All surfers develop skills at their own pace. Typically the younger they are when they learn to surf, the easier a time they will have with progressing. As we grow, learning to surf becomes more challenging but by no means impossible for anyone.
Surfing requires a great deal of balance and coordination, two skills not always focused on as we age. A lower center of gravity is helpful in surfing. Successful surfers bend their knees and compress themselves while they are on a wave. Taller surfers have more difficulty staying low and keeping most of their energy “hugged” to the board.
Adult women typically have an easier time learning to surf than adult men due to their natural lower center of gravity. Women also tend to take direction and absorb information easier than men, but that is a longstanding issue I will not have time to cover in this brief article. Know that if you are an adult man, surfing is more challenging for you to learn based on build, but remain patient because it is a sport everyone can enjoy.
Let’s get into a more uncomfortable subject, bodyweight. If you are a heavier individual, learning to surf may be more of a challenge than it presents to someone smaller. The flexibility necessary to complete the fundamentals will be more difficult to achieve. Most important, if you are heavier and you are not a strong as a swimmer the risks are heightened for yourself, and any Water Safety Specialist who may need to perform a rescue if something goes wrong.
Do not let any of this information stop your efforts if you do want to become a surfer. Surfing is an excellent exercise to get your body into shape, and it only gets easier the more often you get in the water. Some of the best surfers around the world are very tall or classified as overweight. Find inspiration from these individuals and your progression. See you at the beach.
Written by Caleb Dolloff