Taming the Waves: A Surfing Guide for Beginners

by Staff

It would be impossible to find anyone nowadays unaware of the extreme water sport of surfing. One can trace its roots back to Polynesia in ancient times, where this water-based activity was not only an adventure sport or a leisure activity but also a crucial cultural aspect. Ancient Polynesians used surfing to return to the shore from their boats and ships. When European explorers came to Polynesia in the 18th Century, they came upon this creative and exciting activity that slowly started spreading across continental Europe. Surfing is among the most popular and in-demand water-based sporting activities today. If you are a complete rookie in surfing and are looking for a guide to help you learn more about this sport, this guide is for you.

A quick introduction to surfing

Long story short, surfing is a water sport that involves riding the ocean waves on a board. This board is called a surfboard. You can surf either by standing or lying on a surfboard. The person who rides the waves on the surfboard is called a surfer. The activity involves taking the surfboard with you in the water towards the ocean till a certain point. After that, once the adequate waves come in, the surfer gets on the board and rides the waves toward the shore. The level of balance required and the intricate techniques involved make this surface water sport so appealing to many worldwide.

Basic training sessions are required to help beginners learn all the essential aspects of surfing. The East Coast is home to some of the best surfing spots in the country. NJ is particularly cherished by surfers globally. Some of the best surfing in New Jersey happens at Manasquan Inlet and Bradley Beach, among others.

Surfing equipment beginners should know about

To successfully indulge in any extreme or adventure sport, especially a water-based adrenaline-pumping activity like surfing, one must be aware of all the necessary equipment.

Surf shoes: Surf shoes are also called water shoes or aqua shoes. They come in various types, from slip-on to lace-up shoes. These are specially designed for surfing and have thin soles that allow the surfers to feel the surfboard underneath their feet properly. Choose one that fits you correctly.

Surfboard: This is the most crucial surfing equipment. There is only surfing with a board. Your height, weight, fitness level, and surfing skill level are all factors that determine the type of surfboard suitable for you. Beginners must go for a wide, thick board with a flat, stable bottom surface.

Surfing attire: Various types of surfing clothing are available for different waters and weather conditions. A surfer spends considerable time in water and must ensure the body does not stay wet and cold for long periods. A surf suit, either long- or short-sleeved, UV-protected clothing, surf lycra, surf bikinis, surf shorts, etc., are some of the popular surfing clothing available. Choose one that best fits your needs and the weather.

When to surf and where to surf

Early mornings and evenings are usually when most surfers prefer to get into the water and start riding the waves. This is because the weather is at its best at these times, and waves are also calmer and more consistent. Moreover, the region you are located in also determines the ideal time to surf. Certain areas are better suited for surfing during winter, and others are better suited for the summer.

When searching for the ideal location to surf, remember that a spot where waves tend to break more slowly is better suited for beginners. Constant waves of knee-height whitewater are ideal for surfing. Finally, you need to locate a spot that is not crowded and can allow you the ambiance to indulge in surfing with full focus peacefully.

Research surfing etiquette before getting in the water

Following good surfing etiquette is important to maintain safety. When surfing in a new place, always be courteous to the locals. They use the spot daily, so be friendly and earn your respect. Avoid overcrowding surf spots by going with a small group of friends. Most importantly, avoid snaking. This is when a surfer paddles around another to get priority on a wave. It’s considered bad etiquette and can lead to dangerous situations. Always wear appropriate gear and use hand signals or verbal communication to let other surfers know your intentions. Beginners should only surf at accessible spots – spend 30 minutes watching the surf before paddling out. Watch where other surfers paddle out and where the waves are breaking. Crucially, ensure the waves suit your skill level to avoid any mishap.

Concluding thoughts

Surfing is a fantastic water sport that people enjoy worldwide. Since ancient Polynesia, this sport has come a long way and has various types for different skill levels and preferences. When starting, beginners must understand the importance of proper surfing equipment, such as surfboards and attire, and the ideal surfing conditions before entering the water. Pay close attention to surfing norms and be friendly with others – the goal is to have fun. By remembering the tips and guidelines in this guide, beginners can learn to tame the waves and experience the thrill of surfing safely and enjoyably.

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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