Knowing how to catch a wave is the what the end result of all of the learning and practice brings you to. The steps that you will take in order to catch a wave are pretty much set in stone and there really is no other way to accomplish the task other than in the order in which every surfer has to follow so that they can get the ride. Of course every experienced surfer already knows how to catch a wave so we are basically going to be addressing the newbies. Before we get started make sure you have a surfboard, and mini-mal surfboards are a good choice for beginners.
Step one for catching a wave is paddling out into the surf. Walk yourselves and your mini-mal surfboards out into the surf until you are deep enough to lay on the board without bottoming out. When paddling out make sure that you paddle to the right side of the surfers and more towards the area where they are not waiting for waves. Paddling into the surf zone and in front of those catching waves is inherently dangerous for you and will be an annoyance to the other surfers. On the way out make sure to duck-dive the waves and make sure that you do not let go of your surfboard because that is dangerous too.
Step two for catching a wave is to get into the lineup with the other surfers for catching a wave. Make sure that you straddle your mini-mal surfboards at or about the middle of the surfboard for maximum balance while waiting for your turn to catch a wave. Here is where what surfer has the right of way comes into play and the rule of thumb is that the surfer closest to the peak of the wave has the right of way or the surfer to your left. The only exception to this rule is if the break is a left hand break, then it is the surfer to your right who has the right of way. Do not drop in on the surfer with the right of way.
Step three for catching a wave is once it is your turn to catch a wave start your move. Make sure to start paddling your mini-mal surfboards a little bit before the wave starts to break over you. Make sure to check to your left and right just to make sure that no one is taking off to your left or attempting to drop in on top of you as you catch the lip of the wave and start your ride. Another good reason for checking to your left and right is so that you can avoid an accident if you see it coming and keep from getting hurt seriously or hurting someone else even the idiot that drops in on you, because fingash and board smash really does hurt.
Step four for catching a wave is to stand up on the board. Once you start moving down the face of the wave on your mini-mal surfboards you have to stand up on the surfboard. In order to stand up on the surfboard you have to pop up and place both feet on the surface of the surfboard at the same time or you will wipe out. Once you are up and standing on your surfboard, you will then ascend into the pit or bottom of the wave and then make your cut to the left or right depending on which way the wave is breaking. At this point you can then do your moves down the face of the wave as you desire and that is how you catch a wave.
Have you ever been to the beach? If so have you ever bodysurfed or boogie boarded? Did you have a lot of fun doing those things? If the answer to any or all of the above is yes, then maybe you should think about learning to surf too. Sure it looks hard and maybe even a little scary too, but it is not impossible to learn and there are surfing schools out there that will teach you how to surf. When you decide you want to learn to surf there is really only one thing you need and that is a surfboard or more to the point a beginner surfboard.
There are a few types of surfboards that will make a great beginner surfboard, but the one that is perhaps best for the job is the soft surfboard. There are many pros to using a soft surfboard or foamie for learning to surf. First off they are made of foam and that is good because they are very light and buoyant. Secondly, since they are made of foam your physical injuries can be minimized even if it does not minimize the injuries to your pride, which is guaranteed until you get better at surfing. One more good thing about a foamie is that newbie’s can catch waves a lot easier and learn to stand a lot quicker too.
Another good beginner surfboard type is the pop-out. The pop-out surfboard is an entirely different stick from a soft surfboard by the way that it is made. While a soft surfboard is made of foam a pop-out surfboard is foam covered over with a thick fiberglass coat. This kind of board is loads heavier and virtually indestructible, which is a good thing for a beginner. The reasons that a beginner might want to learn on a pop-out is that it is a lot more steady in the water than a foamie and another reason is minimal board performance. The real downside to pop-out is of course its weight and that what it hits it will hurt.
Some custom surfboards are okay to use as a beginner surfboard, but the board you choose is very important. For starters stay away from thrusters or short boards because there is nothing about the design that will do a newbie any good. If you want to learn on a custom or glassed surfboard then steer more towards a mini-mal because they are longer, wider, and thicker. Another good thing about a mini-mal is that it will have excellent buoyancy, which will help the beginner surfer to catch waves much easier. The real downside to buying a mini-mal is the price because they can cost big time.
Another good custom for a beginner surfboard is the venerable longboard or Malibu as it is also called can benefit a beginner who is learning to surf. The longboard has all of the same attributes as a mini-mal and is even longer too. It is not that easy to turn a longboard because of its length, and another downside is that since they do not maneuver so easy it makes stepping down to a mini-mal difficult and even more so to a shortboard. However, they do provide a stable platform and catching a wave on a longboard is easier to do as a beginner than say on a thruster.
If you’ve entered the world of surfing then you’ve probably gone shopping for a surfboard. Stores that cater to surf and skate participants mainly carry name brand stuff and since a name can mean everything you might be discouraged about buying your first surf equipment because of the price. Remember this, the pros don’t pay for their gear, they are paid to advertise it.
When learning how to surf you should know that the best equipment won’t make you a better surfer. Your driver’s education car wasn’t a Porsche right? You should start with some second hand equipment. A used surfboard that is still in good condition is the catalyst that you need to determine how far you actually want to go in the sport. If you take lessons your instructor won’t recommend buying a new board to start out with anyway.
Buying a used or second hand board gives you the freedom to immerse yourself in the sport without breaking the bank to do so. You can buy used equipment all the way down the line if you want. Wetsuits, leg ropes and various equipment can be purchased used because many surf shops won’t carry it unless it’s still in good condition. They are the authority on what is still useable so use their knowledge to help you get started and save some money.
When choosing a second hand surfboard you should find one that fits your style. The designs on the board aren’t nearly as important as how well the board compliments your height. You should look for one that has an extra 15 inches of length above your height when standing next to it upright. This gives you better balance because you’ll need to find your center of gravity in order to ride the wave. Boogie boards are shorter because they don’t utilize the wave, only the push of the force. A surfboard rides on the wave and allows you create a balance within the pipeline.
Since used surfboards are less expensive you can probably afford to take lessons if you don’t already have an understanding of surfing. You should also buy a wetsuit that gives you comfort when you surf. There are a few different styles depending on when you surf via summer or fall. The thickness of your surfboard is important too, choose one with at least two inches, you’ll be paddling out to meet the waves and having a good thick board will help you get there faster.
After you’ve purchased your board you should take care of it. Don’t leave it out in the sun and know that normal wear and tear from the ocean is a calculated cost. You should also buy some surfboard wax to stop you from slipping off you board when surfing. Make sure to keep the sand and dirt off your board when it’s not in use. Eventually you will want to sell it back to the surf shop so take care of it and pass it on to another up and coming surfer.