A Basic Surfing Overview

Ask any surfer and they will tell you that the best waves on the planet are on the North Shore in Hawaii during the winter. That is when the biggest swells and waves make themselves known and surfers from all around the world flock to those beaches to try and catch “the big one”. But for a surfer who is just starting out, huge waves and big swells are not what one is looking for. They can get quite intimidating and dangerous, especially if the surfer is riding in the trough or the middle of the wave and the wave collapses. That could spell death, if the surfer does not know what to do in that situation. However, the beginning surfer does not need to worry about this yet. The most important thing for the beginner to understand is the surfing rules.

These are not rules that are written in sand somewhere, but are common courtesy and sense type of rules. The first of these rules is if someone else is already up on their board, or trying to get up, stay down. Do not try to cut them off. Not only could this cause an injury, it will not make you any friends. That is almost as bad as cutting someone off on the freeway. The second rule is to be aware of other surfers so that you are not in their way. If you are in the way, they may run you over and not even know it. This not only could be potentially harmful, but deadly, if you are knocked unconscious and no one sees you drowning. If you are among a bunch of short board surfers and you are on a long board, you need to leave. Long boards and short boards should never be surfed together because they have different waves and techniques to ride them. These will be dangerous, if put together. Fourth, do not surf in someone else’s spot. There is plenty of beach, so find a spot where you can fall all you want, and no one will get hurt. Lastly, if you follow these rules and show other surfers common courtesy, they will do the same for you and you will gain their respect. Just remember the Golden Rule. Do to others what you would want them to do to you.

As far as equipment goes, one needs a board, bathing suit, and sun block. It is recommended to use a long board which should be about 9 or 10 feet long. Not only will this give the surfer more control, but it will help sharks realize that you are not a seal. Seals are usually 5 to 6 feet long and sharks cannot see well, they only see shadows of shapes. If they see a 10 foot surf board, they will know it is not a seal, and will leave it alone. Buying a surf board which has already been used is a good investment for the first board. It will be scratched and scraped anyway, so why spend the money on a new one when the board will get damaged anyway? The bathing suit choice does not really matter, as long as it covers what you want covered. The sun block must be waterproof and have a SPF factor of at least 45 to protect the skin from sun damage.