A Surfer‘s Life 2- Learning to Surf
In the first article of a surfer’s life we talked about the difference of living by the beach and not living by the beach for people who love the surf lifestyle. Regardless of where you have come from and your swimming expertise, it is still a hard process to master standing up on your board. Having a little previous experience with the ocean often helps.
To start on the surfing experience you should choose a longer wider board because it will float you better and it is easier to stand up on for that reason.
The next step is find out which is your front foot when surfing. You are either natural or goofy foot, meaning natural your face the wave with your left foot forward and goofy you face the wave with your right foot forward. This is important to know which foot your leg-rope goes on, or in American your leash. The leg-rope goes onto your back foot. To determine your front foot, step face forward with your two legs together. Get someone, to push you forward lightly enough to move you forward. The foot that balances you will usually be your front foot.
After that you will have to learn to stand up, but practice firstly on the land. Lie on the sand stomach downwards, and hands to the side. The push yourself upwards to stand up. It should be more or less on one movement. If this is happening slowly (getting used to standing from a lying position), the only thing that will allow to stand up in a double and/or delayed movement is to drag your back leg, until you get to your feet.
You should not hit the water. You need to paddle with an alternate stroke motion to be effective. One left stroke, one right stroke.
Your now in the water. What you can’t learn on land is balance. The ocean has a constantly moving surface that you can only learn balance by the time in the water. As for balance on the board. The right position to lie while paddling is to lie on the board and put your arm out forward full stretch. Your arm should just touch the nose. If you are too far forward while paddling, you will push the nose in the water. Too far back and the wave will pass underneath you because you can’t paddle fast enough to keep up with the wave.
Also, while paddling, some people might notice a beginner paddling with their board moving left to right beneath them. For a normal surfer this will not move. The trick is that you will learn that a surfer pushes his stomach flat, usually around the rib cage area, and for this reason the board does not move.
When you stand up, your feet must be placed; one forward in the middle of the board and one back. If you put them in the same spot you will not have as much stability, and fall over easily. This is particularly important on short boards.
Still a beginner, but you need to learn to duck dive? To do this, you are lying on your board paddling, place your arms firmly on either side of the edge of the board about where your chest is and push up firmly. Practice this a few times and see if you can hold yourself up, without tipping over. If you can achieve this this to push it in the water, use the first trick to push the board below the surface of the water, and then dig your right knee into the surface of the board to bring it back up again. This can be easily practiced in still water until you feel comfortable to use it to push you through a wave.
One last hint. When standing, stand with you knees slightly bent, not straight up and down. These are your shock absorbers, which help you to take whatever the change of the surface will do to throw you off your board.
These are some of the hints I remembered to get you going. So all you have to do now is learn your balance
On 4th December, 2011 I found this great site to give tips to help surfers improve the surfing ability. It’s called Surf Coach. http://www.surfingaustralia.com/surfcoach/free-advanced-videos/
Here’s a good video link on paddling is where you start from
- Learn how to surf better! (elsurfeador.com)