Top 5 Mistakes Beginner Surfers Make
Learning to surf is one of the best experiences ever! However, little mistakes can turn an otherwise amazing experience into a frustrating mess. Here are the top 5 mistakes beginner surfers make.
1. Looking down at the surfboard
The number one mistake that beginner surfers make when learning how to surf is looking down at the surfboard. In surfing, balance is everything and looking down will throw your balance off. It is very important to always focus on the horizon when you are paddling and riding on the wave. This will also ensure that you know what is going on in front of you at all times.
2. Not using Burst Paddles
Not paddling enough is a very common mistake among beginner surfers. Most beginner surfers will paddle until they feel the wave lift the tail of the surfboard, then stand up. The result is the wave rolling under the surfboard and passing the surfer by.
It is important to remember that when the wave lifts up the tail of the surfboard, this is your cue to paddle strong and fast. These paddle strokes are known as burst paddles and will ensure that your surfboard begins to slide down the face of the wave. Once you have this sensation, then it is time to stand up.
3. Not laying on the surfboard properly
In order to paddle properly and avoid pearling (nose diving) your surfboard, you want to position yourself in the right spot. Laying to far back on the surfboard will cause drag and you will paddle too slow. Laying too far forward on the surfboard will cause you to nose dive when standing up.
Since every surfboard is different, the best way to find what surfers call the “sweet spot” is to adjust your body so that the surfboard lays level on the water. This may take a bit of practice, but by doing so you will paddle more effective and avoid getting a gallon of salt water up each nostril when you nose dive.
4. Surfers waving their arms around
The key to balance while surfing is keeping a low center of gravity. Beginner surfers tend to wave their arms around in an attempt to keep themselves balanced. Unfortunately, waving your arms around only causes you to lose balance even quicker.
A general rule of thumb is to avoid raising your arms above your shoulders. This will keep your center of gravity low and stable. If you feel like you are losing balance, bend your knees instead of waving your arms.
5. Not bending the knees
Once again, the key to balance on a surfboard is to stay low avoid excess body moments that may throw you off balance. Its very exciting catching your first wave, so most first timers will stand as tall as they can only to topple over like a tree. Remember, when you get to your feet, the surfboard is already moving. Bending the knees will help you to ride with the wave instead of the surfboard sliding out from under you.
Surfing has a very long learning curve and there are a million mistake you will make along your road to riding waves. The trick is to learn from your mistakes and become self aware of what your body is doing while surfing. Taking a surf lesson is an easy way to excel faster and learn proper surfing techniques that will help you along the way.