Beginner Tips for Surfers

Surfing is an exhilarating sport I have enjoyed for over 30 years. Here are 5 simple tips to get you started
Beginner tips for surfers

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Surfing is an exhilarating water sport, that I have enjoyed for over thirty years, which allows you to connect with nature, ride the largest entity on earth, and experience an unmatched sense of freedom. For beginners, stepping into the world of surfing can be both exciting and overwhelming. However, with the right guidance and some essential tips, you can make your surfing journey smoother and more enjoyable. I will explore five beginner tips for surfers that you should keep in mind to catch those waves with confidence.

Understanding Surfing

Before we dive into the tips, let’s briefly understand what surfing is all about. Surfing is a water sport where individuals ride the waves using a surfboard. It originated in ancient Polynesia in the 12th century and has evolved into a beloved global sport. To get started, you’ll need the right surfing gear, including a surfboard and appropriate safety equipment.

5 Simple tips to make surfing more enjoyable

Now, let’s delve into the five essential tips that will set you on the path to becoming a surfer:

1. Start with the Right Board

For beginners, choosing the right board is crucial. A longboard or a foam board is ideal as they offer more stability and buoyancy, making it easier to catch waves and maintain balance.

2. Find the Right Location

Selecting the right surf spot can make a significant difference in your learning curve. Look for beginner-friendly beaches with gentle waves and sandy bottoms, which are safer for novice surfers. If you are near NYC look at From City to Swell: The Ultimate Guide to NYC Surfing to find out my views on the top 5 spots to surf near NYC.

3. Learn Proper Paddling

Paddling efficiently is the foundation of successful surfing. Practice paddling techniques to navigate through the waves and reach the lineup where you can catch the waves.

4. Master the Pop-up

The pop-up is the maneuver that transitions you from lying on the board to standing up while riding a wave. Practice this move on the beach to build muscle memory before hitting the water.

5. Understand Wave Basics

Learning to read and understand waves is essential for timing and catching the right ones. Observe the ocean, the sets of waves, and their patterns before paddling out.

Staying Safe and Know Your Limits

While surfing is thrilling, safety should always be a top priority. Respect your skill level and never attempt to surf waves that are beyond your capabilities. Start with smaller waves and gradually progress as you gain confidence and experience.

Respect Surfing Etiquette

Surfing has a unique set of unwritten rules that govern surfer behavior, Surf Etiquette, in the water. Always show respect to fellow surfers and wait your turn for waves.

Embracing the Surfing Culture

Surfing is not just a sport; it’s a way of life and a culture that embraces a love for the ocean and nature. Immerse yourself in the surfing community, learn from experienced surfers, and respect the environment.

Setting Goals

Set achievable goals for yourself as a beginner surfer. Progression in surfing takes time, so celebrate every milestone, whether it’s catching your first wave or improving your technique.

Building Endurance

Surfing requires physical strength and stamina. Incorporate exercises like swimming, paddling, and core workouts into your routine to build endurance and improve your surfing performance.

Common Mistakes

As a beginner, you may encounter some common mistakes that could hinder your progress. These may include:

  1. Standing too early: Wait until you feel the wave propelling you forward before attempting to stand up.
  2. Looking down: Keep your gaze forward while standing to maintain balance.
  3. Wrong foot placement: Place your feet correctly on the board for better stability.
  4. Neglecting safety: Always be aware of your surroundings and potential hazards.
  5. Getting frustrated: Surfing takes time to master, so stay patient and enjoy the learning process.


As a beginner surfer, you are embarking on an incredible journey filled with excitement and learning. Remember to start with the right board, find suitable surf spots, and master essential techniques like paddling and the pop-up. Safety and respect for others in the water are paramount, so always follow surfing etiquette. Embrace the surfing culture and set achievable goals to progress steadily. With dedication and perseverance, you’ll soon find yourself riding waves like a, well beginner, cherishing every moment in the vast ocean.

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Bradford Buonasera

3rd Generation New Yorker. Born and raised in midtown Manhattan where I grew up in the building my mother was born in, and my grandmother lived in. I consider myself a townie. With that said I love enjoying and sharing all the remarkable things that Manhattan has to offer. Unless you know the ins and outs of NYC it can be expensive. Therefore, I am here to offer all that I have learned over the past few decades on how to do New York City like a New Yorker.

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