The article describes сan you teach yourself how to surf. Well, you do not want to communicate with an instructor, and to conquer the waves – a longtime dream. What to do in this case?
Choose the right board for you
Stable. The first board should look more like a boat than a board. It’s long, wide and thick. A good first board gives you confidence on the water: even on your first day you can sit and paddle on it. If that’s not the case, it’s better to change to a bigger board.
Many people start with softs – big foam ships for beginners, but honestly, you can start with something more stylish. For example, get a Mini Malibu 7’2 or 7’4 – even for the very first time it’s enough.
When the first experience will appear, it will be easier to decide in what direction to move: to stylish old-school longboards (and then go for the promotion) or to youth hipster shortboards (and start looking for a smaller board).
With more volume. When shortening the length of your board, remember: it’s not so much the length as the volume (liter) that matters. The next board may be short, like 6’2, but thick.
Find the right spot.
With a slow wave. Choose spots that fit your level. I know you really like pictures of a wave that rolls into a horn, but trust me, once you get around to it, you will quickly dislike it. And even if you don’t, there’s not much you can do about it yet.
So stay away from spots with a sharp wave that closes quickly. Choose a “fat” wave – it looks like a large triangular block of water with foam at the very top, which slowly descends down
With a sandy bottom. At first you will spend a lot of time underwater, and it’s much nicer and safer if there is sand, not a reef. In some places, you just have to pick the time of the tide to do it.
With clear working boundaries. Sometimes the wave looks like this: a big wall of water comes up, and there is no end or beginning to it. In order to get to the lineup you need to dive under the wave several times, but you cannot do it. This option is still too difficult.
It is much easier if the wave has clear boundaries: a point break where it starts to close, five meters away nothing happens. The wall may come down quite close, but you will be safe. In such cases, it is easier to manage the situation: swim to the side and skip the wave if it does not suit you, or, conversely, move to the center and try to ride.
Another bonus of such spots is that you do not need to fight with the waves and dive to get to the lineup.
Control the size of the wave.
Choose the right timing. Download the Magicseaweed app and watch the swell. Three to five feet is a good size. If it’s bigger, but you want to get in the water, go for the high tide time so even a big swell won’t be a problem.
It’s the forecast, but trust your feelings. If you look at the ocean and there’s an apocalypse, no need to get in the water and prove your fearlessness to the world.
Stay close to shore. You don’t have to drag yourself to the beach: there is more competition and less chance to catch a wave before one of the more advanced surfers gets on it.
It is better to ride closer to the shore. First of all, there are waves here that just don’t work on the liner. Secondly, here comes the foam, on which experienced surfers are no longer interested in riding, but beginners are the best for training.
Learn Survival Skills
Surf-schools are working on results: they bring beginners to the spot, push their board on a small wave – and voila! You are already on the board, there is no limit to your happiness.
It’s all very cool, but far from surfing in real conditions. It’s healthier to learn how to fall and behave in dangerous situations before you stand up.
Сan you teach yourself how to surf? Group yourself underwater. When it covers a huge wave, the head is not a single thought. So think of your actions on the beach. It’s better to group yourself in the water with a “bombshell” and cover your face. You never know what’s going to happen underwater. But you don’t want to get finom in your eye or reef in your face. Cutting your hands is not so scary.
Put your hands out when you’re surfacing. This is to avoid coming face to face with your own or someone else’s board when you’re on the surface of the water.
Control the location of the board. Remember, when you’re on the board it can save you, when you’re under the board it can kill you. So if a huge block of water is about to hit you. It’s better to get off the board and let it go so that it is between you and the shore. Then in the whirlpool the waves will pull the board to the shore (and you – not). And the chances of not meeting it are higher.
Duck under the waves. A useful skill for large boards is to do the turtle roll. Grab the board and flip up with your belly button a few seconds before the wave. This way you’re less trapped by the water and you’ll barely lose your position. “Turtle roll” doesn’t work for when a huge wave closes right over your head.
Lower the bar of expectations.
You will have to paddle a lot, fall off the board a lot, be underwater a lot, cry a lot on shore. Don’t get discouraged and remember: any time spent in the water is good time.
Keep a positive mindset. Maybe you didn’t catch a single wave, but you made it to the liner. Maybe you got swept into a huge washing machine. But next time you’ll be quicker to figure out where such a monster will collapse and be able to avoid it.
And finally, Сan you teach yourself how to surf? Yes!