The Beginner’s Guide On How To Start Surfing

How To Get Into Surfing

Surfing can seem intimidating and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right preparation and attitude, anyone can learn how to surf! This beginner’s guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to get into surfing. From finding the right gear and learning the proper etiquette to catching your first wave, this guide has you covered. So if you are ready to take on a new challenge and ride the waves, we are here to help you learn how to start surfing!

A Beginner’s Guide to Surfing

Surfing is an incredibly fun and rewarding activity. It can, however, seem intimidating at first – all of the lingo, the proper gear and etiquette to learn, and a steep learning curve are enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed. But don’t worry! Starting out in surfing doesn’t have to be hard. With the right preparation and attitude, anyone can learn how to surf.

Man running into the ocean with his surfboard

The most important thing when it comes to getting into surfing is finding the right gear for your size and ability level. This includes choosing a board that’s appropriate for your weight and skill level, as well as a wetsuit that fits properly. Once you have your gear sorted out, it’s time to start learning about surf etiquette – this ensures everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience in the water. Finally, with practice and patience, you will be able to catch your first wave!

So if you want to give surfing a go, remember that it takes time and dedication – but with these tips in mind, you’ll be riding those waves in no time!

Where to Surf

Where you choose to surf can make or break your experience, so it’s important to find the right spot for your skill level. First off, don’t paddle out too far past your comfort level. Start close to shore and gradually make your way out as you gain confidence and experience. You should also be aware of who is already in the water, watching where they are paddling out and catching waves so you don’t get in their way or interfere with their ride.

Beginners should look for a surf spot with slow-rolling waves that break over a semi-shallow sandy bottom. It’s also important to choose an area that isn’t too crowded, so you can catch lots of waves without getting in anyone else’s way.

Some great beginner surf spots include; Pacific BeachLa Jolla, Manhattan Beach, Mission Beach, Huntington Beach, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Santa Cruz just to name a few!

For those new to surfing, searching for suitable beginner surf spots in the vicinity or consulting with a local surf shop may be beneficial. Additionally, many beaches have areas specially catered for beginner surfers.

No matter where you decide to go surfing, always take safety precautions. Make sure you have the proper equipment and know how to read the waves before paddling out into deep water. Above all else, be patient with yourself and have fun! With some time and practice, you’ll soon be catching waves like a pro.

What to Ride

Finding a beginner surfboard doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you’re just getting started, it’s best to find a board that is both easy to paddle and stable in the water. Some of the best boards for beginners are longboards, which provide more stability than shorter boards and are great for learning how to pop up and balance on the wave.

Choosing the right surfboard can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Generally, you want to choose a board that matches your size and skill level.

Beginners should look for something with more volume and length for added stability. Longboards are usually best for those starting out, as they provide plenty of room for paddling and allow you to catch waves easily. Soft-top longboards are a great option as they are forgiving and easy to maneuver.

As your skills progress, you may want to consider getting a shortboard or fish board. Shortboards offer more performance while fish boards provide extra speed and maneuverability in smaller waves.

No matter what type of board you choose, make sure it fits your abilities and style of surfing—you don’t want something too long or too short because then it won’t work properly in the water! With the right board, you can take your surfing skills to the next level!

What To Wear

When it comes to surfing, the right gear is just as important as having the right board. Not only will the proper clothing keep you comfortable in the water, but it will also help protect you from the sun and any potential hazards.

Finding a wetsuit that fits you properly and keeps you warm is essential when it comes to staying out there in the water. To get the most out of your surfing experience, look for a wetsuit that is snug but not too tight and made with high-quality neoprene. Look for features such as sealed seams, welded zippers, and reinforced knee pads.

If you live in an area with cold water temperatures, thicker wetsuits (4/3mm) are ideal for maintaining body warmth during long sessions. If you plan to surf during the summer months or live in a warmer climate, opt for thinner suits (3/2mm). For added flexibility and comfort, consider looking into stretchy wetsuits made with lycra or spandex.

When trying on your new suit at home, make sure it fits correctly around the arms, legs, neck, and torso. You should be able to move your limbs freely without feeling restricted or uncomfortable. Once you find the perfect fit, take good care of your wetsuit by rinsing it off after each session with fresh water to maintain its durability over time.

Other Important Gear

In addition to a board, there are some other items you’ll need to get started surfing. A good swimsuit that won’t ride up is essential as well as a rash guard to protect your skin. You’ll also need a surfboard leash to attach your board to your ankle while riding waves. Investing in some wax for the top of your board so you don’t slip off is also a great idea.

Also, consider picking up some surf fins—these help with maneuverability and speed when paddling out or catching waves. If you’re just starting out, you can use the stock fins that come with the board, but as your skills progress, it’s worth investing in a set of fins specifically designed for performance surfing.

Finally, don’t forget about sunscreen! Protecting your skin from UV rays is an important part of staying safe while enjoying the ocean. Choose a water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 50 or higher and apply it frequently throughout the day.

