you’re starting you’re prone to make a lot of mistakes. 

Brace Yourself For Falling

In the beginning, you’ll fall a lot. One of the certainties of surfing is that the waves will knock you down. Get ready to be involved in wipeouts, frustration, and bruises. 

Just remember that with practice this will happen less and less so don’t get discouraged and stop.


You must keep your board and wetsuit clean at all times. Wash your board and wetsuit in clean freshwater. If you’re lucky your local beach will have clean shower stations you can use.

After you’ve washed your board, wipe it clean. Make sure to store your gear in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Once you follow the right steps and learn the skills required surfing is one of the most enjoyable sports or hobbies.