Learn to Surf -10 things to know before
It’s high time to make that quarantine daydream a reality. The water is starting to look really, really good on a mid-summer day. You set your Google search on “Surf Lessons in San Diego”, or “how to surf for beginners”. So, we thought it might be cool to jot down our team's top ten things to know before surfing.
1. What to bring to the beach - No matter what beach you head to, you will need the same basic amenities.
Water! - For drinking and a quicksand rinse off after. No one likes sandy car mats. Best to keep a gallon jug in your trunk for emergencies anyway.
Gear - Towels, wetsuits (for winter) sunscreen! Don’t ever forget your towel! Getting into a wetsuit without one is not advised. Sunscreen is huge and should be applied daily here in sunny San Diego. Add it to your morning routine for maximum protection. Trucker hats are perfect for keeping a little sun off your brow but are hard to keep on if you wipe out. Also great for those long walks after finding parking near the beach.
Snacks – You will likely need to replenish those energy levels after your very first surf session. Surfing takes a lot of energy in prep, and execution. You are going to feel thrashed in a great way after.
Laundry basket - You don't want to throw your wet clothes or suit into your ride. Grab a laundry basket before you get to the beach. Plastic bags tend to get smelly quickly.
2. Practice on the sand first, even if it looks silly. Practicing the pop up not only warms you up, but it also sets your intentions for standing up and staying up.
3. Check out the surf, check the lifeguard tower - There are places you can surf and places you can't. The lifeguard tower or lifeguard on duty should be able to inform you of where you should stay away from. Take a few minutes while you stretch to analyze where the waves are breaking.
4. Check the Surf Report! – Not each beach has the best surf for the current swell. It’s always good to scout online for a surf report or cam to view the surf. A quick online search will provide the details you need to map out your choice for a beach.
5. Be ready to commit a few hours - Packing up, driving out, finding parking, maybe even changing beaches, will take time. This sport is for patient water watchers. Those with dedicated time and resources. Do not expect to rush into anything, especially the ocean.
6. Don't learn alone - This should probably be obvious but we all can tell who is out alone for the first time. Having someone look out for you is always suggested. Plus its rad to paddle out with your friends. Bring a homie or take lessons when starting out, but DO NOT surf alone when you are beginning.
7. Paddle, paddle, paddle - Pretty much just keep paddling. YES, you will be sore. YES, you will hurt in places you never imagined possible (low back, looking at you). The more you push yourself paddling around, the better and longer you can do it.
8. Have fun! - After all, that's the point of this zen-like practice. Don't forget to fall off your board a few times for good measure.
9. Stingray shuffle - This is a little know fact that could save your life. RIP Steve Irwin. When you enter the water, you want to shuffle your feet around more than taking actual steps.
10. Respect – Take care of mother ocean and she will in turn take care of you
Be cautious and tread-lightly surfing. This is not your natural habitat. The creatures and ecosystem should be respected at all times. Along with your fellow surfers.