Understanding Surfing Etiquette

Surfing is an awesome activity, but like any sport, there are certain unwritten rules that should be followed to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment. First off, always respect the ocean—it’s a powerful force and should never be taken lightly. Make sure you follow all surfing regulations and obey any instructions given by lifeguards or officials.

A group of beginner surfers waiting for another wave

When you’re in the water, try to stay in your own space and avoid dropping-in on other surfers. You don’t want to take someone else’s wave away from them, so wait your turn! If you are paddling out through a crowded area, always give way to surfers who are closer to the break than you are.

It’s also important to show courtesy and be patient when riding waves with other people. Don’t hog a wave or take too many turns without giving someone else a chance to ride it as well. Don’t try any new maneuvers until you are comfortable in the water and have had some practice on smaller waves. When you finally do catch a wave, stay relaxed as you ride it all the way into shore, taking the precautions to not drop in on anyone else’s wave or cut them off while they’re surfing.

Finally, if you do happen to fall off your board or have some kind of mishap in the water, apologize right away—no one likes an unapologetic surfer!

By following these basic surfing etiquette rules, not only will you make sure everyone has fun but you will also be more likely to make new friends while out on the water!

Catching Your First Wave

When you spot a wave that looks promising for riding, paddle hard toward it with your hands about shoulder-width apart and your body close to the board. As you get closer to the wave, keep your eyes on the horizon and your arms pumping until you’re ready to pop up onto your feet. When you feel the wave lifting you up, bend your knees slightly and shift your weight forward onto the board. This is when you’ll need to pop up quickly while keeping both feet firmly planted on the board.

Once you’re standing up straight with both feet spread evenly across the board, keep looking ahead while shifting your weight back and forth between each foot. This will help maintain balance as well as control over where you’re going on the wave. To turn or slow down, simply press down on one side of the board with more pressure than the other side and let gravity do its job!

When you’re ready to get off the wave, simply turn your board slightly sideways and hop off on either side. Remember to always keep your eyes on the horizon and practice these basic maneuvers until they become second nature.

We recommend that you read our other blog with tips on how to catch more waves.

Training for Surfing

Training for surfing is essential to build the strength and endurance needed to perform well in the water. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, regular exercise can help improve your performance and reduce the chances of injury.

Strength-building exercises are important for developing muscle endurance and improving balance. A good routine should include dynamic exercises (like squats, pushups, and burpees) that target multiple muscle groups at once. Core-strengthening exercises like planks and crunches will also help you remain stable on the board when paddling or riding waves.

Yoga is another great option for surfers as it helps improve flexibility, balance, and coordination – all of which are necessary skills for mastering the sport. Even just a few minutes of stretching before heading out can make a huge difference in how comfortable you feel in the water.

Finally, interval training is also a great way to prepare your body for surfing as it simulates the short bursts of energy required during a surf session. Start with something simple like running for 1 minute followed by 2 minutes of rest then gradually increase intensity over time as your fitness improves. The key is to build up your endurance.

Whether you’re new to surfing or have been riding waves for years, incorporating these exercises into your routine will help make sure you stay safe out there and get the most out of every session!

Sign Up For Surf Lessons With Pacific Surf

Here at Pacific Surf School, we offer surf lessons for all levels of experience. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or an experienced surfer wanting to refine your technique, our lessons are tailored to meet your individual needs.

Safety is and will always be our number one priority. Our certified team of lifeguards are always on hand to provide guidance and assistance if needed.

Our team of professional instructors have years of experience and will help ensure that you get the most out of your lesson. We will cover everything from proper board handling and paddling techniques to balance and wave riding skills, so you can feel confident taking on the waves with ease.

We also offer private, semi-private, group lessons, and surf camps, which are perfect for families or friends who want to learn together. Our instructors will be able to adjust the curriculum based on skill level, so everyone can participate without feeling overwhelmed or left behind.

So what are you waiting for? Contact us today to sign up for one of our surf lessons and get ready for a fun-filled day in the water!


Surf instructor teaching a young student how to surf



There is no age limit when it comes to surfing. As long as you are physically fit and healthy enough to participate in water sports, you can learn to surf at any age. However, it is important to note that surfing requires a certain level of strength, balance, and flexibility, so older individuals may need to put in extra effort to develop these skills.

It is possible to learn some basic surfing skills in one day, but it is unlikely that you will become an expert overnight. Our lessons cover the basics of surfing, such as paddling, standing up, and riding small waves. However, learning to surf is a complex skill that takes time and practice to master. Most surfers continue to learn and improve over many years.

The hardest part of surfing varies from person to person, but some common challenges include:

Paddling: Surfing requires a lot of paddling, which can be tiring and challenging, especially in larger waves or strong currents.

Timing: It can be difficult to time your paddle and pop-up correctly to catch a wave, especially if you are a beginner.

Balance: Surfing requires a lot of balance and coordination, which can be challenging to develop, especially if you are not used to being in the water.

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