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Surfing with Confidence: Tips and Tricks from Ocean Beach Surf Lessons

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

· Learning to surf is daunting, challenging, and downright HARD. Gaining the confidence needed for surfing is vital for surfers at all levels. · This read-through will arm you with valuable tips and tricks sources from our instructors at Saltwater Surf Lessons based in Ocean Beach San Diego.


Understanding the Basics:


· First things first – If you want to ride the waves you must perfect your pop-up. What is a pop-up? Check out this detailed YouTube video

for a breakdown. · Once you’ve got your pop-up down, you are ready to fine-tune your paddle-out technique. · The pop-up and the paddle-out are the essential skills needed for surfing proficiently. Otherwise, you will get frustrated quickly. And give up before the big payoff happens. Becoming one with the water and mastering the wave. · We start our San Diego Surf Lessons on the sand. This cultivates muscle memory, confidence in the board, and technique.





Overcoming Fear and Building Mental Resilience: Ocean Beach Surf Lessons


Not many new surfers don’t have fears of what is under the water or anxiety about getting pummeled by the waves. This is normal and healthy. If you haven’t had much exposure to the ocean it can be extremely intimidating. Building the mental resilience to this biological signal like most things in life, takes time and experience. The cheat code here is to sign up for a private surf lesson where a coach can guide you quickly to your goal.


Practicing Patience and Perseverance:


So you started surfing. It’s hard and frustrating. You aren’t popping up and shredding like the others in the water. Patience young Padawan. Surfing is a relaxed sport that takes time in the water and on a board. If you expect to become a pro overnight, it isn’t a reasonable expectation.

Learning to surf is a journey. Even the best of us have crap sessions and might not even catch a wave. Surfing is like fishing. Sometimes the fish don’t bite. all about consistency. A regular practice like yoga or any sport really, leads to the results you will be happy with. That regular practice is the root of surfing confidently.


Learning from Mistakes:

We all fall and wipe out! Watch any surf break and you will see people shredding, and those same people kook it up on a different wave. Surfing is humbling and triumphant all on the same day usually.

That is what makes the sport so addicting. No one wave is identical, no day has the same conditions, and no pop-up is ever truly perfect. You either are too far forward, your foot slips, or your timing is off. Then there is the amazing wave that you will never forget because of all the mistakes you made before….and likely after it.


Setting Realistic Goals:


If you are serious about learning to surf, set realistic goals. Give yourself a full year on your foam longboard before you plan that trip to Bali. Outline how many times a week/month/year you can realistically set aside for surfing. Make a plan for what happens if you get injured, get frustrated, or want to quit. Don’t give up! We like to schedule a few personal morning paddles to catch at least one good wave. Then calling it a sesh and paddling in. These small goals can bolster confidence and leave with you a sense of accomplishment. If you catch a couple of waves a week, you are officially a surfer.


“ONE OF US, ONE OF US!” - Your instructor probably


Proper Surf Equipment and Gear:

We cannot stress enough that having the proper gear will make all the difference in the world. Well-fitted wetsuits and a foam board for beginners are beyond mandatory. It is “the way”. With our surf lessons in Ocean Beach, we provide the instructor, Padawana proper fitting wetsuit no matter what season it is, and a beginner foam board. You can pick up a foam board online, at a surf store by the coast, or ask a friend! If you live by the beach, odds are many people in your social circle have one lying around. Use that before investing the $3-a on a board you will beat up learning on.

Gaining Experience through Surf Lessons:


Trust me, we learned the hardest of ways. At least most of us did. We never took lessons. There wasn’t a lot of literature on how to surf. So we went for it. It was brutal and took years. That is why taking a surf lesson in Ocean Beach with our coaches will have you popping up and riding waves on your first attempt. Like any coach, they shortcut you to the finish line based on all their experience. Learning what not to do, and what to do is key with surfing. There is now a ton of materials online to research before ever paddling out. A surf lesson will also provide you with safety in the water. Paddling out alone is a fairly advanced and risky endeavor. Even for the seasoned surfer.


With Saltwater Surf Lessons you get professional guidance, personalized feedback, and structured learning that can accelerate skill development and enhance confidence in the water.


Surfing Etiquette and Respecting the Ocean:

Surfers are rule breakers. Outsiders. Drifters and seekers. However overnight It's we do have a lot of respect and etiquette we live and surf by. Another reason to sign up for a lesson. Learn the ropes and rules for your own safety. No one likes getting yelled at while the waves batter you and you rub salt out of your eyes. When you show the others you know how to surf, you get massive respect and the Aloha pop-up flows. If you show you are a total newbie, you scare and threaten the other surfers in the water. Leaving you an outcast with your could-be community.


To build confidence and a safe experience, we encourage you to take a surf lesson. Not all lessons are equal. Many lessons may very well be needed. They will pay off dividends when you are cruising down your first large wave, the wind in your hair, your body glistening with stoke, and the euphoria that comes with communing with source energy. Ocean Beach is my favorite break. You have so many options either by the pier, the south side of the pier, Avalanche, Dog Beach, or the Jetty. If you have the right gear, the learned confidence from taking lessons, and the etiquette, you will also fall in love with Ocean Beach wave riding.

Give our team a call to learn to surf in Ocean Beach San Diego today.



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